When a state passes one law after another designed to deter incarceration instead of crime, is it any wonder that crime will increase? And when a state announces a law to protect criminal aliens from deportation, many of whom are involved in transnational gangs, should anyone be surprised that gang violence has soared? Evidently, for head-scratchers in California, these are novel concepts.
Last week, there was a deadly stabbing in a park near San Diego, which involved 20 gang members. While this is nothing new in San Diego or anywhere else in the country, the continuing trend is concerning. According to San Diego police, there have been 463 gang-related crimes committed through June in the area, up from 385 during the same period last year. Also, the number of gang homicides has doubled.
According to the L.A. Times, there have also been “more robberies, assaults with a deadly weapon and attempted murders.” However, the paper states, “it’s unclear what is behind the sudden surge in gang crime.”
Well, let me take a stab at it. Maybe it has something to do with California’s pro-criminal alien and general pro-criminal laws coming home to roost in recent months and years?
According to local media, this most recent gang-related brawl led to the murder of Mauricio Renteria. Those arrested were “six juveniles ranging from 14 to 17 years old.”
Let’s ponder this for a moment. Hispanic gangs with an influx of juveniles? Where have we seen that before? Oh, that’s right, the border surge from Central America is fueling the growth of gangs, and the ages of the perpetrators are getting younger and younger.
When L.A. police and federal law enforcement busted a gruesome clique of MS-13 members in the San Fernando Valley this year, 19 of the 22 were illegal aliens, most of them recent arrivals from Central America who were resettled as unaccompanied alien children. As U.S. attorney Nick Hanna is quoted in the Los Angeles Times, “We’re seeing an influx of younger gang members coming into the area associating themselves with the Fulton clique who are extremely violent, who have to commit murders to join the clique.”
Claude Arnold, who once ran the Los Angeles field office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), was quoted as saying, “These are newer entrants, so they’re making their bones with the gang, it’s just how it is. They want to make a name for themselves, and those are the people who are generally the most violent members of street gangs.”
According to the indictment, these people were “required to kill an MS-13 rival or someone perceived to be adverse to MS-13 to be initiated into MS-13.”
So the growth in gang activity is likely coming from an influx of newer members who need to show their moxie in order to join the ranks of the most violent gangs. This is all being driven initially from the border. But what happens when a state like California passes a law protecting them from removal? Well, most criminals usually are arrested for other criminal activity, such as drunk driving, assault, or drugs, prior to committing murder. While too many citizens arrested for such crimes barely serve any time or no time at all before being let out on the streets, every illegal alien arrested for gang-related crimes should be removed from the country before they strike again.
In comes the California Trust act, enacted in 2014, which violates federal law by prohibiting any law enforcement agency to communicate with ICE. Thus, all the new gang members entering California who are picked up on various local charges but could be removed are allowed back onto the streets. Hence there are more of them. In 2012, ICE removed nearly 100,000 criminal aliens from California. Since 2014, ICE has never removed more than 30,000 annually.
What’s worse, ICE is now in the dark about these gang members and their identity. As a California ICE official said in a statement to CR, “Due to the California Trust act (SB54), ICE access has been removed from gang databases, refused access to people in jails that are possibly gang affiliated and not notified of any releases even if there is a gang affiliation. This egregious malfeasance on behalf of the State of California lawmakers threatens communities and all law enforcement entities to include ICE.”
As such, all of those gang members who would otherwise have been removed when California still cooperated with ICE are now released and go on to commit more crimes. Timothy Robbins, acting director of ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week that anywhere between 40 and 80 percent of criminal illegal aliens who are released by sanctuary jurisdictions will re-offend.
Mystery solved. Yet there can be no mention in the media about the effects of illegal immigration on the state. Two illegal aliens are charged with last week’s murder of El Dorado County sheriff’s deputy Brian Ishmael, but nobody in local media is connecting the dots.
Of course, if California was actually tough on all criminals, even without giving over criminal aliens for removal, at least they’d be locked up in local jail or prison. But thanks to the California Democrats’ war on prison, many of these people are out on bail, and even the ones convicted barely serve any time. So many laws and ballot initiatives weakening the criminal justice system have been passed in recent years that it doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to discover why crime and gang activity are increasing now more than ever.
Just two weeks ago, Governor Gavin Newsom, signed bills banning the use of facial recognition on police body cameras, reducing sentencing for repeat violent felons, and expunging criminal records of most criminals after their sentences are complete. On top of that, he pardoned three criminal aliens in the hopes that it would stop them from being removed from the country. Leave no criminal behind – foreign or domestic – is the modus operandi of California politicians.
According to a new poll commissioned by the California Chamber of Commerce, “California voters are anxious.” They report that 79 percent of Californians agree (41 percent strongly) “that homelessness and criminal behavior have become rampant throughout California,” and 73 percent agree (37 percent strongly) “that street crime, shoplifting and car theft have become rampant throughout California.” Disturbingly, 60 percent agree (25 percent strongly) with the statement, “I no longer feel safe because of the danger and disorder in society today.”
Trump is slated to lose California by a mile no matter what he does. He has nothing to lose by running against the systemic anarchy of the once Golden State and framing the election around one simple question: Does the rest of America want to follow California’s footsteps and feel unsafe in their own communities?
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.