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WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo (both R-Idaho) joined 20 colleagues in sending a letter to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas raising concerns about recent crimes committed by individuals who crossed into the United States illegally under President Biden’s open-border policies. The letter demands answers about the impact of the Biden Administration’s negligence on crime in American communities.

The Senators wrote, “[Y]ou asserted that there is no bright-line rule, such as past criminal convictions, that officers may use to determine which individuals may pose a public safety threat, and therefore hold priority for enforcement action. This misguided policy deprioritizes the removal of dangerous criminal aliens—individuals who have been convicted of one or more crimes, whether in the United States or abroad, and has resulted in further unnecessary victimization of American citizens.

“The result has been predictable: By signaling that you will not enforce immigration laws, you have invited unprecedented increases in illegal border crossings. In 2021, CBP recorded over 2 million migrant encounters. According to CBP arrest data, the agency has arrested 2,424 criminal aliens so far in FY 2022. Although it is only March, this number is just 14 arrests shy of the total number of arrests in all of FY 2020. These individuals have been convicted of murder, rape, assault, robbery, weapons possession, and drug possession among other crimes. Your directive sends the unfortunate message that violating our country’s immigration laws is not a serious crime and will not result in any adverse civil legal actions.

“Under your leadership, the humanitarian crisis at our Southern border has spilled over into a crime wave impacting public safety for communities all across this nation. Strong enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws will act as a deterrent and help prevent additional tragic crimes in the future.

“We urge you to reconsider the direction you are leading these agencies in and to immediately rescind your September 2021 guidance.”

Read the full letter here.

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