by Bethany Blankley
Over the past 10 months, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents have arrested 8,691 known criminals who have entered the U.S. illegally through the southern border. Combined, they have committed 12,685 crimes in the U.S., according to federal data.
Because Border Patrol agents do not have access to criminal records from other countries, they rely on information reported in the National Crime Information Center database. Many individuals arrested by Border Patrol are registered sex offenders who were previously convicted and served time in U.S. prisons. They were released and deported only to reenter the U.S. again illegally this year.
The NCIC is a centralized automated database designed to share information among law enforcement agencies including outstanding warrants for a wide range of offenses. Based on information from NCIC, Border Patrol officers have made previous arrests of individuals wanted on charges of homicide, escape, money laundering, robbery, narcotics distribution, sexual child abuse, fraud, larceny, and military desertion.
In a recent Laredo, Texas, Border Patrol Sector report, among a group of 20 apprehended this week, one was a Honduran national and registered sex offender with an extensive criminal history. He was convicted of lewd lascivious battery and sexual activity with a minor in 2017 in Florida and was deported in October 2020.
His arrest, the Laredo Sector said in a news release, “continues to highlight the dangers that illegal immigration poses to our country especially by those individuals who have been previously convicted for sexual misconduct. These dangerous criminals increasingly continue to endanger our communities and show a lack of regard for our country’s laws.”
In another apprehension, Laredo agents detained a Mexican national wanted for allegations of rape out of Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
“Sexual violence can have serious psychological, emotional and physical effects on a survivor. CBP collaborates with other law enforcement agencies to bring those allegedly committing these offenses to justice,” Acting Laredo Port Director Alberto Flores said.
In another arrest in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) Sector, agents apprehended a convicted murderer from El Salvador. He spent three years in prison in the 1990s for a murder in California, was released, and in 2005 was imprisoned again for “re-entry of a deported alien,” according to border patrol.
They also arrested a Mexican national who had been previously arrested for first degree attempted sexual abuse of a child in Lexington, Kentucky. He was sentenced to one year in prison, registered as a sex offender, and then deported only to reenter the U.S. illegally this month and be caught.
Agents also arrested a Honduras national who had been arrested in 2011 in New York City for raping an 8-year-old girl multiple times. He was sentenced to four years in prison, released, and subsequently deported in June 2015. In another arrest, an El Salvador national had a 2009 conviction for sexual battery in Georgia. The individuals were apprehended after attempting to reenter the U.S. illegally this month.
This fiscal year, RGV agents working in the busiest sector in Texas also arrested more than 140 migrant gang members affiliated with 10 different street gangs.
The Del Rio sector reported a 1,400% surge in the number of sex offenders apprehended by its border agents this year compared to last year.
In the El Centro Sector of California, a registered sex offender with previous felony conviction for child molestation in Atlanta, Georgia, was arrested. He had been previously deported and was caught upon illegal reentry.
The El Centro Sector has so far arrested and/or removed 38 individuals either convicted or wanted on sexual offense charges so far this fiscal year.
As of June 30, Border Patrol agents had arrested 353 illegal immigrants on charges of sex-related crimes, many with prior convictions involving minors. By comparison, during the same period in fiscal year 2020, agents had only apprehended 55 such criminals. The difference represents an increase of 542%.
The Biden administration directed Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to cancel Operation Talon, a nationwide operation conducted by ICE to remove convicted sex offenders illegally in the U.S.
In February, attorneys general from 18 states wrote a letter to Biden, expressing outrage over cancelling Operation Talon, citing criminal statistics.
Between October 2014 and May 2018, they note, ICE arrested 119,752 illegal immigrants with criminal convictions, many with prior convictions for sex-related offenses. They included 5,565 sexual assault convictions, 4,910 child molestation convictions, and 675 child exploitation and child pornography or sexual performances convictions.
“The cancellation of this program effectively broadcasts to the world that the United States is now a sanctuary jurisdiction for sexual predators. This message creates a perverse incentive for foreign sexual predators to seek to enter the United States illegally and assault more victims, both in the process of unlawful migration and after they arrive,” the attorneys general wrote.
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Bethany Blankley is contributor to The Center Square.