Saturday, May 17, 2014

Prisons – Another Government Failure

The latest news of the day is about Immigration and Customs Enforcement releasing 36,000 convicted criminals who are in the country illegally and legally. This information is being presented as an anti Obama campaign. No matter how bad Obama is made to look he will continue to be president for 3 more years. What's important, is this narrative distracts us from the real message contained in those numbers.

To fully understand the numbers we must know that the initial report listed 87,818 immigrants who were released, 36,007 were slated for deportation. All of my numbers will come from the complete list of 87,818. Of this huge number of criminals, most were convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs , of which many were slated for deportation.

When we break the numbers down, less than half of the 87,000 or 36,000 were violent criminals. When it came to rape and murder we find the numbers are much lower. Now this has been reduced to the worst case, let's look into who is at fault.

Homicide -------------------------------- 184
Kidnapping ------------------------------ 228
Voluntary—manslaughter ------------- 14
Sex offenses ----------------------------- 727
Sexual assault --------------------------- 426

The USA has one of the largest prison populations in the world. We are filling them with people who are in some way connected with drugs. I don't want to get into the drug prohibition debate at this time, but it has to be mentioned if we are to understand the problem we are looking at today.

Because prisons are overflowing, state prison systems are looking for any way possible to reduce their populations. One of many avenues are early release programs, another is to push them into the federal system – in this case ICE. Federal immigration facilities are also at capacity. Because we are dealing with a system that constantly operates at full capacity, if someone enters, someone must exit.

In the case of immigrants, if the nation of origin refuses to take them there is nothing to do other than to release them, especially when the order of release comes from a judge. I also have no doubt some of the releases are politically motivated or that the inmate has agreed to become an informant.

Many of the the immigrants illegally residing in the country are visa overstays. That means they entered the country legally, but when their student or work visa expired it wasn't renewed for many different reasons. In 2004 DHS reported 2.3 million overstays. Numbers seem to vary, but estimates range from 25% to 45% of the total illegal immigrant population to be overstays.

From Fair US:
Following the first terrorist attack aimed at destroying the World Trade Center in Manhattan in February 1993, , Congress in 1996 mandated the establishment of an electronic matching entry-exit system in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act. Section 110 of IIRIRA required implementation of an automated entry and exit control system at the nation’s ports of entry to document the entry and departure of "every alien" arriving in and leaving the U.S. by September 30, 1998. However, before steps were taken to implement that system, objections from the tourism industry and others derailed implementation of the security measure.

As usual the problem comes down to government failing to do its job for political reasons. Each day it becomes less popular for politicians to pass or enforce strict immigrations regulations. For this reason we cannot see an end to the problem of illegal immigrant criminal releases onto American streets. The only way to keep violent criminals in prison is to reduce the intake of non violent criminals. In part, this is another symptom of the war on drugs.

Most of the blame can be placed on politicians and bureaucrats who refuse to install a proper tracking system for all people entering the country. Those same politicians and bureaucrats seem to take identity theft and using fraudulent Social Security numbers as a joke. In one of the latest immigration legislation packages we were to forgive those who have used false identification or stolen Social Security numbers with the intent of fraud.

Few people understand how these social security numbers are used. They don't use them to gain employment, but to gain legal status in the country. Illegal immigrants will used a social security number to obtain a Tax Identification Number from the IRS. It is the TIN that is used to gain legal employment in the country. The IRS has a policy – at least in previous years – of not checking the Social Security number to insure it is being lawfully used.

We have a federal government that has inflated itself to the point of losing control. We can blame individual politicians, but the problem lies in the system itself. We have elected people whose main objective is self perpetuation. Almost every action is to insure they maintain the office they hold. They will cater to groups and individuals who will feed campaign coffers.

When Americans pass on simple talking points without looking into the facts they feed the bloated politicians and their self perpetuation. Until we evoke real change there will be none. All we can do as citizens is to not become a part of the problem. It's time to end the two party oligarchy.


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