Q&A of the Day - Do illegal immigrants receive lessor sentences?

Q&A of the Day - Do illegal immigrants receive lessor sentences than legal citizens?

Each day I’ll feature a listener question that’s been submitted by one of these methods. 

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

Twitter: @brianmuddradio

Facebook: Brian Mudd https://www.facebook.com/brian.mudd1

Today’s entry: Please clarify for me what I hear and don’t hear from the media regarding releasing illegal immigrants who have committed crimes. I am hearing that sanctuary cities are releasing illegal immigrant criminals. Is this happening after a formal prosecution and penalty being fulfilled? If they are being released without prosecution and penalties then why couldn’t an American criminal not go to court for unequal application of the law. I thought the US constitution mandated equal justice and application of the law. Where is the ACLU? 

Bottom Line: The short answers are that yes, in certain states and certain circumstances we do see illegal immigrants treated differently than legal citizens. First, according to the Center for Immigration Studies, here are the sanctuary states where these types of policies/sentences most commonly occur. 

  • California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and Vermont

According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, illegal immigrants are three to five times as likely to end up in prison based on current incarceration rates. As of February, those figures are conservative as about 19% (nearly 33,000) of the prison population was comprised of illegal immigrants. Approximately 3.5% of the US population is here illegally.

One of the reasons that figure is so high? Repeat arrests by illegal immigrants. In fact, in 48 of the 50 states illegal immigrants are substantially more likely to commit criminal offenses compared to legal citizens. Somewhat ironically Florida is one of those two states. Texas is the other. By definition this shouldn’t happen in any states. Any prosecuted illegal immigrant is to be deported once their time is served. Yet, often it doesn’t happen because the criminal illegal immigrants aren’t released to ICE. That plays into lighter sentences. 

The first sanctuary law paving the path for shorter sentences occurred in California. In 2014, Cali passed a law to reduce misdemeanor crime sentences to a maximum of 364 days due to ICE’s instant notification of any illegal sentenced to 365 days or more. That began a systematic process in California and other sanctuary states to reduce prison sentences and in many cases minimize prosecution/charges to avoid ICE notification for the purpose of releasing criminal illegals back into society. It’s remarkable when you think about it. We don’t have a study to lean on to compare sentences of illegal immigrants to legal citizens because many charges are dropped, aren’t pursued or in states like California, whole sentences were changed to benefit illegal immigrants. 

What we do know from the Justice Department is that the average illegal immigrant receives a sentence that’s about 20% lower than the sentencing guidelines. When someone is already committing a crime by being here and then commits additional criminal activity once here – you might wonder why. I know I do. A law passed by Congress states repeat offenders of federal crime should be sentenced at or near sentencing guidelines. Illegal immigrants aren’t being handled accordingly in general but it’s especially true in sanctuary states. And as for the ACLU...the ship sailed a long time ago. They’ve quite literally sued to attempt to prevent ICE from detaining illegal immigrants.

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