New figures reveal the extent of illegal immigrant crime in Texas. A report from the Texas Department of Public Safety says there were more than 220,000 criminal aliens jailed for crimes in Texas over the past six years. Those incarcerations included charges of murder, kidnapping, robbery, drug possession and sexual assault.
Jessica Vaughan with the Center for Immigration Studies is not surprised by the numbers. "This shows that, without a doubt, failure to enforce our immigration laws has public safety consequences," she says. Vaughan tells KTRH that the actual number of criminal aliens in the state is likely even higher. "These are just the criminal aliens that were known to DHS," she says. "It doesn't even count the ones who have never been caught by the border patrol and were never in the DHS system."
In addition to the public safety threat posed by criminal aliens, there is also a huge cost. "American taxpayers spend millions of dollars every year just on incarcerating that fraction of the illegal immigrant population that is being arrested for state and local crimes," says Vaughan. "There's a real human cost to not enforcing our immigration laws and not controlling our borders."
The situation is resonating with the public, as well. A new UT/Texas Tribune poll of registered Texas voters shows immigration and border security are still the top two most important issues, with about a third of the voters surveyed listing one of those two as their top concern.