Remember Willie Horton? In 1986, Horton was a convicted felon serving life without parole. With his two accomplices, Horton stabbed a 17-year-old gas station attendant multiple times and stuffed his corpse into a trash can. But while incarcerated, Horton received a "weekend pass" as part of a furlough program overseen by then-Massachusetts Governor and future Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis.
Horton never returned. Instead, he fled to Maryland where in 1987 he raped (twice) a local woman while he stabbed, pistol whipped and gagged her boyfriend before stealing their car. Eventually, law enforcement captured Horton and he was sentenced to two life terms plus 85 years.
The Horton incident soon became 1988 presidential campaign fodder for Republican challenger George H.W. Bush in his bid to defeat Dukakis. Although Dukakis didn't start the Massachusetts furlough program, he avidly supported it. Bush hammered away at Dukakis and rode the "soft on crime" issue all the way to the White House.
What then of President Barack Obama and his catch-and-release program that sets illegal immigrants free into society where according to a new report they commit murder and mayhem? Horton's vile crimes were the work of a single perpetrator. But a new Congressional Research Service (CRS) report (available online at house.judiciary.gov) reveals that the Obama administration's policy of releasing multiple criminal aliens has resulted in more crimes committed including murder, rape, child molestation and kidnapping.
Last year, the House Judiciary Committee's Immigration Sub-Committee subpoenaed DHS for a list of criminal aliens identified for removal by Secure Communities but who have never been detained or deported. Secure Communities cross-checks jailed individuals' existing records and fingerprints on DHS files for possible immigration violations. In the end, the CRS analyzed 276,412 records. CRS found that about 17 percent of illegal and criminal aliens were rearrested, for a total of 42,827 arrests and 57,763 alleged violations. The crime categories include 15 percent DUI, 11 percent drug violations and 7 percent major criminal offenses that are, in addition to those crimes listed above, assault, battery, domestic abuse, lynching, stalking and torture. In total, aliens committed 59 murders, attempted another 21 murders and instigated 521 sex crimes.
In its summary, CRS stated that Immigration and Customs Enforcement had identified 19 categories of aliens who are not — but should be — a priority for removal. Instead, the DHS has, with Obama's blessing, designated them for prosecutorial discretion or deferred action, two fancy terms for amnesty. Quoting from the report: "The Obama administration has used (prosecutorial discretion) recklessly and to the detriment of the American people." By "detriment of the American people," CRS means that because dangerous aliens are not deported, innocent citizens are unnecessarily at greater risk of becoming crime victims.
Obama has abandoned the American people that he was elected to serve and adopted a policy that allows thousands of illegal immigrants to be released into local communities. Instead of enforcing immigration law, Obama has ignored it and endangered the public. Americans elect presidents under the assumption that they will protect, not harm, the people.
Whether the CRS report will be a factor in the upcoming November election is unclear. Politicians, especially presidential candidates, are loathe to mention immigration even when a non-partisan analysis like the CRS study reveals information that shocks the most hardened reader.
Joe Guzzardi retired from the Lodi Unified School District in 2008. He lives in Pittsburgh. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.