by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The record increase in illegal-alien encounters at the southern border due to Biden administration misfeasance, malfeasance, and nonfeasance portends significant and persistent increases in crime.
In fiscal year 2020, the Border Patrol recorded 458,088 encounters with illegal immigrants at the southern border. That figure has spiked to approximately 2 million in fiscal year 2021.
In 2020, 2,438 of the illegal immigrants encountered at the southern border already had criminal records at the time of entry. In 2021, 10,763 illegal immigrants encountered had criminal records.
It’s troubling enough that lax border policy permits thousands of convicts (and scores of suspected terrorists) to enter the country illegally. The evidence shows, however, that tens of thousands more illegal immigrants will commit crimes while in the United States (not counting the hundreds of thousands of crimes related to facilitating illegal immigration such as crimes related to identity theft, obtaining false driver’s licenses, improperly accessing public benefits, using fraudulent green cards, etc.).
A 2019 FAIR analysis of SCAAP (a program that reimburses states and localities for some of the cost of incarcerating illegal aliens and suspected illegal aliens) data shows that illegal immigrants are incarcerated for non-immigration-related crimes at an astonishingly higher rate than persons lawfully present in the United States. For example, the incarceration rate for illegal immigrants in California was 231 percent higher than that for citizens and legal immigrants. In Arizona, the incarceration rate for illegal immigrants was 301 percent higher. In Texas the incarceration rate was a comparatively modest 60 percent higher, but that still translated into a total of 22,477 illegal immigrants imprisoned in that state alone.
The United States already is experiencing significant increases in crime, even without a boost from illegal immigration. The Biden administration appears comfortable importing even more.