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Since it assumed power in January 2021, the Biden Administration has clearly prioritized the rights of illegal aliens over those of American citizens. Attorney General Merrick Garland recently doubled down on that policy, and is now putting the safety of citizens at risk by allowing mentally ill criminal aliens to remain in the country.
In Matter of B-Z-R, Garland ruled that when considering asylum claims, immigration judges can now take into account the mental health of asylum seekers who have been convicted of “particularly serious crimes” when determining whether or not they pose a danger. The result is that mentally ill criminal aliens will now have an advantage when it comes to deciding whether to allow them to stay in the country.
This case involved a Mexican national with a criminal record who was convicted of burglary in New Jersey. He claimed he would be persecuted in his home country because of his sexual preference and because of unspecified mental disorders. Apparently nothing in this case is a red flag to Garland, who is fine with such individuals being admitted to our country.
In its brief on the matter, lawyers from the Immigration Reform Law Institute argued that crimes are defined by their statutory elements, and to the extent an alien’s mental illness played a role in whether he met the statutory elements of a crime, that role was already considered by the criminal court that convicted him, and should not be revisited in immigration court.
As is the case with virtually every action of this administration, our current leaders seem to care far more about getting foreign nationals into the country permanently by any means necessary than they do about protecting the citizens who they have sworn to protect. This is an abomination the American people should not accept.
The death of Kate Steinle in 2015 as a result of the actions of a five-times deported native of Mexico brought national attention to the problem of illegal alien crime. Since then, the media seems to have done its best to keep such incidents out of the public consciousness.
There has not been a lack of incidents. A simple online search will produce multitudinous examples of people being robbed, assaulted, raped or killed by those here illegally. How many of those alleged perpetrators will now claim mental illnesses as strategy to keep from being deported?
If the claim of mental illness is indeed legitimate, the treatment it will require is one more expense the American people will have to bear to accommodate foreign nationals who came here illegally and committed crimes once here.
This problem has been exacerbated by the sickening behavior of too many mayors, sheriffs, county commissioners and governors who have implemented sanctuary laws in their jurisdictions. Sanctuary laws claim to help a specific group, illegal aliens, but actually hurt all groups.
By promoting that they will not cooperate with federal immigration authorities, sanctuary communities attract a subgroup of aliens who have committed or intend to commit violent crimes. In addition to victimizing American citizens, this group also preys upon the otherwise law-abiding noncitizens they tend to live among. So who exactly do these misguided laws protect other than a criminal element that fits the prototype of who deportation laws were meant to remove?
It is widely known that immigration lawyers will coach their illegal alien clients to say the “magic words” that will allow them to enter the United States. Specifically, they are told to tell immigration agents that they are fearful to return to their home country for fear of persecution. As a result of Garland’s decision, criminal aliens facing deportation will be instructed to feign mental illness as a way to delay or prevent removal.
Dale L. Wilcox is executive director and general counsel for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.