National Review, June 5, 2022
The Washington Post recently ran an interesting story on law enforcement tracking and deporting criminal aliens. A Spanish-speaking Post reporter and photographer embedded with agents as they sought a criminal alien, one Damion Ariza Salinas, a murder suspect who’d fled across the border. He was just “another guy who thinks he can create a new life” by crossing the border, the lead agent said.
The agents spoke freely about their motivations and experiences. “We don’t want a bunch of criminals in our community,” said one, while another speculated on the source of the criminality: “Honestly, I think it’s all the drugs over there.”
Of the criminal aliens the team was tracking, “there were eight accused of drug trafficking, two of murder and one of pedophilia,” the story reported. One of the officers had pictures on his phone of all the criminal aliens he’d nabbed, “like a digital trophy gallery,” in the reporter’s words.
The agents work from tips received from other law-enforcement agencies, they track social media, and they interview potential witnesses and collaborators. Among the criminal aliens on their list is one Baldomero Barrientos Banuelos, wanted for stabbing his wife, who’s been at large in the country for 29 years.
When the team finally tracked down Salinas, he protested in his native tongue that “I came out here for a better life,” before one of the agents admonished him to learn the country’s language: “‘Everyone tells me that,’ Salinas responded, blushing a little.” He eventually acknowledged that he’d fled across the border to escape arrest, but “I knew they were looking for me.”
The sole woman on the team used to want to visit across the border but, as the reporter put it, “Is it possible to arrest a nonstop procession of [foreign] criminals without feeling a little less enthusiastic about their country?”
But wait, how can this be happening? Hasn’t the Biden administration drastically cut back on deportations, even of criminals, while de facto abolishing the immigration parts of ICE? Shouldn’t these agents be fired, as Biden has threatened, or at least disciplined?
Well, that would be difficult because these are Mexican officers arresting American criminal aliens in their country. They’re members of a Baja state police unit known informally as the Gringo Hunters, who track down and deport Americans who’ve fled across the border and are living illegally in Mexico. Neither the reporter nor any of the story’s subjects seem to think there’s anything wrong with deporting undesirable foreigners — from Mexico.
Would that our own law-enforcement officers were able to do the same here.