As we officially enter summer, Dallas violent crime and homicides are already breaking the extreme record of last year. We have seen violence all over the city every single day. A lot of these murders can be tied to what you would expect: petty crime, domestic violence, gang, and drug activity. There is, however, another source of crime far from the city limits of Dallas that is still affecting its citizens.
It is no secret that drug cartels and their puppet officials rule in Mexico, and that while the fight rages in Washington among virtue-signaling politicians the violence continues. The Biden administration’s decision to halt construction of the border wall has emboldened criminals and has sent an influx of people seeking refuge in the US into Texas, overwhelming our already stressed processing areas. This led to Federal authorities using the Kay Bailey Hutchison center as an immediate shelter for undocumented, unaccompanied minor boys earlier this year. (The center has now closed.)
While many of these illegal immigrants may have the objectively noble goal of achieving a better life for themselves or their family, there are plenty that arrive with more nefarious goals. According to an article[DT1] citing Acting Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz, officers have arrested 353 persons attempting to enter the country illegally with known sex-related criminal convictions so far this year. This is not just happening near the border, but across the state and Dallas.
On June 20, Mexican national Isidro Efrain Gallardo-Rangel was apprehended as part of a group of 24 who entered the U.S. illegally near another border town of Laredo. A registered sex offender with an extensive criminal history, he was previously convicted of indecency with a child in 2018 in Dallas. Child molesters have a known recidivism rate of up to 40% (and that is just what is reported and leads to criminal charges). When there are individuals such as Gallardo-Rangel attempting to bypass the tracking systems meant to keep our children safe we must only assume the worst.
The border wall has shown to be effective in the areas it has been deployed. According to the Department of Homeland Security when discussing the El Paso Sector of the wall, in Zones 14 and 15 of the Santa Teresa (STN) AOR apprehensions had decreased by 60% and 81% respectively when comparing the last half of fiscal year FY 20 to the first half of FY 20. The same report discusses savings in other areas of up to $28 million by allowing agents to redeploy to other areas and commit to drug interdictions.
The evidence is clear: better border security can prevent crime. We must consider the border wall as a first line of defense against bad actors wishing to enter the country illegally, and we must not fall victim to accusations of xenophobia when it comes to keeping our children and our city safe.