Crimes By Immigrants–Trend or Policy By Anecdote?

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As President Trump regularly spotlights violent crimes committed by immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally, outrage is increasingly bubbling up in places across the U.S., NPR reports. In San Antonio last month, authorities charged 35-year-old Armando Rodrigo Garcia-Ramires, a Mexican national, with double capital murder in the shooting death of a 15-year-old girl who was nine months pregnant with his child. The fetus died, too. Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed that Garcia-Ramires was in the country illegally. Under the Obama administration, he was twice picked up by federal immigration agents, released both times, and later granted a work permit. “If he had been detained and deported for being here illegally the first time around, the impregnation, the murder, the crime would have been avoided,” says George Rodriguez, who writes a blog and hosts an Internet radio show called El Conservador, or The Conservative, in San Antonio.

Trump has pledged to deport more unauthorized immigrants arrested for or charged with crimes — people he has called “bad hombres” — as part of a broader effort to more aggressively enforce federal immigration laws. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) wrote to ICE demanding answers about the Texas case.  Critics of the Trump administration believe that focusing on the birthplace and immigration status of a criminal has the effect of demonizing all unauthorized immigrants. “This attempt to use an anecdote to try to set up a false paradigm that there are good immigrants and bad immigrants is really just an attempt to call all immigrants bad,” says Jonathan Ryan. an immigration attorney in San Antonio and director of the the nonprofit RAICES, which advocates for immigrants.

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