As Ann Coulter has pointed out, this is the most critical issue of the 2016 race because this is the issue that will define whether or not there will even be an American nation recognizable as the “home of the free and land of the brave.”
But illegal immigration is not “Ann Coulter’s issue” any more than it is “Tom Tancredo’s issue.” It is America’s issue — not only because it will define America in the 21st Century but because it also defines American elections and who will be voting in elections in 2020 and beyond. It also illuminates the power of the mainstream media to keep issues off the national stage.
Think of illegal immigration this way: If the liberal media can keep illegal alien crime out of the “kitchen table debate,” they can keep any issue out of the debate. And they will if they can get away with it. For those reasons, illegal immigration is much more than an issue of public policy; it is the poster child for media malpractice.
The media’s attempt to suppress public awareness over illegal alien crime and the effects of illegal immigration on American workers’ jobs and wages is nothing less than censorship on a massive scale. We need to start talking about it in those terms and hold the media accountable for the lack of ethical standards.
The mainstream media – including, sadly, major segments of the presumably conservative media, like the Wall Street Journal — are working overtime to keep the American public and the American voters in the dark on the scope of illegal alien crime. The murder of Kate Steinle in San Francisco exposed only the tip of a massive iceberg, and the media establishment is desperate to avoid dealing with the iceberg underneath.
Let’s look at few numbers. You haven’t seen them in the New York Times, Atlanta Constitution, or the Miami Herald, nor have they been featured on NBC Nightly news or CNN. So, the average American is blissfully unaware of them.
- Between 2005 and 2008, 40% of all murder convictions in Florida were criminal aliens. In New York it was 34% and Arizona 17.8%.
- During those years, criminal aliens accounted for 38% of all murder convictions in the five states of California, Texas, Arizona, Florida and New York, while illegal aliens constitute only 5.6% of the total population in those states.
- That 38% represents 7,085 murders out of the total of 18,643.
That 5.6% figure for the average illegal alien population in those five states comes from US Census estimates. We know the real number is double that official estimate. Yet, even if it is 11%, it is still shameful that the percentage of murders by criminal aliens is more than triple the illegal population in those states.
Those astounding numbers were compiled by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) using official Department of Justice data on criminal aliens in the nation’s correctional system. The numbers were the basis for a presentation by James Simpson at a recent New Hampshire conference sponsored by the highly respected Center for Security Policy. You can view the full presentation here:
The federal Bureau of Prisons category “criminal aliens” includes legal immigrants who have been convicted of serious crimes, but over 90% of incarcerated criminal aliens are illegal aliens, so it is reasonable to use these numbers as a close approximation of the extent of illegal alien crime.
Similar data is available at the state level if state officials have the desire to look for it. The Texas Department of Public Safety reports that between 2008 and 2014, 35% of the all murder convictions were illegal aliens—averaging 472 murders each year from 2004 to 2008.
Do you know the numbers for your state? Does your congressman, Senator, or Governor know those numbers? Of course not. If you are afraid of the answer, don’t ask the question.
There is widespread public ignorance of illegal alien crime in every state because the mainstream media does investigate such matters. Why? Because they do not want the public to think about such things. The media, from the Associated Press down to the Main Street News, does not even allow the phrase “illegal immigrant” to appear in print.
So, the numbers are out there in the criminal justice system and correctional institutions, waiting to be compiled and published. State attorneys general and state legislators could access the data if they were interested, and so could the media, but they don’t. In fact, in Colorado in 2006, the state legislature passed a law ordering the state Attorney General to compile accurate data on the costs of incarcerating illegal aliens and send a bill for reimbursement to the federal government. The state AG sent the feds a bill for only half the real costs — the cost of inmates in the state prison system and not the costs imposed on taxpayers by an equal number of inmates in county jails across the state.
The US Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Programs publishes an annual report on the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, a report that includes data on the number of criminal aliens incarcerated each state prison system and each county jail. It takes some prodigious digging to find the data, but it is there.
But our mainstream media, our self-described guardians of the First Amendment, consciously avoids the effort and declines to put a public spotlight on the problem or demand public scrutiny and public accountability. Why?
The answer is that public debate on the problem of illegal alien crime does not serve the progressive political agenda. The issue is swept under the rug and anyone who raises it is called a racist.
This is media malpractice of historic proportions, and publishers and editors are the unindicted coconspirators in those 7,085 murders.
Tom Tancredo is the founder of the Rocky Mountain Foundation and founder and co-chairman of Team America PAC.
Tom represented Colorado’s sixth congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 1999 to 2009, and he is a former presidential candidate.
He is the author of In Mortal Danger: The Battle for America’s Border and Security.