At an event in Los Angeles this past May, leaders of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) suggested that the United States should stop all deportations, including those for violent criminals who had committed felonies.
Pablo Alvarado of NDLON compared the deporting of criminal aliens to creating a "penal colony of the United States where criminal dumping is acceptable". He also remarked that "it's racist to think that it's not OK for rapists and murderers to do their actions here, but it's OK for them to do them in El Salvador and Guatemala."
The deportation of illegal aliens who have not been convicted of other crimes has been a primary concern for immigration amnesty activists for years. But the no-deportation stance of CHIRLA and NDLON is rather extreme, even by the standards of most pro-amnesty politicians.
What if we followed the advice of CHIRLA and NDLON and did not deport any criminal aliens?
Table 8 in the Department of Homeland Security's "Immigration Enforcement Actions: 2015" lists the number of criminal aliens removed from the United States, sorted by their crime category between 2010 and 2015:
Criminal Aliens Removed by Crime Category
|All Other Categories||28,412||28,212||28,314||28,621||23,737||18,079|
If we had deported no criminal aliens between 2010 and 2015, there would be 1,066,947 criminal aliens still residing in the United States. Even if we control for immigration crimes (illegal re-entry, unlawful presence), there would still be 787,702 alien criminals in the United States, with many eligible for parole to be released back into the community.
These are not victimless crimes. Of this group, 90,134 deported aliens were convicted of assault; 18,859 have been convicted of violent sexual assault. There have been 211,677 deported aliens convicted of possessing and selling dangerous drugs. CHIRLA and NDLON believe that all of these 787,702 criminals should be allowed to stay in the United States.
These organizations do not seem to contemplate the effect that a no-deportation policy would have on all residents, American citizens and immigrants alike. While their position is not likely to become a reality, they are the most stalwart defenders of sanctuary policies, and often claim that immigrants do not commit crimes in large numbers. These figures from DHS cast doubt on that claim.
Sanctuary policies have a direct effect on the removal of criminal aliens from the United States. These policies aim to cripple the effectiveness of federal law enforcement, and will make it harder to remove dangerous criminals from our jails, prisons, and communities. As Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently remarked, "the most fundamental duty of government is to ensure the safety and liberty of its people." Our federal law enforcement agents, including our immigration agents, kept over one million criminal aliens from endangering Americans from 2010 to 2015, upholding that duty that Attorney General Sessions spoke of. If anything, we should be empowering them and aiding them however we can, not taking away their ability to do their job.