The former acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) argued that new Justice Department data show illegal immigration is not a victimless crime.
“I think it that validates illegal immigration is not a victimless crime. Many come to this country and violate the laws against the citizens of this country,” Tom Homan, who lead ICE during the first year-and-a-half of the Trump administration, said Friday on Fox News’ “Outnumbered” program.
“Last year, ICE arrested over 142,000 criminal aliens. These are people that violate laws entering this country and commit yet another crime on top of that.”
Homan was reacting to newly-released data from the Justice Department that showed a significant increase in arrests of non-citizens over the past two decades.
Despite making up only 7% of the entire U.S. population, non-citzens amounted for 64% of all federal arrests in 2018. Federal arrests of non-citizens over the past twenty years increased by 234%, while federal arrest of U.S. citizens only grew by 10%. While a majority of the arrests were due to immigration violations, a high proportion of non-citizens were booked for federal fraud, property and drug arrests.
Illegal re-entry into the U.S., drugs, fraud, alien smuggling and misuse of visas were identified as some of the top crimes committed by non-citizens.
One panelist on Outnumbered pointed to a Casto Institute analysis in March that found immigrants commit crimes at lower rates than native-born citizens. Another commentator suggested that one way to reduce the number of federal arrests is to “do what Democrats want” and decriminalize illegal immigration.
“First of all, no one on this couch is going to educate me on illegal alien crime. The CATO study is a flawed study. It’s not based on crime data, it’s based on surveys,” Homan responded. “Most crimes are done by state and local… Many are violent. What you can’t get — you can’t get crime data on that because it doesn’t exist. Most of them don’t track whether they are illegal here or not.” (RELATED: Former ICE Director Tom Homan Leaves Ocasio-Cortez Speechless On Immigration)
“It isn’t how many — who commits more crimes. It’s that every crime committed by illegal aliens [is a] preventable crime,” he continued. “If we had border security, no sanctuary cities, had a wall — if we let President Trump secure this border, how many crimes can we prevent?”