Crime is one of the arguments of choice for immigration critics. That’s why, when an undocumented person commits a felony, the crime is no longer deemed an individual’s act but a consequence of the supposed laxity of immigration laws.
This is the case with Mexican Luis Enrique Monroy Bracamontes. Alongside his wife, he is accused of killing two officers of the Sacramento County sheriff’s office and wounding another person during a series of shootings and kidnappings. They were taken into custody last Friday.
Shortly after, it was revealed that Monroy Bracamontes has a history of deportations and re-entries starting back in 1997, as well as weapons and drug-related arrests. In the past few years and until now, he had moved between Utah and California using fake names.
It is clear that Monroy Bustamante has a long career in crime that now includes a double homicide. If he is found guilty, he deserves to be processed to the full extent of the law for his deeds. However, his immigration status is irrelevant to his crimes.
Re-entry after deportation is common among people who have been deported and forced to leave their families in the U.S. It is also the main reason that people are expelled from the country when caught. The Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deported 444,000 people in the period between 2012 and 2013 for entering the U.S. This is the main reason for deportation.
Simultaneously, the U.S.-Mexico border is more guarded than ever. It has been reinforced with more border patrol and technology, but its length makes it virtually impossible to seal completely.
Unfortunately, one rotten apple is being used to denounce the dangers of an immigration law supposedly allowing criminals to enter the country, tarnishing the rest of the immigrants in the process.
This type of critique implies that someone is actually in favor of having an open border or of criminals themselves. That inference is misleading and self-serving.
We agree that immigration reform is necessary, that criminals should be punished, and that tragedies and the actions of individuals should not be manipulated for political purposes