Carjacking Alien Minors Raise Larger Issues About Immigration

Some media outlets have reported the carjacking of a 91-year-old man by two youths who were apprehended after a wild 200-plus mile chase by police. The carjacking took place in a Walmart parking lot in Iowa and the delinquents apparently marked the old man as their victim because of his vulnerability.

These fine young fellows come to us courtesy of the “surge” of families and unaccompanied minors who besieged the Rio Grande Valley area of Texas in the tens of thousands for some months. Advocacy groups and most of the large media outlets have painted a picture of these thousands as “refugees” coming to escape poverty and violence. Any suggestion whatever that their motives might be less than pure, or that some might in fact be gang members has in the main been rejected out of hand. But according to the article cited above, the carjacking criminals had just fled from Maryville Academy, “a residential facility for at-risk and mentally ill youths. The U.S. Health and Human Services agency has sent a number of so-called ‘unaccompanied minors’ to the facility in the last several months.”

Why is there no balance in most presentations of what happens at the border and thereafter? This story was better reported in Britain (for instance in the Daily Mail newspaper) than in the United States, other than the Iowa outlets where it constitutes “local news”. Compare that treatment to the recent stories in the New York Times and CNN, which are freighted with tugs at the emotive heartstrings to achieve the result they wish to achieve, sympathy where this group of recent arrivals is concerned.

Even polls by so-called “nonpartisan” groups appear to be couched in a way to drive public opinion toward a pre-determined and desired outcome. The Public Religion Research Institute tells us that 69 percent of people responding to a recent poll indicated that unaccompanied minors should be allowed to remain in the United States “if authorities determine it is not safe for them to return to their home country.” That’s a big if (and it’s already covered for by the laws that apply to asylees for those individuals to whom it applies). And it certainly begs the issue of whether one can simply make that assertion about all and sundry — for instance, does anyone really want the miscreants who did the carjacking to stay? And, on that basis, administer the bureaucratic equivalent of a papal blessing and start doling out their green cards?

Collectively, it all seems to me just shy of an advocacy group-induced, media-fed Potemkin Village where everything is perfect and only the border and immigration agents trying to enforce the law have it wrong. This is a representation not having much in common with the often gritty realities of life surrounding border crossings and the people who make them; people who are every bit as good or as bad as human beings anywhere.

The carjacking crime itself also merits a bit more attention. The president has made no secret of his intent to crank out more executive actions affecting the illegal alien population in the United States — once the all-important midterm elections are over. Heaven forbid that his immigration principles disturb his party’s desire to hang on to its power in the Senate. And isn’t that ironic: a desire to maintain power in a legislative body that he routinely ignores, castigates, and does not conceal his contempt toward.

Some advocacy groups, and the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) — another organization that clearly favors unrestrained immigration — have suggested that one way to effect that executive action is to permit illegal aliens whose only crimes involve “traffic offenses” to be given permits to stay and work. The implication, of course, is that “traffic offenses” are a benign type of crime and don’t merit adverse consequences in any governmental largess to be implemented under this administration’s constitutionally doubtful exercise of “discretion”.

But the case involving the carjacking youths and the elderly man exemplifies exactly why the suggestion is a poor idea fraught with public safety implications. Another recent incident in North Carolina involved an illegal alien who struck two children at a bus stop and then fled rather than stop and render assistance. When caught, the alien involved was charged with felony hit and run, felony passing a stopped school bus, driving without a license, no vehicle registration, driving without insurance and fictitious license plates.

Serious crimes involving traffic offenses are not as isolated an incident as one might think. As my colleague, Jessica Vaughan, and I pointed out in a recent Center for Immigration Studies Backgrounder, such action would “forgive” from deportation tens of thousands of aliens for such crimes as carjacking, vehicular manslaughter, car theft, and driving while drugged or drunk.

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