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“A New Crime Wave Is Sweeping the Nation”: Chairman Green Pens New Op-Ed on Border Crisis-Crime Connection

March 18, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Yesterday, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark E. Green, MD (R-TN) published an op-ed in National Review documenting the evidence showing how President Biden and now-impeached Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ refusal to secure the border has helped unleashed a new wave of crime across the nation. 

Biden’s Border Crisis Is Also a Crime Crisis 
Secretary Mayorkas and Joe Biden opened the border — and helped unleash a national crime wave
Chairman Mark Green 
March 17, 2024

Under the failed leadership of President Joe Biden and his now-impeached Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, a new crime wave is sweeping the nation — one that can be traced back to the historic influx of illegal aliens. The tragic death of 22-year-old Laken Riley, at the hands of a Venezuelan illegal alien paroled into the country in 2022, has shocked the national conscience and driven home this reality.

Though President Biden failed to acknowledge it during his recent State of the Union address, the unprecedented, self-inflicted crisis at our borders is increasingly putting our communities at risk.

Criminal aliens are increasingly seeking to exploit the wide-open Southwest border. Since the start of Fiscal Year (FY) 2021, the Border Patrol has recorded 43,674 arrests of illegal aliens with criminal backgrounds, a 99-percent increase from FY2017–20 combined. According to Border Patrol Chief Jason Owens, “hardened criminals often hide in smuggled migrant groups,” trying to take advantage of overwhelmed Border Patrol agents. By October 2023, agents were apprehending around 47 illegal aliens with “serious criminal histories” per day.

There are now more than 617,000 criminal illegal aliens on the Non-Detained Docket who have been released into our communities to await the outcome of their cases, up from 407,983 in January 2023.

And these are just the ones being caught. With thousands of agents pulled off the border to process and release illegal aliens in the United States, roughly 2 million aliens have entered the country uncaught, and are now at large in our communities — and we know nothing about their backgrounds or intentions.

One such gotaway, Juan Ariel Molina-Salles, entered the country at some point after October 2021. He would later strike and kill Pinellas County Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Hartwick on the streets of Florida in September 2022.

These ongoing surges across the border are leading to increases in criminal activity. One New York County official recently testified to the House Committee on Homeland Security, “We have seen an increase in crime, basically because you have these organized gangs that are part of the drug cartels from Mexico and other countries who have come to the metropolitan area.” He also noted that many crimes were being committed by illegal aliens to pay back debts incurred to the criminal cartels.

Sheriff Michael Bouchard of Oakland County, Mich., noted in 2023 a rising trend of residential thefts committed by “transnational gangs” exploiting the Southwest border. Sheriff Mark Dannels of Cochise County, Ariz., testified last year that “border-related crime” was “at an all-time high” in his county. According to one officer with the New York Police Department, in the wake of nearly 200,000 illegal aliens arriving in the Big Apple, “these migrants are getting arrested quite often here, and some of them are committing some of the most violent crimes here.

The victims of these crimes are ordinary Americans — a teenager in southern Virginia sexually assaulted by an illegal alien earlier this year. A teenage girl in Prattville, Ala., sexually assaulted last May. Another police officer, struck and gruesomely injured during a traffic stop last August. Kayla Hamilton, a 20-year-old raped and killed by an illegal alien gang member in Maryland in July 2022.

All were crimes committed by illegal aliens released into the country on Secretary Mayorkas’s watch.

To make matters worse, under Secretary Mayorkas’s non-enforcement directives, Immigration and Customs Enforcement is not arresting as many criminal illegal aliens as prior administrations did. In FY2019, 86 percent of all administrative arrests were of criminal aliens, rising to 90 percent in FY2020. These numbers plummeted to just 32 percent in FY2022 and 43 percent in FY2023.

As the Committee reported in the course of its five-phase investigation into Secretary Mayorkas’s disastrous handling of the border, many crimes are never recorded as committed by illegal aliens, because many jurisdictions simply don’t record or release that data. This makes any direct comparison to the broader crime rate among Americans deeply flawed.

At the same time, every illegal crossing is itself a crime, one that has downstream consequences for our communities, as illegal aliens place additional burdens on American citizens and legal immigrants alike.

Secretary Mayorkas and President Biden could end this crisis — and prevent untold future tragedies — by simply enforcing the law.

There are Americans alive and well today who will suffer horribly if these two men, charged with keeping us safe, refuse to do their duty.

They can prevent that. Let Laken Riley, Kayla Hamilton, and so many others tragically harmed by this crisis be their wake-up call.