Insecure border spreads lethal crime to America's heartland, creating powerful election issue
Gripping, gruesome cases are driving home the reality that every city is a border city during the Biden presidency, experts warn.
A 5-year-old riding in her mother's car. A Texas sheriff's deputy on routine patrol. A Florida father who thought he was foster parenting a minor. A Mississippi woman pistol whipped as she talked on cell phone. Three people found burned to death in a car in Alabama.
All have one thing in common: they were victimized since President Joe Biden took office by immigrants who illegally crossed the border.
The rising tide of high-profile, gruesome crimes far from the U.S.-Mexico border is creating a potent political issue as control of Congress is up for grabs this November while leaving a trail of carnage and drug overdoses in America's heartland.
"Every state is a border state. And that's the truth," said Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who joined Texas in suing to challenge some of Biden's immigration policies they argue have left the border open to trafficking and criminals.
"It's terrible for those border towns, because a lot of schools have gone on lockdown, because of the crime and illegal activity that comes across, but the drugs, the fentanyl, the human trafficking ends up in places like Kansas City, or in Wichita, or in Columbus, Ohio, all over the country," Schmitt told the John Solomon Reports podcast on Monday.
Missouri has seen a marked increase in the last year in deadly fentanyl trafficking and deaths, including the tragic deaths of seven residents in St. Louis on Monday from drugs laced with fentanyl typically made in China and trafficked across the border by Mexican cartels.
Fetanyl is more of a silent killer from the border, piling up bodies without blaring headlines. But in recent weeks a constant stream of breaking news reports has awakened the nation to the reality that the permissive border crossings and trafficking to the country's interior under Biden has had deadly consequences far from the border.
In Alabama's Chilton County, two illegal immigrants, ages 27 and 28, have been charged in the murders of three adults found shot and burned in an SUV that was set afire last summer.
Just the News exclusively obtained a memo, the content of which was published Tuesday, about Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas offers his support to CBP agents against whom assaults and threats of violence are being lodged.
The memo informs Chris Magnus, the CBP commissioner, that DHS is working with leadership at the Justice Department to ensure that "assaults on CBP and other federal law enforcement personnel are referred for prosecution as appropriate and treated as a priority."
In another recent case, a Florida father who believed he was taking in a 16-year-old migrant minor from Honduras was killed by the immigrant, who turned out to be much older and involved in crime. The case stunned the political world.
In Mississippi, an illegal immigrant from Mexico was arrested Monday on charges he pistol-whipped a woman and shot her cellphone beside her head because she was vaping
In Florida, a 5-year-old girl riding in her mother’s car was crushed to death when an illegal immigrant from Honduras crashed into the car. The driver admitted he got in the car after drinking six cans of 32-ounce beers.
That senseless killing even brought grizzled law enforcement officers to tears. "A little 5-year-old beautiful baby was crushed to death," the local sheriff lamented, noting if the driver had been kept in his "home country last Saturday night like he should have been, our 5-year-old beautiful little girl would have been alive."
Law enforcement has both experienced the wave of migrant crime and suffered loss from it.
In Harris County, Texas, an illegal immigrant from El Salvador is charged with exiting his vehicle during a routine traffic stop and fatally shooting a sheriff's deputy in the face last month. The suspect has a long history of crime in the United States despite illegally entering, officials said.
Federal officials also confirm that 14 illegal immigrants with known or suspected terrorist ties have been stopped at the border in Biden's first year, raising the question of how many have snuck in undetected.
"It took 19 to perpetrate this horrible 9/11 attack, the worst terrorist attack in the history of the country — and they are just pouring across the border, pouring across," Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) told Just the News on Monday, warning Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris bear full responsibility.
"Quite frankly, people are dying on their watch," he said. "It is a dereliction of duty to do what they are doing. They are violating the Constitution ... If this is not an invasion, I don't know what is."
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Just the News on Monday that the border is more than an immigration issue, it is a national security issue that is likely to result in a reckoning for Democrats in the next two elections. He added that America's porous border is also shaking allies' confidence in America's commitment to security.
"If you're not prepared to protect your own sovereignty, if you're not prepared to defend your own borders, and make sure you know what's coming in and out of your country, then I think the world can see that you're not about to be on the global stage," he said during an interview on the "Just the News" TV show on Real America's Voice.
Some Republicans, like Sen. Ted Cruz, believe if their party takes control of Congress next year Biden could face impeachment for refusing to enforce border laws.
"I really believe that impeachment could be on the table," Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Texas) said. "And I would support that."
Human trafficking, in particular, is creating victims in multiple spheres, from women and children trafficked into sex work to innocent victims driving the streets.
Last March, 13 migrants were killed when the SUV driven by their smuggler crashed into a tractor trailer in California, in one of the deadliest border crashes in American history. More recently, a 59-year-old mother and her 22-year old daughter were killed in Texas in December when their car was T-boned by a speeding vehicle trying to smuggle illegal aliens into the country. The horrific photos grabbed international headlines.
"What we're seeing at the border is not just criminal, but it is immoral," Gooden said. "The fact that our United States government is putting its own citizens behind those of other nations, and also encouraging human trafficking ... is really a travesty."
While impeachment and elections loom on the horizon as a possible solutions, law enforcement officials are focused right now on trying to stem the rise of crime in communities affected by illegal immigrants who have traveled far from the border, sometimes with the help of the Biden administration and their allies in the nonprofit world.
Several Republicans in Congress are sponsoring various pieces of legislation to stop the federal government and nonprofits from assisting aliens seeking to move to the interior of the country. Attorneys general in several states, like Missouri's Schmitt, are going to the courts to compel the Biden administration to enforce existing immigration laws.
And while the violent, gruesome crimes are capturing headlines, con games and property crimes are also a concern.
In New York City, a 40-year-old illegal immigrant was arrested last month on charges she stole the identities of 100 people in the borough of Queens and filed for $1.9 million in fraudulent jobless benefits.
Advocates of illegal immigrants point to studies like one done recently by the National Academy of Sciences that found that illegal immigrants on average commit fewer crimes in America than legal immigrants or natural born citizens.
But that is little solace to victims who know their loved ones would be alive if an illegal immigrant hadn't been allowed to cross the border or had been deported back to his or her country under Biden.
"By him not being deported, it's like you telling me my daughter's life didn't mean anything," said Rhonda Exum, a mother whose 19-year-old daughter was killed in Texas by an illegal immigrant in a DUI accident.
Exum told Fox News she regrets voting for Biden in 2020 after his Homeland Security Department refused to deport the man who is accused of killing her daughter.
The Facts Inside Our Reporter's Notebook
- marked increase in the last year in deadly fentanyl trafficking
- the tragic deaths of seven residents in St. Louis on Monday
- two illegal immigrants, ages 27 and 28, have been charged in the murders of three adults found shot and burned in an SUV
- A Florida father
- illegal immigrant from Mexico was arrested Monday on charges he pistol-whipped a woman
- 5-year-old girl riding in her mother's car was crushed to death
- illegal immigrant from El Salvador
- horrific photos grabbed international headlines
- illegal immigrant with a lengthy criminal record was charged last week with painting swastikas on Washington DC's iconic Union Station
- National Academy of Sciences