Some horrific stories are just too common, and incensing. They do not need to be happening, but occasionally we need to be faced with the raw, brutal reality of an issue too often talked about in anti-septic terms.
In a New York City suburb an illegal immigrant, who has been deported four times and is a known member of the barbaric MS-13 street gang, sexually assaulted a two-year-old girl and then felt so little remorse he went out stabbed two women in a New York City suburb — including the girl’s mother.
A two-year-old girl. Deported four times. Tommy Vladim Alvarado-Ventura, 31, was in the country illegally for at least the fifth time.
But this is not unusual. Let’s look at several specific, heart-breaking stories that never should have happened and make a decent person’s blood boil.
The avoidable tragedies individually
- The man who murdered Kate Steinle in San Francisco was an illegal immigrant (CNN uses the obfuscating milktoast phrase “undocumented immigrant”) and a repeat felon who has been deported five times to Mexico. Steinle’s last words to her father as she bled to death were “Help me, Daddy.”
- An illegal immigrant transgender was arrested by federal agents in El Paso after the “woman” went to the courthouse to file charges for domestic abuse. Turns out the “woman” is actually a man, Irvin Gonzalez, who is a transgender involved with a man and that he/she is in the country illegally for the eighth time and has a lengthy criminal record including domestic violence and assault.
- Illegal immigrant Tomas Martinez-Maldonado brutally raped a 13-year-old girl on a Greyhound bus in Kansas last September. He had previously been deported 10 times.
- Illegal immigrant Eduardo Gonzalez-Rios, who had been previously deported three times over the past 11 years, ran over a police officer.
- Illegal immigrant Guaymar Cabrera-Hernandez was previously deported from the country, returned, was arrested again and immediately after being released from jail allegedly carjacked a woman with a knife.
- Illegal immigrant Javier Antonio Martinez was first deported from the United States in 1992 after a felony drug conviction. He returned to the U.S. and accumulated several additional convictions in Florida under aliases without ever being detected as a deportable alien. He ended up being sentenced to 65 years in Federal prison and is still waiting to be tried in Alaskan state court for the shooting death of his boss. He should never have been here.
- Illegal immigrant Edgar Vargas Arzate: He was charged with attempted burglary, battery of a police officer, resisting arrest and tampering with a vehicle in 2014. Prior to that he had been deported twice before and had prior felony convictions. Arzate should have been surrendered to federal ICE agents but Orange County police twice refused to honor detainer orders.
- Illegal immigrant Prudencio Fragos-Ramirez, who was deported in 2013 is accused of fatally shooting and burning a Washington woman and her son.
- This could go on and on. Mercifully, here’s a final example that points to an ancillary breakdown. A 29-year-old illegal alien charged with raping and murdering a 64-year-old Santa Maria woman in her home had been arrested four times previously, and federal ICE officials issued a detainer to deport him. But local law enforcement released him because Santa Maria is a sanctuary city. In this case, he never even had to turn around and come back. He was just set free.
You see the pattern. The problem. And it is totally unnecessary.
We can and do deport illegals, but they just turn around and come back over. If they commit small-time crimes, it’s cheaper to send them back south of the border than house them in our expensive prisons. Except, of course, they come right back. For serious crimes, we have a duty to the American victims and sense of justice to try them and imprison them here.
These crimes are heart-breaking and they should enrage every decent person.
But so can the statistics, because there is a story behind every number.
The avoidable tragedies by statistics
No, Mexico does not “send” its worst people, as Trump said during the campaign. But in a very practical sense by policy, it does allow some of its worst people to come to the United States by having virtually no border protection on its border with us (but very tight border protection along its southern border) and by tacitly encouraging the crossings.
Mexico’s poorest and most needy residents come across illegally, taking a weight off the bottom end of the Mexican economy and the Mexican government. And yes, a disturbingly large percentage of them are criminals, some escaping sporadic Mexican justice and others expanding their crime syndicate here.
About 15 percent of the federal prison population are Mexican citizens, but only 3.4 percent of the people in the United States are illegal immigrants, not all Mexican, if you take the standard media metric of 11 million illegals here. So they are more than four times over represented in the federal prison system, although many of those may be immigration-related crimes.
But if we look at national crime statistics, illegal immigrants make up:
- 14 percent of those sentenced for all committed crimes in the country
- 12 percent of those sentenced for murder
- 16 percent of those sentenced for trafficking
Those numbers are all many times higher than the percentage of illegal immigrants here, meaning that we are indeed getting a high percentage of Mexico’s criminals. Those are just undeniable numbers.
The wall is an essential tool
We have to build the wall.
It is not a silver bullet, but it is an absolutely essential tool to get ahold of our costly immigration mess. The expenses we are constantly paying associated with crimes by illegal immigrants and deportation must be counted against the cost of a wall and the personally devastating losses. It does not need to be the Great Wall of China, but it does need to be physical and all but impossible to scale. Multiple levels of protection. It is too important to not do right.
And as I said on ABC last week, if we do not, Trump is a one-term president and Republicans probably lose Congress. (This is all the more true with the failure to repeal and replace Obamacare.) Too many Americans have realized the danger of at least one element of the triple threat of illegal immigration — depressing low-end wages, running up service costs for governments, crime.
Opponents are throwing everything at stopping the wall. It’s disturbing.
It’s long been “racist” they claim self-righteously — although Mexicans are not a race. It has long been said that such a wall is “not who we are.” But actually we are indeed a nation of laws, and laws to mean anything require enforcement, and enforcement requires the necessary tools. So actually, it is exactly who we are. We are built on — apologies for doing this — LEGAL immigration, because we are a nation of laws.
These are all easy arguments.
So now the final big argument is that the wall could cost up to $34 billion! How are we going to pay for that? Entitlement programs in the United States cost about $2.6 trillion last year, out of a budget of $3.9 trillion. So that is less than nine-tenths of a percentage point of the federal budget — and it would be spread out over years.
A recent NAS study estimated the lifetime net cost — taxes paid minus services used — of immigrants by education. Taking the average cost estimates from that study and cross-tabbing them with the education levels of illegal border-crossers shows a net financial drain of $74,722 per illegal immigrant.
That adds up in a hurry when talking millions of illegal immigrants crossing the border, meaning the wall would start racking up savings quickly.
And the sorrow upon sorrow laid out above.
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Revolutionary Act.