House Committee Holds Hearing on Criminal Aliens as ICE Arrests Plummet
FAIR Take | July 2023
Last Thursday, the House Judiciary immigration subcommittee held a hearing titled, “The Consequences of Criminal Aliens on U.S. Communities.” The hearing focused on the damaging effects of sanctuary cities and how criminal aliens and drug cartels are taking advantage of the Biden Administration’s open-border policies.
Members drilled down on how the Biden Administration’s lawless policies are encouraging criminal activity and putting Americans in danger. Subcommittee Chair Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) said of those policies, “These Democratic policies might create sanctuaries for criminal illegal aliens, but they are creating a dystopian nightmare for law-abiding citizens and non-citizens alike who must live in them …. Today, our witnesses will describe these real-life, everyday consequences of crimes that would not occur at all save for the fact that we are not enforcing our immigration laws. If we simply enforced those laws, there would be fewer criminal aliens in the country, and fewer crimes committed by them. It is that simple,” McClintock concluded.
Witnesses for the hearing included:
- Donald Rosenberg, Founder, Advocates for Victims of Illegal Alien Crime
- Bradley Schoenleben, Senior Deputy District Attorney, Orange County, California District Attorney’s Office
- John Fabbricatore, former Field Office Director, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Enforcement and Removal Operations
Witnesses and members shared stories on how people across the country have come together to raise a voice for friends and family members who have been victims of crime. Donald Rosenberg, whose son was killed by illegal aliens 12 years ago, drew attention to the fact that in fiscal year 2018 there were 535,000 crimes committed by criminal aliens, including 2,028 homicides and 50,753 assaults. Rosenberg said that while the Biden Administration has not published an updated report on criminal aliens, since Biden entered office “we have released over 2 million illegal aliens into the country with little or no vetting of who they are, where they came from, what they did before they got here, and what their intentions are now that they are here.”
Longtime ICE officer John Fabbricatore compared ICE enforcement statistics between the Trump and Biden Administrations. He noted that between FY 2018 and FY 2022, ICE arrests of illegal aliens have fallen 69 percent and that ICE arrests of aliens with criminal convictions have dropped 65 percent. Fabbricatore also pointed out that, by the Biden Administration’s own admission, there are at least 400,000 convicted criminal aliens in the country, yet the Administration continues to pursue funding cuts for detention beds and ICE enforcement officers. Fabbricatore asked, “Based on these statistics, is there any conclusion that can be drawn by a logical, reasonable person, other than that the real goal of these priorities is to limit immigration enforcement in the interior of the United States, regardless of the risk to public safety and national security that the illegal alien poses?”
Notably, the House Judiciary Committee held this hearing as the House Homeland Security Committee is actively investigating Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for dereliction of duty. That investigation is examining Mayorkas’ failure to enforce our immigration laws, and the consequences of that failure, in five phases. The preliminary report from the investigation digs into rising illegal alien crime, noting that from “Oct. 1, 2020, to March 2023, around two-and-a-half years, Border Patrol recorded nearly 28,000 arrests of illegal aliens with criminal backgrounds, about 6,000 more total arrests than the previous four fiscal years combined.” Following the investigation, the Homeland Security Committee will make a recommendation on next steps to the House Judiciary Committee, which may include a recommendation to impeach Secretary Mayorkas.
Moving forward, the Homeland Security Committee is set to continue the second phase of its investigation on July 19th, examining how Mayorkas and the Biden Administration are empowering drug cartels with their open border policies. The following week, Secretary Mayorkas will testify in front of the Judiciary Committee on the border crisis on July 26th.
To watch the full hearing from last Thursday, click here.