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Racist. Xenophobic. Bigot.

I’m tired of hearing these words thrown around haphazardly whenever someone advocates for strong border control. Because the truth is this: national origin is irrelevant. A person who unlawfully enters this country has chosen to disregard our laws and standards.

According to the US Department of Justice

  • 57,820 known or suspected aliens were in DOJ custody at the end of quarter 1 of the 2018 fiscal year

  • 19,688 were in United States Marshals (USMS) Service custody

  • 38,132 were in Bureau of Prisons custody.

Out of the 57,820, 42,284 were confirmed at that time to be aliens. Among the confirmed, 93% were unlawfully present.

Of the 19,688 known or suspected aliens in USMS custody, approximately 16,233 required housing in state, local, and private facilities. This amounted to a cost of $1,458,372.72 a day.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety: 251,000 criminal aliens were booked into local Texas jails between June 1, 2011 and April 30, 2018.

Of these, they were charged with over 663,000 criminal offenses including: 

  • 1,351 homicides

  • 7,156 sexual assaults

  • 18,685 burglaries

  • 815 kidnappings

These numbers make a compelling case for strict border control. Taxpayers pay exorbitant sums to incarcerate illegal aliens. Our civic security is jeopardized by lax borders. We have a national obligation to keep our citizens safe.

I’m not racist. Your attack on me doesn’t make your case stronger. An ad hominem attack isn’t an argument. I do not hate undocumented immigrants, nor do I reject their humanity. I believe they should follow our guidelines. Collective willingness to abide by established rules maintains the fabric of a safe, flourishing society. A person who breaks our rules frays this communitarian fabric.

Zero-tolerance illegal immigration policies send the message that we value our communities. Lax policies and negligent enforcement send the message that it’s permissible to disregard our standards and endanger our people. The trust we found our communities on suffers when we allow outsiders, or even insiders, to disregard our rule of law. We lose faith in not only our nation, but also our neighbors. As social creatures, we depend heavily on our immediate networks, the networks that stitch together a much larger national patchwork.

Jenn B