Importing Problems

In Texas, two terrible mass killings recently took place. Both involved perpetrators who were immigrants or the children of immigrants. In many cases, so were their victims. With the latest surge of humanity on the border, it’s worth considering the connection between these high-profile crimes and an uncontrolled border.

In the Houston suburb of Cleveland, a drunk man shooting guns in his backyard massacred his neighbors when they dared to ask him to keep it down. The victims were all illegal alien immigrants from Honduras, save for the youngest who was born here in the United States. Governor Greg Abbott got into some hot water when he described the victims as illegal. While this was a fact, even I think it was a bit insensitive to highlight that when announcing they were victimized by a violent maniac.    

For a moment, this became a story about gun violence and the inability to care for our illegal immigrant neighbors. But this narrative became less compelling when, predictably, the alleged killer himself was also an illegal alien from Mexico. The man was previously deported multiple times, with the later arrivals constituting the new crime of “illegal reentry.” He could not have done this so easily or so often if the border were a higher priority. 

Whether he obtained the AR-15 he used through theft, straw purchase, or private sale, his possession of any gun was itself a crime. Even if he were in the country legally, his criminal record would have been disqualifying. He should have been arrested for the gun charge and turned over to ICE in earlier encounters with local police. 

But the local police observed the de facto refusal of most local law enforcement to assist in the enforcement of our immigration laws. They did nothing after responding to earlier complaints by neighbors. This is best understood as a story of illegal alien victims and illegal alien perpetrators, a commingled group of struggling, non-English speaking people living in a subculture that shields itself, as much as possible, from scrutiny by (and cooperation with) law enforcement. 

Democrats want to make this a story about “gun crime,” but how do they think they will ever control guns when they cannot even control the border? How much “mass incarceration” of blacks and other minorities would they tolerate in the name of gun control? 

To point out the obvious, if we controlled our border, this massacre would not have happened. In that case, neither the killer nor the immigrant family from Honduras would have been able to put down roots here.

We are told sometimes that immigrant crime is lower than native crime. This may be true, but the right rate of immigrant crime is “zero.” Anyone we let in this country should be a net positive, not a new source of problems. And the foundation of assimilation, productivity, and being a good neighbor is respecting our laws, including our immigration laws. Most illegal aliens, while not arch criminals or even violent, are lawbreakers by definition.

Crime by immigrants, while mostly confined to immigrant communities, is not exclusively so. More importantly, law enforcement must investigate and imprison those who commit serious crimes, even when the perpetrators are illegal aliens. There are too many immigrants, legal and illegal, and there are certainly too many immigrants committing ordinary crimes once they are among us. 

The other shooting took place in suburban Dallas and was also undertaken by a Mexican-American. Some conservatives instantly harped on his name and figured he must be illegal. This faulty assumption is understandable among people who have not spent much time in Texas. 

A great many U.S. citizens are Hispanic. In Texas in particular, many are of Mexican heritage. Some have long roots going back to Spanish settlements in the Rio Grande Valley, but hundreds of thousands per year have arrived since 1970 as immigrants, illegal and legal. Many stayed and eventually had kids. And those kids, born here, are now legal, the so-called “anchor babies,” permitting parents to have their status upgraded under ill-conceived “family reunification” provisions of our immigration laws. Adults who arrived earlier received amnesty in 1986. This amnesty was supposed to restore the border and put an end to illegal immigration. Ha!

Mexican-Americans (and Mexican illegals) are ubiquitous in Dallas, with many inner-city neighborhoods now nearly 100 percent  percent Mexican. The parents of the Dallas-area shooter, who apparently needed a translator, lived in a modest home in the North Dallas area. The young man himself wore American-style clothing, was into heavy metal, and tried to join the Army, eventually working as a security guard.

He was apparently having a mental crisis and also may have been attracted to extreme, neo-Nazi ideology. Of the last part, I am not wholly convinced. The CIA-connected source of this information claims to have found the killer’s profile on a Russian website no one has ever heard of. It would be very easy to photoshop offensive tattoos and upload items you obtained from elsewhere. Others suggested one of his tattoos exposed him as a member of a Texas prison gang called Tango Blast. This is possible, but the hand tattoo of the Big “D” may have just been a tribute to his hometown. 

The facts are still coming out, but, like the massacre in Cleveland, Texas, the Allen killings would not have happened if the alleged murderer were not in the country. He would not have been born in the country if his parents were not allowed in this country. They have lived here since at least 1989 and still do not speak English.  

Like the U.S.-born Pulse Nightclub killer, the San Bernardino killers, and the Asian dance studio killer in Los Angeles, the story of immigration is not chiefly about talented people finding the cure for cancer and improving their communities. More often than not, it includes average people doing menial jobs, and, in some cases, doing much more harm than good. It is also a story about people from disorderly and violent countries bringing that disorder and violence with them.

Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras are not the way they are because of the dirt or the geography or because their legal systems are rooted in Spanish law. They are the way they are because of the people. The people make the country. Like the Californians who have moved to Colorado, Arizona, and Montana, these newcomers are starting to transform our country into one resembling the places whence they came.  

Every time you hear about an immigrant committing a crime or being victimized by one, it was a completely unnecessary occurrence, a burden on real Americans, and a direct and expensive consequence of our uncontrolled border.

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About Christopher Roach

Christopher Roach is an adjunct fellow of the Center for American Greatness and an attorney in private practice based in Florida. He is a double graduate of the University of Chicago and has previously been published by The Federalist, Takimag, Chronicles, the Washington Legal Foundation, the Marine Corps Gazette, and the Orlando Sentinel. The views presented are solely his own.

Photo: ALLISON DINNER/AFP via Getty Images

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