FIRST ON FOX: House Republican lawmakers are calling for a new report on the number of illegal immigrants who commit crimes and who are incarcerated in prisons across the U.S., as the previous assessment came years before the current historic migrant crisis at the border.
Last month, authorities announced the arrest of a Honduran illegal immigrant charged with rape, kidnapping and assault, and last week authorities said an illegal immigrant was arrested for fatally shooting two sisters in their home in Dallas.
There have been a slew of other charges against illegal immigrants, including a Venezuelan migrant accused of raping a woman in front of a three-year-old child in New York. Meanwhile, the head of Border Patrol has said that illegal immigrants with “serious criminal histories” are trying to cross the border daily.
Immigration activists and others have pointed to the relatively small percentage of migrants with known criminal histories found to be crossing the border — although that does not account for those who cross and evade Border Patrol — and some studies suggest that illegal immigrants offend at a lower rate than the general population.
Now, Republicans want to get to the bottom of it.
In a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), obtained by Fox News Digital, Republicans led by Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, note the estimated 1.7 million gotaways in the last three years in addition to the more than 2.4 million encountered last fiscal year alone.
“The possible correlation between uncontrolled immigration and rising crime in major cities across the U.S is a major concern for Congress, local law enforcement, and everyday Americans,” the 23 lawmakers write. “Congress needs data outlining incarcerations, arrests, crimes, convictions, costs, and removals of noncitizens to properly evaluate the relationship between increased illegal immigration and current criminal alien population.”
The GAO last published a report on “Criminal Alien Statistics” in 2018, but that was before the Trump-era migrant crisis in 2019, and the Biden-era crisis from 2021 to the present. The report provided information on the number of incarcerated foreign nationals, the number of arrests and convictions and the costs of jailing them.
“In addition, the report provided data on the removability of noncitizens from the United States after their incarceration in federal prison,” the lawmakers wrote.
Consequently, they ask the GAO to update its study on incarcerated noncitizens, which includes federal and state prisons, as well as local jails. Lawmakers signed onto the letter include Reps. Kay Granger, R-Texas, Michael McCaul, R-Texas, Mike Rogers, R-Mich., Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., and Chip Roy, R-Texas.
Republicans and Democrats along with the Biden administration remain at loggerheads over the ongoing border crisis. The Biden administration has said the crisis is due to a “broken” system and a hemisphere-wide migration movement. It has called for more funding and comprehensive immigration reform.
A $14 billion funding request is still being debated in Congress, with Republicans calling for more limits on asylum and the use of parole.
Republicans have called for stricter border controls, and have blamed the crisis on the Biden administration’s rollback of Trump-era policies, greater use of catch-and-release and narrowed interior enforcement.
“The crisis on our southern border is reverberating into cities and towns across the United States,” Sessions said in a statement. “Violent crime, drug trafficking, and human trafficking are now a daily reality in communities where such illicit activity was once rare. While we cannot directly attribute rising crime to illegal immigration, Congress needs data to fully understand the effect President Biden’s open border has in enabling illicit activity,” he said.
“This update to the 2018 Government Accountability Office report will provide this necessary information,” he said.