Photo of a jail cell for an article on criminal justice reform written by Allen West for the Old School Patriot

President Trump and Criminal Justice Reform

In Front Page, Illegal immigration, Immigration, Legal immigration, National Security, US Politics by Allen West1 Comment

This past week, President Trump announced the First Step Act which is better known as criminal justice reform in America. The goal is to decriminalize so-called “low level” crimes and relieve the pressure on the US Bureau of Prisons system. There are those who tend to believe that the US system is racist in nature. Hmm, I tend to believe that skin color or race has nothing to do with a person deciding to break the law. I just do not want us to go down the path of having criminals believe that there are no consequences, ramifications, for their actions and behavior. Yes, I agree that there should be training programs for those who are incarcerated in an attempt to reduce the possibility of recidivism. However, there are some folks who are, well, as the ol’ folks would say, “just bad.”

One of the concerns about this so-called criminal justice reform — which, it appears, will be pushed through in this lame duck session — is exactly who the people are that are being released back into society. There is a lot of talk about house confinement, use of ankle tracking bracelets. But, there has been proof of criminals still committing crimes, even murder, with ankle restraint bracelets. So, who are these folks that will be released as part of this “criminal justice reform?” Let’s hope that they will not be criminal illegal immigrants.

As reported by Conservative Review:

“The number of crimes committed by foreign nationals in this country should be near zero. Why? Our allowance of immigration is a choice, and we should only be admitting the best of the best. To the extent we make a mistake with legal immigration or to the extent that there are illegal aliens, they should be immediately deported. 

Yet thanks to our weak policies, a new report from the DHS and the DOJ paints a picture of crime and mayhem by foreign nationals. They are bringing drugs into this country and needlessly clogging up our federal criminal justice and prison system. A proper focus on expedited deportation and ending sanctuary cities would go a long way toward reducing crime, making illicit drugs less obtainable and more expensive, and saving money in our criminal justice system, a goal that is obsessively pursued by interest groups in both parties.

According to the report, there are a whopping 57,820 foreign nationals in DOJ custody. This includes 38,132 known or suspected aliens sitting in Bureau of Prisons (BOP) facilities post-conviction and 19,688 confirmed aliens in the custody of the U.S. Marshal Service (USMS), mainly pretrial detainees but also those already sentenced to short sentences or awaiting transfer to BOP custody. That alone accounts for 37 percent of those in the custody of USMS. There are several thousand more suspected but unconfirmed non-citizens in custody. These are all people in the regular federal criminal justice system, not in the immigration system under the auspices of ICE. The report is prepared every quarter at the direction of President Trump’s original executive order on immigration calling for an accounting of criminal aliens in the criminal justice system.

Here’s the kicker: 46 percent (17,621) of known or suspected aliens in BOP custody had committed drug trafficking or other drug-related offenses.”

Homeland Security should mean that we have laws, and law enforcement agencies, that are doing everything to ensure the safety, protection, and security of the American people. And, yes, when I say the American people, I also include those who are here legally, not just natural-born or naturalized citizens. Government has a duty, a responsibility, to provide that security or else they fail at their most basic obligation. The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States, our rule of law, asserts these two tasks for the federal government, to “establish justice, insure domestic tranquility.” I interpret that to mean that the federal government must create the laws that are enforced in order to ensure here, in our homeland, we have a peaceful life, and are able to “pursue our happiness.”

What has become so very convoluted is that there are those who do not believe that we have laws to enforce, certainly not a sovereign border to protect. If we no longer believe in those two seminal premises, then we allow those here illegally who disrespect and disregard our rule of law.

Now, there are those who will argue that the 14th Amendment “Equal Protection” clause affords rights to anyone that sets foot into the United States. I tend to believe that is a right for those who are here legally. My concern is that this new criminal justice reform initiative will not delineate between those foreign nationals, and illegals, who are here committing crimes against Americans, disrupting our domestic tranquility.

When I hear progressive socialists call for abolishing ICE, it is very disconcerting. In essence what they are saying is that they fully support criminal illegal immigrant activity in our Republic. How are we to have a nation without respect for our laws? This is why the whole idiocy about sanctuary states and cities is utterly absurd and disturbing. If we are to follow our rule of law, the Constitution has something called the “supremacy clause,” and I gotta tell you leftists, you do not get to pick and choose which laws are applicable according to your ideological agenda.

Let me just share with you what has been happening over the past few years here in Texas, where I reside. The Conservative Review article states:

“According to the DHS and the Texas Department of Public Safety, over 251,000 criminal aliens have been booked into local Texas jails between June 1, 2011, and April 30, 2018. They have been charged for a total of 663,000 offenses including:

1,351 homicides;
7,156 sexual assaults;
9,938 weapons charges;
79,049 assaults;
18,685 burglaries;
79,900 drug charges;
815 kidnappings;
44,882 thefts;
4,292 robberies.

Law enforcement actions have resulted in 296,000 convictions. The DHS has confirmed that 66 percent of those convicted were illegal aliens.”

To think, Texas almost had a United States senator who believes in open borders, abolishing ICE, and crossing our border illegally not being classified as a criminal offense. Again, I must ask, does this pursuit of criminal justice reform include those who are here illegally? If it does, then I cannot support the measure. Why? Because it violates my oath to the Constitution, and certainly folly would threaten the domestic tranquility, homeland security, of these United States of America.

Just think about Kate Steinle and Mollie Tibbetts, just two examples of the failure of our system, not just in allowing illegal immigration to thrive, but criminal illegal immigration, and multiple deportations. There should be an immediate deportation of a criminal illegal immigrant. If they are caught returning, well, that’s it, they are confined for life, and a bill should be sent to their country of origin. If the country of origin refuses to pay their “fair share” for incarceration, then the amount is deducted from their foreign aid.

Homeland Security means exactly that, securing our homeland from any and every threat, and there should be no debate about that. We are a nation of laws, and our rule of law is very clear about illegal immigration. So why are we allowing it to occur? More importantly, why are we putting American citizens at risk?

Anyone advocating for sanctuary state or city status is doing one thing: undermining the government’s duty to ensure domestic tranquility, protecting the American people. That is all it comes down to. When a mayor in Oakland, California cooperates with illegal immigrants, she has violated her oath, the sacred trust of the people, her constituents. The same applies to the Mayor of Chicago and the Governor of California. When we have a person running for governor of the State of Georgia who admits that she wants illegal immigrants voting — something that San Francisco allows — we disrespect the American people. When we have elected officials who refuse cooperation with ICE, they side with criminal illegal immigrants, and not the American people.

More from the Conservative Review article:

“This point was driven home by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “Every crime committed by an illegal alien is, by definition, a crime that should have been prevented,” he said in the press release.  “It is outrageous that tens of thousands of Americans are dying every year because of the drugs and violence brought over our borders illegally and that taxpayers have been forced, year after year, to pay millions of dollars to incarcerate tens of thousands of illegal aliens.”

Homeland security means you keep the American people safe, that should be a bipartisan issue, but it is not. However, it is up to the American people to come to an understanding, a definition, of what homeland security truly is, or just keep voting for elected officials who prefer us to be the victims of violent crimes by those here illegally.

[My latest book, Hold Texas, Hold the Nation: Victory or Death is now available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and retailers nationwide!]

Photo credit: VisualHunt

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Old School Patriots Allen B. West

During his 22 year career in the United States Army, Lieutenant Colonel West served in several combat zones and received many honors including a Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, one with Valor device, and a Valorous Unit Award.

In November of 2010, Allen was elected to the United States Congress, representing Florida’s 22nd District.

He is a Fox News Contributor, Director of the Booker T. Washington Initiative at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Senior Fellow at the Media Research Center, contributing columnist for Townhall.com, and author of Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Family, Faith and Freedom, and, Hold Texas, Hold the Nation: Victory or Death, published October 16, 2018, from Brown Books Publishing Group.