October 20, 2022
By Brian Lonergan
It is becoming increasingly difficult to deny the reality that our southern border is a hot mess and probably worse than it has ever been in recent memory. Undoing the damage caused by the Biden Administration’s policies in the last two years alone—and many believe they have wrecked the system by design—will take years of hard work and smart leadership.
As there is currently a dearth of smart leadership in our political class, government agencies have instead chosen the lazy, partisan route: misrepresent or omit data that might reveal the true depths of our country’s immigration problem.
This is a betrayal not only of our government’s obligation to safeguard its citizens, but a clear example that there is little interest by government to address problems it has fostered. How can people solve a problem when they have few accurate metrics of the size and scope of the problem?
The latest instance of this came when Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released its report on arrest and deportation numbers for fiscal year 2021. The months-delayed report showed the lowest number deportations and arrests in over a decade, paltry figures that were augmented by the last three months of the Trump Administration’s robust deportation policies.
Documents obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation revealed attempts by ICE leadership to spin the embarrassing numbers by blaming the COVID-19 pandemic, the increasing number of arrivals from “recalcitrant” countries and the agency’s purported emphasis on threats to public safety over nonviolent aliens.
This is shameless, even by the long tradition of federal agencies to massage facts that are less than flattering to the current administration. All the conditions used by ICE as excuses were also in play during the final months of the Trump presidency, yet the arrest and deportation numbers only fell off a cliff after Joe Biden took the oath of office. Go figure.
Federal agencies are not alone in the move to manipulate and hide ignominious reports. The FBI released its national crime data report for 2021 this week, but critics have derided it as incomplete and not useful. Why? Because nearly 40 percent of police departments did not provide full data sets on 2021 crime in their jurisdictions to the bureau.
Those police departments will no doubt have creative excuses for their missing reports, but common sense can best explain the reason. Cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia are experiencing record crime waves, and it has little to do with the pandemic.
It has almost everything to do with woke, pro-sanctuary mayors and district attorneys who campaigned on defunding police, shielding criminal aliens from deportation and releasing violent offenders from jails. Now that the bills have come due for their irresponsible crime policies, they would rather hide the data than face the scorn they deserve.
Not to be outdone, our corporate media is also a flagrant offender when it comes to hiding facts that go against the progressive agenda. Small town papers and metropolitan dailies alike will often bury stories involving crimes committed by illegal aliens. When they are forced to cover such a story, the alleged perpetrator’s immigration status is either not mentioned or relegated to a paragraph near the bottom of the story.
This was obvious in the media coverage of Edwin Jackson. A promising linebacker with the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts, Jackson was on the side of the road with his Uber driver on Super Bowl Sunday in 2018 when they were struck by another vehicle and killed.
The driver, Manuel Orrego-Savala, is a Guatemalan national whose blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit. He had been deported twice previously after arrests for driving under the influence and driving without a license. After pleading guilty to two counts of causing death of another person when operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 percent or more, he was sentenced to 16 years in prison.
ESPN, notorious for injecting a left-wing political narrative into its sports coverage, made no mention of Orrego-Savala’s illegal status or his previous deportations in its reporting. Leaving out that information isn’t a close judgment call, it’s a major part of the story. If our immigration laws were properly enforced, Jackson and his driver would be alive today. Such instances of journalistic malpractice are common in media today.
The costs of this obfuscation to the country are severe. This is not a case of the government fudging some trivial budget minutiae. The American people have a right to know the truth about how the current administration’s policies are resulting in preventable consequences including overcrowding, wage stagnation, draining of public treasuries, higher crime rates and death. To spin, distort or conceal key facts about our immigration problems is a blatant lie. Politicians who push that lie should pay a heavy electoral price.
Brian Lonergan is director of communications at the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.
Also published at American Greatness, October 19, 2022.
Photo credit: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
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