National Security

‘How Many Crimes Could Have Been Prevented’ if Border Was Secure?

Former ICE chief Thomas Homan reacted to news that an Iraqi refugee who escaped deportation is now charged with shooting a police officer

Image Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

An Iraqi refugee who narrowly escaped deportation in 2016 and is now accused of shooting a Colorado police officer last week raises the question of “how many crimes could have been prevented” if the U.S. passed “immigration laws that made sense,” former U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Thomas Homan said Tuesday on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.”

“The issue is, how many crimes could have been prevented if they weren’t here?” Homan (pictured above left) asked. “So, for people that say, ‘Well, [immigrants] commit less crimes’ — well, the question is, how many crimes could have been prevented if we had secure borders and immigration laws that made sense? That’s the question.”

Karrar Noaman Al Khammasi, 31, was set for deportation in 2016 after he violated his probation terms following a trespassing plea. But a federal appeals court ultimately blocked the deportation proceeding because the federal immigration law he violated was “too vague,” an anonymous Department of Homeland Security (DHS) told the Associated Press Monday.

Al Khammasi now has been charged with shooting Colorado Springs Police Department Officer Cem Duzel. The Iraqi refugee was hospitalized following injuries he sustained during the confrontation. Duzel is in critical but stable condition.

“So, once again, the courts end up making the job of enforcing common-sense immigration law much more difficult,” Fox News host Laura Ingraham lamented.

Homan insisted that it is “up to Congress” to fix any laws that judges can deem “too vague” for enforcement and deportation proceedings.

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“If they’re saying the definition of crime or violence is too vague, it’s up to Congress to fix it, make it not vague,” Homan said. “Because people who come to this country and commit crimes — they need to go home. I mean, we need to protect the sovereignty of this country. We need to protect public safety.”

But human rights lawyer Dan Kovalik insisted that “you can never extrapolate from one example.” Kovalik pointed to a June story in The Washington Post, claiming illegal and legal immigrants commit fewer crimes than natural-born Americans.

Related: Call to Abolish ICE Is ‘Low-Hanging Fruit,’ Jeh Johnson Says

“I think immigrants are being scapegoated for a lot of problems that aren’t theirs, and I don’t like people being scapegoated,” Kovalik said.

But Hogan said those statistics weren’t “the issue.”

“The issue is how many crimes could have been prevented if they weren’t here?” Hogan insisted.

President Donald Trump is weighing whether to shut down the government in September if Congress refuses to implement key immigration enforcement and border security priorities, including funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

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