At Least Someone In Lancaster County Is Doing the Right Thing About Illegal Immigration
Lancaster City May Welcome Refugees, but the County Jail Welcomes ICE
If a town is regularly mistaken for a “Sanctuary City” for illegal aliens, it might be doing something wrong.
When you have to go on television to explain, no, we’re not, we’re a “Welcoming City,” like the Lancaster Mayor Danene Sorace’s assistant had to in February, well you’re really doing it wrong.
Now, cultural conservatives and fiscal conservatives can debate in good faith whether immigration is healthy for Lancaster County. But across the board the key qualifier in these conservative-libertarian debates is the qualification that we’re talking about legal immigration, not illegal aliens.
And yet smack in the heart of Lancaster County is Lancaster city, a “welcoming city” for illegal aliens. As a result, Lancaster city is less safe. If police come across someone who is an illegal alien, they will not pursue that person. They consider that the responsibility of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. They simply ignore ICE – a federal law enforcement agency – unless an illegal alien they detain has a criminal warrant.
Crime is already bad in Lancaster city. Very bad. The 2018 crime rate in Lancaster was 378, according to the City-Data.com crime index, which was higher than in 90.4% of U.S. cities.
Here’s how Lancaster city compares to nearby townships.
That said, the Lancaster County Jail should be commended for its cooperation Immigration and Customs Enforcement. It made the list last year from Penn Capital Star of counties that are “systematically cooperating with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to deport undocumented immigrants who end up in local police custody.”
They report that 19 Pennsylvania counties, many with large immigrant populations, including Lancaster, were, as they dramatically put it, “actively collaborating with federal immigration authorities.”
“Three counties with large immigrant populations — Dauphin, Lancaster, and Lehigh — acknowledged that they share that booking information with ICE,” the report stated.
Opponents of federal efforts to enforce the immigration laws in cooperation with local law enforcement claim that illegal aliens are “less likely” to commit crimes than U.S. citizens – and thus represent no threat to public safety. But that’s not true when it comes to federal crimes.
Non-citizens constitute only about 7% of the U.S. population, if you can believe the 11 million number, but data from the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics reveals that non-citizens accounted for nearly two-thirds (64%) of all federal arrests in 2018. Just two decades earlier, only 37% of all federal arrests were non-citizens.
These arrests aren’t just for immigration crimes. Non-citizens accounted for 24% of all federal drug arrests, 25% of all federal property arrests, and 28% of all federal fraud arrests.
While there is no uniform state level reporting, and most crime is prosecuted at the state and local level – Texas has some insights as it deals with a lot of the illegal alien and immigrant crime.
A recent report from the Texas Department of Public Safety revealed that 297,000 non-citizens had been “booked into local Texas jails between June 1, 2011 and July 31, 2019.”
So these are non-citizens who committed local crimes, not immigration violations.
“The report noted that a little more than two-thirds (202,000) of those booked in Texas jails were later confirmed as illegal immigrants by the federal government. According to the Texas report, over the course of their criminal careers those illegal immigrants were charged with committing 494,000 criminal offenses,” the report states.
“Some of these cases are still being prosecuted, but the report states that there have already been over 225,000 convictions. Those convictions represent: 500 homicides; 23,954 assaults; 8,070 burglaries; 297 kidnappings; 14,178 thefts; 2,026 robberies; 3,122 sexual assaults; 3,840 sexual offenses; 3,158 weapon charges and tens of thousands of drug and obstruction charges.”
But here’s the thing – no amount of crime by those who enter this country unlawfully should be acceptable, because it is “extra” crime that wouldn’t occur if they weren’t here at all.
So while Lancaster County Jail gets a thumbs up for its role in turning over illegal aliens to ICE, Lancaster city and the Lancaster Police definitely get a different digit on this issue.