BY: ELLE PURNELL | OCTOBER 18, 2022
VISIT ON TWITTER@_ETREYNOLDS
CNN’s Dana Bash is trying to make the number of dangerous criminals pouring over the southern U.S. border sound far lower than it really is.
“Less than 1 percent of migrants encountered at the border have a criminal record,” Bash said while interviewing Republican Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake on Sunday, claiming to cite Department of Homeland Security figures.
“I’m going to have to disagree with you on that figure you just put out,” Lake countered. “We don’t know what their background is. There’s a reason they’re trying to get in unnoticed; it’s because they have a criminal background.”
“We know that [DHS has] tracked down terrorists, they have tracked down people wanted for murder,” Lake continued. “We’ve got people with rape records, you name it, we’ve got hardened criminals.”
“Let me just tell you that this stat that I just cited comes from the Department of Homeland Security, less than 1 percent of migrants,” Bash doubled down.
To the half-listening viewer, “less than 1 percent” sounds like a small figure. But when you consider that border enforcement officials have encountered more than 2 million illegal aliens pouring over our southern border so far during fiscal year 2022 — with another month to go before the year concludes — that figure begins to tell a fuller story.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection recorded 2,150,639 apprehensions on the U.S.-Mexico border between October 2021 and August 2022, the most on record and more than four times the total apprehensions recorded in 2020.
CBP’s Office of Field Operations, which operates at ports of entry, reported 15,558 encounters of noncitizens “who have been convicted of crime, whether in the United States or abroad, so long as the conviction is for conduct which is deemed criminal by the United States,” during fiscal year 2022 so far. Border Patrol, which operates along the border between entry ports, reported 10,778. Combined, that’s more than 25,000 convicted criminals — a whopping figure, far more alarming and newsworthy than the “less than 1 percent” talking point parroted by CNN. For Americans, who count immigration among their top three concerns headed into the midterm elections, tens of thousands of criminals pouring over the border is no small figure.
Of the more than 10,000 criminals apprehended by Border Patrol this fiscal year, more than 1,000 had prior convictions for “assault, battery, [or] domestic violence,” 60 had been convicted of homicide or manslaughter, and more than 2,000 were convicted of “illegal drug possession [or] trafficking.” More than 300 had been convicted of “sexual offenses” and nearly 800 of “burglary, robbery, larceny, theft, [or] fraud.”
Just two weeks ago, a Guatemalan national in the U.S. illegally was arrested for stabbing eight people on the Las Vegas Strip. An illegal immigrant from Mexico is accused of fatally shooting his partner, two of her children, and two neighbors last month in McGregor, Texas. Earlier last month, Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced it had arrested an Ecuadorian man who had repeatedly entered the U.S. illegally and is accused of raping a 13-year-old girl in Ecuador. When a 10-year-old girl in Ohio made headlines for seeking an abortion after she was raped, her alleged rapist was revealed to be an illegal alien.
The significance of 25,000 convicted criminals crossing the southern border notwithstanding, merely looking at criminal records vastly undercounts the number of likely criminals the Biden administration is inviting to the border. Impunity rates in Mexico and Central American countries are ludicrously high, meaning the vast majority of people who commit crimes are never convicted.
As NBC News reported a year ago, “the think tank México Evalúa found that 94.8 percent of the cases reported in Mexico go unpunished.” Another group suggested that number was even higher, with only 1.3 percent of crimes in the country ever solved. The Associated Press cited one estimation that “as of 2020, almost nine of every 10 homicides in Mexico go unpunished.” Another group found that “Over a period of four years, prosecutors’ offices managed just 35 convictions nationally in a universe of more than 82,000 investigations of forced disappearance in Mexico.”
In Guatemala, the next most common country of citizenship among illegal immigrants encountered by Border Patrol, impunity rates are comparably high. Despite the efforts of a UN-backed commission targeting corruption and impunity, “94 percent of crimes went unpunished on average over the last decade in Guatemala,” according to the think tank InSight Crime. “In 2018 alone, the impunity rate was almost 98 percent.”
Those sky-high impunity rates suggest that the number of people arriving at the southern U.S. border who have committed crimes — which were likely never prosecuted by corrupt, backlogged law enforcement in their home countries — is far, far higher than the nice-sounding “less than 1 percent” figure rolling off of Bash’s tongue. Furthermore, any person who breaks into the United States illegally is automatically committing a crime by violating our immigration laws.
No matter how hard CNN and the rest of the corporate press try to spin the facts into a different story, they can’t deny this one: More criminals are illegally entering our country than ever before because illegal immigration is at an all-time high as a direct result of the Biden administration’s policies.