On Tuesday, April 19, 2016, the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security conducted a hearing on the topic, “The Real Victims of a Reckless and Lawless Immigration Policy: Families and Survivors Speak Out on the Real Cost of This Administration’s Policies.”
I urge you to watch the entire video of that important hearing. And then I recommend that you provide information about that hearing to as many folks as possible.
The witnesses at this hearing were: Sheriff Charles Jenkins of Frederick County, Maryland; Michelle Root, the mother of Sarah Root; Laura Wilkerson, the mother of Joshua Wilkerson; and Bishop Minerva Carcaño of the United Methodist Church.
The timing of the hearing could not have been better because the day before, on Monday, April 18th, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the administration's implementation of the DAPA program (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents). A CNN news report, “Supreme Court divided on Obama's immigration actions,” focused on this program, which is a follow-on to the DACA program (Deferred Action, Childhood Arrival), which largely paralleled the failed DREAM Act.
To provide my perspectives on the use (or, rather, misuse) of prosecutorial discretion, I wrote an op-ed for Fox News Latino, “Obama Invokes Prosecutorial Discretion to Circumvent Constitution and Congress” that was published on June 17, 2012 -- two days after President Obama stood in the White House Rose Garden to proclaim that “since Congress failed to act” he was going to take action. Of course to Obama, his concept of a "failure of Congress to act” was the refusal of Congress to pass bad legislation. When Congress votes down bad legislation, they most certainly are acting.
Obama also deceptively said that this was about children, kids and young people, even though illegal aliens as old as 31 years of age could apply for this program, provided that they claimed that they entered the United States prior to their 16thbirthdays. Without any interviews or field investigations being conducted, fraud likely permeates this program that has an approval rate of more than 95%.
In my Fox News Latino piece, I noted that what Mr. Obama referred to as “Prosecutorial Discretion” should be more properly referred to as “Prosecutorial Deception.” Incidentally, I cannot pass up the opportunity to note that while the term “alien” has come under attack by Obama and his supporters, the open borders anarchists, the term “DREAMers” is derived from the acronym for the “Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors” Act.
The “a” in DREAMers stands for “aliens.” How remarkable that when it suits the purposes of these individuals, the unpalatable suddenly becomes more than acceptable. Hypocrisy is alive and well in the Orwellian lexicon of this administration and the lexicon of Hillary and Bernie, who would succeed him.
The congressional hearing that was conducted on the heels of oral arguments at the Supreme Court illuminated the level of carnage that Obama's executive orders, policy decisions and misuse of prosecutorial discretion has unleashed on America and Americans.
Rep. Trey Gowdy, the Chairman of the House Immigration Subcommittee, opened the hearing with his statement that set the stage and the tone for what would follow. Breitbart.com used one of Rep. Gowdy's statements as the title for the article “Trey Gowdy: More Illegal Immigrants Convicted of Crimes At Large in the U.S. Than The Population of Pittsburgh.” Gowdy noted that simply stating that there are more than 350,000 known criminal aliens at large throughout the United States is a statistic and statistics are often not persuasive, so he thought he needed to put that huge number in perspective. And, indeed, he did.
Just as Breitbart.com used a statement from Trey Gowdy as the inspiration for the title of its article, I decided to use a statement made at that hearing by Rep. Lamar Smith as the inspiration for the title of my piece today.
Congressman Lamar Smith of Texas had previously chaired the House Immigration Subcommittee and the House Judiciary Committee. I have had the privilege of working with him for many years beginning when he arranged for me to participate in my first hearing in 1997 on the issue of Visa Fraud and Immigration Benefit Fraud and the way that these two issues undermine national security -- and played a role in the two 1993 terror attacks in the United States.
Smith's understandable outrage at the April 19th hearing became readily apparent when he stated rhetorically that he wondered if President Obama might be an accessory to the crimes committed by illegal aliens since he has implemented policies that he knows are going to result in the loss of life to innocent Americans, noting that the administration had released from custody some 100,000 aliens who had been convicted of committing serious crimes. He also noted that although it has been estimated that illegal aliens account for about 3% of the U.S. population, they account for 30% of all murders -- making illegal aliens 10 times more likely to commit murder than anyone else.
Congressman Smith came up with some additional staggering and infuriating statistics. He noted that of the 100,000 aliens that Obama had released from custody, 473 had been previously convicted of committing homicides, 375 of these criminal aliens had been convicted of kidnapping, 890 of these released criminal aliens had been previously convicted for committing sexual assaults and others of this stellar group of “pre-citizens” (the term I decided to use when, during the Carter administration all INS personnel were told to stop using the term “illegal alien” to describe aliens illegally present in the United States) had been previously convicted of committing 10,731 assaults.
Let us remember that we are discussing known crimes and convictions. There is no way of knowing how many additional crimes have been committed by these aliens released in Obama's-sanctioned “prison-break.”
As bad as these statistics are, Smith went on to report that since the release of these criminal aliens, many have gone on to further their criminal careers by committing 124 additional (known) homicides from 2010 until 2014 and an additional 1,423 sexual assaults.
Trey Gowdy noted that people tend to not pay attention to statistics so he decided to compare the number of criminal aliens currently at large with the population of a major U.S. city.
I recall attending a memorial service for Holocaust victims a number of years ago. Alan Dershowitz, the noted attorney, addressed those in attendance at New York City's magnificent Temple Emanuel. He quoted one of history's tyrants, Joseph Stalin, who said, “One million deaths is a statistic. One death is a tragedy.” Therefore, Dershowitz suggested that when dealing with mass murders we should consider the loss of each and every individual life as a separate and discrete murder.
In keeping with this concept, two of the witnesses who testified at the congressional hearing, as I noted at the beginning of this article, were Michelle Root, the mother of Sarah Root, and Laura Wilkerson, the mother of Joshua Wilkerson.
Ms. Root and Ms. Wilkerson both lost their children to illegal aliens.
The title of a Breitbart.com news article posted on the day of the hearing was based on Michelle Root's poignant and heart-breaking prepared testimony at the hearing: “Mother of Daughter Killed by Illegal: His Bail Was ‘Less Than it Cost to Bury My Baby.’”
The illegal alien in this case was released on bail and it is believed he fled to his native Honduras, availing himself use of the “escape hatch” foreign criminals and terrorists frequently avail themselves of: the ability to flee our nation to escape the long reach of the law.
The day after the hearing CNS News posted a report about the compelling testimony of Laura Wilkerson at that hearing in an article that summed up the anguished mother's demands of our elected “representatives.”
The title of that article was, “Mother of Teen Murdered by Illegal Immigrant Tells Congress: ‘Do Something – It Is Your Job.’”
Wilkerson’s prepared testimony provided horrific details about the torture and murder of her high school student son by Hermilo Vildo Moralez, an illegal alien.
Sheriff Charles Jenkins of Frederick County, Maryland discussed how since the “surge” of “unaccompanied minors” the high schools and even lower grade schools have witnessed a massive increase in gang activity by those aliens who flooded across our southwest border. Sheriff Jenkins noted that the majority of those gang members who have been arrested arrived across that border after 2013.
He also explained how effectively law enforcement can combat these crimes and gangs when local police partner with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). He also noted that often the members of the ethnic immigrant community are the victims of the violent crimes perpetrated by alien criminals. This fundamental fact served as the predication for my February 17, 2015 CAPS (Californians for Population Stabilization) commentary, “Effective Immigration Law Enforcement is ‘Pro-Immigrant,’ Compassionate.”
I have testified numerous times before House and Senate hearings on the nexus between immigration and national security and public safety. I am often asked if I believe that appearing at these hearings is worth the effort. During this most recent hearing I was pleasantly surprised and gratified to hear Congressman Steve King of Iowa talk about how years earlier, when I was a witness at a similar hearing, he had asked me if I knew how many people were killed each year by illegal aliens. I responded by saying I did not have a definitive number, but that I was certain that it would be a multiple of the number of people who died on September 11, 2001. Rep. King then said that because of my response he decided to enlist the GAO to conduct two studies about my response and found that I was correct.
Rep. Bob Goodlatte is the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and participated in this hearing. His final statement in his prepared testimony will serve as the conclusion for my commentary today:
By releasing known criminal aliens and refusing to secure our border, the Administration has sent a clear message to the American people that their safety and security are far less important than ensuring that these individuals remain here. I want to see these dangerous policies stopped, and I will continue working to stand in the way of President Obama’s pen and phone. The real costs of illegal immigration are something no family should be forced to pay.