To intervene or not to intervene. This is the question of the day, but it is not the right one.
The problem is the now global story that as an alleged rape occurred on SEPTA’s Market-Frankford El train in Philadelphia, many passers-by chose not to get involved. Whether or not this is the case – as there are very different views on how the police and the district attorney interpret what happened on video – is, in the end, irrelevant.
By far, three aspects of this case are of paramount importance:
- Undoubtedly, the alleged crime should never have, never been repeated, to have taken place, since the accused – an illegal immigrant with a criminal record – would have been allowed to remain in America by the US government.
2) How did the immigration system allow this to happen?
3) What will be done to prevent this nightmare from happening again?
Again, it takes a tragedy to shed light on issues that should already have been resolved. According to press reports, the alleged perpetrator was a foreign national of Congo, whose student visa expired six years ago, and who had a considerable track record. Fox News, as well as TV host Tucker Carlson, reported:
âCourt records show that he has accumulatedâ several arrests and two misdemeanor convictions, one for controlled substances and one for sexual abuse. â(He) pleaded guilty in 2017 in Washington DC to the offense of sexual abuse and has was sentenced to 120 days in prison and nine months probation.
Fox continued, âHe was taken into immigrant detention in January 2018. However, he was never deported because he received a ‘deportation denial’ from an immigration judge. in March 2019 after the Immigration Appeals Board found that his sexual offense was not a “serious crime” that would have made him ineligible for such a stay.
He was also arrested locally in 2020 and 2021.
Let’s get this straight: Assuming Fox’s reports are correct, a foreign national entered the United States legally, but passed home after his student visa expired. He racked up many convictions – including drug and sex related offenses – but, incomprehensibly, was allowed to stay in America by an immigration judge.
Planet Earth in government: have we met? How could these actions have happened? It is (or at least, it should be) absolutely irrelevant that the crime of an illegal immigrant is “serious”. If that person has a conviction and is already breaking the law by being in America illegally, they should be immediately deported after serving their sentence. This is neither xenophobic nor racist, but simple common sense.
The following is part of the mission statement of the Philadelphia Department of Prisons:
âTo provide a safe correctional environment to detain those accused or convicted of unlawful actsâ¦ and to prepare the incarcerated for their reintegration (into society) after their release. “
But which company? Given the sheer number of illegal immigrants in our prisons, in Philadelphia and across the country, this is an important issue.
Common sense dictates that after an illegal immigrant has served his sentence, he should be repatriated to his country of origin, but very often that is not what happens. The point is, many of the prisoners released into American society are foreigners who A) are in this country illegally and B) are violent offenders. Unfathomable, this is not a loophole, but a standard operating procedure of the federal government.
Try to follow this “logic”: an illegal alien is convicted of a crime, has served his time and is handed over to ICE (Immigrations and Customs Enforcement). But instead of being deported, the illegal immigrant (the key word being âillegalâ) is released. Why? Because many countries do not want their convicts to be repatriated, they therefore refuse or delay the deportation process. As a result, far too many people are being released onto the streets of America.
Likewise, countless illegal immigrants who, after being caught crossing the border, are let loose in American communities with ridiculous orders to appear in immigration court some time in the future.
It created a firestorm as thousands of Americans fell victim – some paying the ultimate price – at the hands of known criminals. These offenders should have been ruthlessly conducted, but were not – a tragic example of a government neglecting its primary responsibility to protect its citizens.
Several points to consider:
1) Why is America allowing other nations to dictate what it can and cannot do with those here illegally? This is the goose that emasculates the submissive fox, and that should be a humiliation for all Americans, regardless of their positions on the broader immigration issues.
Note: This column has always been pro-immigration, provided it is obtained legally. Laudably, America continues to be the most generous nation on the planet in this regard, granting legal status to over a million new immigrants per year. But in a way, this benevolence always seems to be forgotten.
2) Undocumented criminal aliens are often re-arrested at high multiples. Given that some of these crimes include theft, assault, rape, murder, drugs, drunk driving, etc., have our leaders realized that their inaction puts every American in grave danger? Bottom line: When Americans wonder who the government is prioritizing – citizens or illegals – the system is really broken.
3) The ironic thing is that the government seems to be committing a crime whenever it releases an illegal alien on the street or grants government assistance, such as issuing a driver’s license, since these acts come back to help and encourage criminals.
Yet government agencies, from the Department of Homeland Security to ICE, confirm that hundreds of thousands of deportable felons have been and will continue to be released rather than deported at the end of their sentences. Add to that the militant federal judges legislating from the bench, and you have a perfect storm for immigration chaos.
Considering the enormous cost of housing these people in prison, thanks to the forgotten taxpayer, those who have committed minor offenses should have their sentences commuted and be immediately deported. The same should apply to serious offenders at the end of their sentence.
4) If countries do not cooperate, as is the case with many nations, the solution is simple. It’s called playing hardball, with the following message:
âAmerica will return your citizens, with a military escort if necessary, and you will ensure that they do not return to the United States. Already. We’re not asking for permission, but we’re telling you exactly what’s going to happen. The first sign of non-cooperation will result in the immediate cessation of foreign aid, as well as the cessation of US visas to citizens of your country. Either way, we always drop your convicts, so choose wisely.
The. Years of incompetence resolved in ten seconds.
Yet for decades congressional bills denying foreign aid and suspending the issuance of visas to countries that delay or deny repatriation have gone nowhere – simply comparable to all immigration matters. .
Advocates who blame only âthe other sideâ for this lack of fundamental immigration reform need to look in the mirror, because both sides are at fault as well. Republicans controlled all of the Shebang from 2000-06 and 2016-18, and Democrats wielded full power from 1992-94 and 2008-10. Yet no progress has been made even on something as fundamental as the expulsion of criminals.
5) In addition to making the streets safer by deporting violent illegal immigrants, we would make a significant dent in reducing prison overcrowding, producing a double benefit:
A) More criminals would remain in prison for their entire sentence. Right now, too many people are having their sentences reduced or suspended because there is simply not enough capacity, once again putting our law-abiding citizens at risk.
B) There will be huge savings for taxpayers. With the astronomical costs of housing inmates, you don’t have to be a math wizard to see how much will be saved – funds that can be better spent elsewhere.
It is time for America to take care of itself first, putting its citizens before illegal immigrants. Our economic future, our physical security and continued respect for the rule of law depend on it. If we could put aside the inflammatory rhetoric that renders both sides incapable of rational discussion, perhaps we could achieve some common sense reform that may well be the springboard for comprehensive and compassionate solutions to the other challenges of the world. American immigration.
And that would be a big step to keep the train on track.
Chris Freind is a columnist and commentator whose column appears every Wednesday. He can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @chrisfreind.