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Illegal Alien Crime Wave in Full Swing

American Chronicle | August 4, 2005
By Jim Kouri

Jim Kouri, CPP is fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and served in law enforcement for over 25 years. He writes for many police magazines such as Police Times. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com and can be ordered at local bookstores.

Complex problems are associated with illegal aliens who commit crimes. Criminal aliens tend to be drug-oriented and violent, often preying on members of their own cultures. If deported, they frequently use new names to reenter the United States and establish residence in different cities. Furthermore, aliens do not confine their criminal activities to border cities--communities throughout this country are experiencing increasing alien involvement in drug importation and distribution, weapons smuggling, and violence against persons and property.

The escalation in alien crime has placed added demands on state and local law enforcement personnel. Effective identification of aliens involved in crime requires familiarity with fraudulent documentation. Proper arrest procedures must be carried out, and complex notification and reporting requirements must be satisfied; otherwise, dangerous aliens can escape prosecution and deportation. Handling the myriad problems

associated with alien crimes is often beyond the capabilities of local police departments.

Some illegal aliens in the United States have been arrested and incarcerated in federal and state prisons and local jails, adding to already overcrowded prisons and jails. On April 7, 2005, the US Justice Department issued a report on criminal aliens that were incarcerated in federal and state prisons and local jails.

In the population study of 55,322 illegal aliens, researchers found that they were arrested at least a total of 459,614 times, averaging about 8 arrests per illegal alien. Nearly all had more than 1 arrest. Thirty-eight percent (about 21,000) had between 2 and 5 arrests, 32 percent (about 18,000) had between 6 and 10 arrests, and 26 percent (about 15,000) had 11 or more arrests. Most of the arrests occurred after 1990.

They were arrested for a total of about 700,000 criminal offenses, averaging about 13 offenses per illegal alien. One arrest incident may include multiple offenses, a fact that explains why there are nearly one and half times more offenses than arrests. Almost all of these illegal aliens were arrested for more than 1 offense. Slightly more than half of the 55,322 illegal aliens had between 2 and 10 offenses.

CRIMINAL HISTORY

More than two-thirds of the defendants charged with an immigration offense were identified as having been previously arrested. Thirty-six percent had been arrested on at least 5 prior

occasions; 22%, 2 to 4 times; and 12%,1 time.

Sixty-one percent of those defendants had been convicted at least once; 18%, 5 or more

times; 26%, 2 to 4 times; and 17%, 1 time. Of those charged, 49% had previously been

convicted of a felony: 20% of a drug offense; 18%, a violent offense; and 11%, other felony

offenses. Twelve percent had previously been convicted of a misdemeanor.

Defendants charged with unlawful reentry had the most extensive criminal histories. Nine

in ten had been previously arrested. Of those with a prior arrest, half had been arrested

on at least 5 prior occasions.

Fifty-six percent of those charged with a reentry offense had previously been convicted

of a violent or drug-related felony. By contrast, under half of those charged with

alien smuggling, a third of those charged with unlawful entry, and just over a quarter those

charged with misuse of visas and other charges had previously been arrested. The criminal

histories of these defendants were generally less extensive: more than 70% had been

previously arrested fewer than 5 times.

 

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