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Comparing Border Patrol's 'Criminal Noncitizen' Arrests Under Trump and Biden

The Hill

We frequently hear that undocumented immigrants commit fewer crimes, or have a lower conviction rate, than U.S. citizens. It could be true, but even if it is true, it may not be so for long.

That’s because data released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) document that arrests of “criminal noncitizens” have more than doubled under President Joe Biden: from 21,936 during Donald Trump’s four years in office to 45,122 under Biden. And Biden has six more months to go. 

Worse yet, some of the most heinous crimes have the largest increases. 

CBP defines its term “criminal noncitizens” as “individuals who have been convicted of one or more crimes, whether in the United States or abroad, prior to interdiction by the U.S.” The agency lists eight specific criminal categories, along with an “Other,” and nearly all of them are serious crimes. These arrests are a subset of total CBP apprehensions. 

Let’s start with the “Homicide, Manslaughter” category, which has the smallest numbers but the largest percentage increase under Biden. CBP cites only 11 in Trump’s four years of individuals with this crime on their records. So far, Biden has 169—a 15-fold increase in the number of arrested illegal immigrants previously convicted of murder or manslaughter. (Note: these are fiscal years, which run from Oct. 1-Sept. 30. So Trump’s and Biden’s first year in office actually include nearly four months of the previous president’s term.) 

What about those convicted of “Sexual Offenses?” There were 431 during the Trump administration and 1,232 so far under Biden—about three times as many. In fact, there were more noncitizen sex offenders arrested in Biden’s first year, 488, than in Trump’s four years combined. 

Then there’s “Illegal Drug Possession, Trafficking.” The U.S. has seen an explosion of drug trafficking and overdose deaths, especially among young people. Could the fact there were 2,955 arrests of illegal immigrants convicted of drug trafficking under Trump, but more than twice as many (7,095) under Biden, partially explain the increase? 

The percentage spreads are generally smaller for “Assault, Battery, Domestic Violence” (1,723 under Trump vs. 4,032 under Biden), various types of burglaries (1,269 for Trump, 2,871 for Biden) and illegal weapons possession and trafficking (394 for Trump, 1,053 for Biden), but they are still significant. 

One more point: In eight of the nine categories, the number of arrests dropped after Trump’s first year. And in eight of the categories, the number of criminal noncitizens arrested in Trump’s first year (which included the last four months of President Obama’s presidency) was his highest. Once in office, Trump began cracking down on illegal immigration, and the number of criminal noncitizen arrests fell.

This is evidence that Trump’s efforts to gain control of the border and immigration led to the dramatic decrease in undocumented criminals arrested over his last three years in office. Biden’s decision to end the Trump policies and effectively open the borders likely led to the significant increase of illegal immigrants—and of criminals. 

I believe the large majority of those entering the country illegally are looking for a chance at a better life. But it is undeniable that many are looking for a chance to commit more crimes.

Amazingly, Biden now claims he doesn’t have the power to stop the immigration influx that his policies have created. It isn’t so. Although Trump didn’t stop illegal immigration, he was able to slow it down.  

We can see at least three results from Biden’s immigration failures. First, illegal immigration has become the top political issue for many Americans. That may cost Democrats dearly in the November elections. 

Second, if CBP has been capturing more criminal noncitizens, it’s certain that more are entering the country, evading arrest (the “got-aways”) and committing crimes—or soon will be. 

Finally, Biden’s immigration fiasco has so soured the public, and especially Republicans, on immigration that he has likely pushed back any meaningful, and much-needed, reforms for years, if not decades.

Even if it were true that illegal immigrants committed fewer crimes than U.S. citizens, much of that data came from the pre-Biden era and no longer applies. As the new data show, everything is different under Biden’s open-border policies.  

It seems clear that CBP is trying to do its job protecting the public from undocumented criminals. Now, if we could only get Biden to do his job.