New federal immigration policies are endangering our nation’s communities by forcing the release of criminal aliens back into the community. These are the words of Jackson County, Texas, Sheriff Aj (Andy) Louderback, who appeared on the nationally syndicated Laura Ingraham Radio Show on Thursday.
Host Laura Ingraham had the Texas sheriff on her show to explain how “Immigration enforcement has been replaced across America with something called ‘PEP.’” The talk show host told the sheriff she wanted him to explain “how [the Priority Enforcement Program] endangers communities, rather than secures them, from the ravages of illegal immigration, illegal immigrant crime.”
The immediate past president of the Sheriff’s Association of Texas replied, that the congressionally-mandated program that governed how ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) dealt with criminal aliens, the prior “Secured Communities Program,” has now been replaced. The more aggressive 287(g) program has also been eliminated.
The sheriff said that a federal executive order was signed on January 15th that replaced the Secured Communities Program with PEP, the Priority Enforcement Program.
Ingraham asked the sheriff, “Tell us what that does. So why is that so bad? Sounds good – ‘priority enforcement,’ and they make it sound really good.”
“Imagine a government program where only this select class of criminal aliens, those are folks that are in this country illegally, and then commit crimes against persons or property in the United States. As Texas sheriffs, we are being forced under PEP … the real horror of it, is that it excludes tens of thousands of criminal aliens, folks who have committed crimes. They are no longer going to be picked up by ICE. So we are letting them out of our county jails across the nation.”
The sheriff continued, “So when we have a program like this, put on us by the federal government, where now our citizens, and of course, every week or so we are seeing where another murder has occurred by a criminal alien that has been left here in the United States. We are afraid, we just don’t have the information out to the general public about what the consequences of what the PEP does to our citizens.”
Ingraham also asked the sheriff whether any particular presidential candidate had “struck a cord” with him.
The sheriff answered that he liked the fact that Trump was raising the issue of illegal immigrant crimes, but added that he was not hearing much about PEP.
The talk show host said that we need a 48-hour detainer on illegals when they are wanted on immigration issues. She reiterated that now that the Secured Communities Program is gone, these illegal aliens cannot be held unless there is a final criminal conviction.
Louderback replied, “Correct, and agreed.” The sheriff also said he “would love to have conversations with any of the candidates, and about how [PEP] has gutted the immigration system in the United States on criminal aliens.”
The sheriff said it is important for people to understand that these criminal aliens are now able to stay in our country. He said, “The real horror of the PEP program is the exclusion of a huge number of folks who are in the country illegally and then commit crimes on top of that and now they are being left in the communities – period.”
He emphasized in particular, “The ability of them to now stay in our communities, essentially under 14 different areas of non-priority.”
Ingraham noted that there are staggering numbers of illegal aliens committing crimes in the country. She said these crimes are not just being committed in Texas and California, but also in northern Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Alabama, Minnesota, and other states.
The radio personality referred to a leaked DHS (Department of Homeland Security) document that shows there were 176,000 illegals who were convicted, then lawfully deported in 2014, and then they returned to the U.S.
She added that 104,000 convicted criminals were released in 2014 because the federal administration refused to deport them.
Ingraham said that Texas Senator Ted Cruz had held hearings on this issue.
“Essentially we have a system now that is so broken that to be a priority for the federal government to deport you, you have to be convicted, you either are going to be a terrorist, or you are going to be trafficking large amounts of narcotics. Everyone else is no longer really a priority,” Sheriff Louderback said.
He added, “And even those folks are not a priority if they fit into one of the ‘unless’ categories that the PEP covers.”
Breitbart Texas spoke with Sheriff Louderback following the radio show. The Sheriff said, “I know damn-well that Texans do not know that dangerous criminals are being released in the community, and I am pretty sure that the rest of the country does not know.”
He said there are 14 categories in the “unless” deportation exceptions within the PEP program.
He explained, “You can meet all the requirements to meet the priority removal standards for deportation – you are convicted of a crime, and you are a priority 1-2-3 for the PEP requirements, but then there are 14 exceptions that keep them from being deported.”
He said some of those exceptions include:
- The criminal conviction was a long time ago;
- There are “extenuating circumstances” involving the offense;
- The person is a witness;
- “Humanitarian issues” such as age, health, pregnancy, having a young child or seriously sick relative here, or you have community ties;
- The person has family living here;
- They are employed here.
The sheriff said that the exceptions under the PEP program are not exhaustive.
He explained that the executive order gives ICE ERO (Enforcement and Removal Operations) officers who are in control of the process, the authority to decide “who is going to be removed or not.” The sheriff added, “Now they have all they need, they have plenty of reasons to not remove someone.”
Breitbart News continues to write the consequences of the release of criminal aliens as illustrated through the crimes committed by illegal aliens in the country.
Breitbart California reported that the murderer of Kathryn Steinle in San Fransciso was a five-time deportee and seven-time convicted felon. Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez told a local ABC News affiliate that he came to San Francisco because he knew the sanctuary city would not hand him over to immigration officials. He also claimed that he was looking for jobs in the restaurant business, or in roofing, landscaping, or construction.
Breitbart Texas reported about Dan Golvach whose son was shot in the head and killed by an illegal alien while sitting in his car waiting for a light to change. His executioner, Victor Manuel Reyes, was a violent man who on the night of Spencer Golvach’s murder, went on a killing spree through the streets of Harris County (Houston), Texas. He killed two men, including 28-year-old Juan Garcia. Then he shot at another couple before he was shot to death by a deputy. Reyes had been deported a number of times after being convicted of crimes, including crimes of violence.
The grieving father told Breitbart Texas, “This is not incompetence on the fed’s part. This is deliberate. It is not that the federal government does not have funds, or that they are incompetent.”
Golvach continued, “The government is pretty invested in getting illegals here, they want to give them amnesty, and then you have this one-party system, this socialist utopia dreamworld that they are trying to develop here.”
Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as a prosecutor and associate judge in Texas. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2