A bipartisan elite is trying to revive the stalled ‘sentencing reform’ legislation to release many more convicts back onto Americans’ neighborhoods, amid an existing crime wave.
The unpopular legislation is being pushed in the GOP’s 2016 platform by President Obama, by business groups trying to curb white-collar prosecutions, and by House Speaker Paul Ryan, who said this month “that’s something we’re working on for September.”
Co-sponsors such as Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee have pitched the bill as compassionate and common-sense reform.
But a critical look at many of the bill’s aspects reveals that it’s very un-compassionate to crime victims, to Americans stricken by drug addiction, and to American communities that are being overrun with illegal aliens.
1) The bill will release thousands of dangerous felons back onto the streets as crime, particularly murder, is rising in major U.S. cities.
Obama and his allies in the mainstream media have relentlessly demonized and stigmatized cops since 2014, putting a glaring spotlight on police shootings of black men during dramatic, stressful confrontations. The anti-cop campaign has ended a two-decade decline in crime in what experts have deemed “the Ferguson effect” after the 2014 riots in Ferguson, Missouri. Arrests in troubled communities have declined as the FBI admits violent crime is on the rise:
“All of the offenses in the violent crime category—murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape (revised definition), rape (legacy definition), aggravated assault, and robbery—showed increases when data from the first six months of 2015 were compared with data from the first six months of 2014.”
Amidst this violence and chaos, Republicans want to take thousands of prisoners who were arrested, charged, tried, and convicted by a judge or jury, and free them before they complete their sentences.
“The Senate bill would drastically reduce mandatory minimum sentences for all drug traffickers, even those who are armed and traffic in dangerous drugs like heroin, and provide for the early release of dangerous drug felons currently incarcerated in federal prison. This bill doesn’t touch simple possession, because there’s virtually no simple possession cases in federal court,” prominent critic Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions warned in May. “Have we thought this through?”
2) Republicans are buying into the Left’s narrative that the criminal justice system and law enforcement is racist.
Leftist billionaire George Soros is funding the Ferguson riots to the tune of $33 million, Black Lives Matter is agitating in public against law enforcement — yet some Republicans are validating the lawlessness.
The number of cops killed on-duty by gunfire has dramatically increased in 2016 as Obama stokes racial fires by lecturing law enforcement on its racism — even during a memorial for five Dallas officers murdered by black men in revenge for police “racism.”
Helping Obama pass his legacy legislation are yet another example of Republicans cowering when the Left plays the “racism” card, which has had bloody results.
3) Voters fear rising crime — Republicans are doing the opposite of what voters want.
Voters want safer communities as they see crime rates rising. The Opinion Research Corporation found that 58 percent of voters think politicians aren’t doing enough to keep drug traffickers off the streets, but only 30 percent thought we lock up drug traffickers for too long, a 2-to-1 margin.
Remarkably, female respondents expressed much more support for stronger enforcement than men, with 62 percent of women (mothers, daughters, wives) saying not enough is done to keep traffickers far from their families — indicating a law and order agenda is an issue that can win over significant numbers of women voters.
Middle and lower-class Americans’ crime worries have dramatically increased since Obama launched his “stigmatize-and-federalize” cops campaign: 68 percent of nonwhite respondents in a Gallup poll said they worried “a great deal” about crime, along with 53 percent of political independents. Cutting sentences for federal inmates is a bipartisan priority only in the Beltway — back in middle America, cracking down on crime unites diverse constituencies.
4) Americans are being killed by a heroin epidemic fueled by Mexican drug cartels and their illegal alien traffickers.
Drug overdoses claimed the lives of 47,055 Americans in 2014, and nearly half a million have died from mostly heroin or opiate overdoses in the past decade. Heroin use increased a staggering 79 percent from 2007 to 2012.
“While Colombia has historically been the biggest source of heroin sold in the United States, Mexican output has since surpassed it, DEA officials say. Together, the two countries account for more than 90 percent of the U.S. heroin supply, and nearly all of it is smuggled into this country by Mexican traffickers,” an in-depth Washington Post report states. “El Chapo” Joaquin Guzman’s Sinoloa drug cartel controls half of all heroin trafficked into the U.S. Freeing drug traffickers who profit from poisoning communities will only result in more deaths and shattered American families.
5) The bill would be a de-facto amnesty for illegal alien drug traffickers.
Nearly a quarter of all inmates in federal prison are non-citizens, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, most of which are Mexicans. Deportable alien drug traffickers would be permitted to roam American streets without worrying about deportation.
“[T]here is no requirement in the legislation that Immigration and Customs Enforcement take custody of a criminal alien who is released and remove them from the United States, even when their conviction by current law should result in their immediate removal under current law,” NumbersUSA objected, calling the reform efforts a “Trojan horse amnesty.” Why are the same Republicans who denounce Obama’s illegal, unilateral amnesty for millions of illegal aliens in the U.S. rushing to help Obama reward even more?
6) The Obama administration is already set to release tens of thousands of federal prisoners without Congress’s help.
Revised sentencing guidelines have already allowed the Obama administration to free 30,000 prisoners already, and according to Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton, the administration wants to release an additional 40,000.
“Some of those have gone on to commit heinous crimes,” Cotton said on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily. “That’s without any legislation … that’s just going to be inevitable given recidivism rates in our society, and ultimately, we’re now down to less than 200,000 prisoners in the federal system.”
The elite Republicans’ rollback agenda clashes with GOP nominee Donald Trump’s message of law and order, and Lee is up for re-election in 2016. Ryan faces a primary in August. It remains to be seen if Lee and other Republicans will continue to push Obama’s legacy legislation under a President Trump in defiance of voters — or help a President Clinton finish emptying out the federal prisons.