FL AG: Biden terminated an operation targeting illegal immigrant sex offenders – for ‘no reason’

WASHINGTON, DC — In the first month of his presidency, President Joe Biden made it a priority to cancel Operation Talon, which is run by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and targets illegal immigrants with sex crime convictions.

Now, 18 state attorney generals are urging Biden to reverse his cancellation of the ICE operation.

Last Thursday, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt wrote a six-page letter, which was addressed to Biden, Alejandro Mayorkas of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Acting Director Tae Johnson of ICE, and signed by 18 attorney generals. The letter stated in part:

“The undersigned Attorney General of 18 States write to express our grave concern about the recent report that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (‘ICE’) has cancelled Operation Talon, a nationwide operation targeting illegally present convicted sex offenders for removal from the United States.

“This ill-advised decision threatens to empower sexual predators to victimize women and children in America, and to exacerbate the tragic crises of sexual assault and sex trafficking among migrant and immigrant communities.

“We urge you to reconsider this decision and restore an aggressive enforcement policy against convicted sexual predators who are unlawfully present in the United States.”

Schmitt then provided shocking statistics on the “disturbingly large numbers of criminals with prior convictions for sexual crimes.” He wrote:

“According to data collected by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, during the period from October 2014 to May 2018, ICE arrested 19,752 illegal aliens with criminal convictions for whom the most serious prior conviction was a conviction for a sex-related offense.

“Among many other offenses, this included at 5,565 individuals who had been convicted of sexual assault;

4,910 who had been convicted of child molestation, sex offenses against children, or lewd acts with a minor;

1,724 convicted of rape by force or weapon; 675 convicted of exploiting children through sex performance or child pornography by image or video;

637 convicted of forcible sodomy offenses against minors; and 115 convicted of human slavery or trafficking.

“Other prior sex offenses included procurement of minors for prostitution, enticement of minors for indecent purposes, incest with minors, kidnapping adults and minors for purposes of sexual assault, sexual exploitation of minors by prostitution, sexual assault of disabled persons, drug-induced sexual assault, and sexual assault of the elderly, among many others.”

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Schmitt states the data he provided only captures the most serious prior conviction for each arrested alien, so it is highly probable that the statistics undercount “the actual number of illegal aliens arrested with prior convictions for sex-related crimes.”

For example, Schmitt points out:

“In this database, an illegal alien previously convicted of both murder and rape would be reported only as a murderer, not a rapist as well.

If these arrests are representative of the kinds of offenders Operation Talon would have targeted, allowing them to remain unlawfully in the United States is unconscionable, and the decision to cancel the operation is baffling.”

Schmitt stated an increasing number of illegal aliens are entering the United States after having been previously convicted of sexual offenses. He noted that 2017 data showed 1 percent of illegal aliens who were arrested by the U.S. Border Patrol had prior convictions for sexual offenses.

By 2020, the number rose to 6 percent. Schmitt wrote:

“In addition to failing to protect America’s children and other victims from sexual predation, canceling Operation Talon will have other vicious effects as well.

“The cancellation of this program effectively broadcasts to the world that the United States is now a sanctuary jurisdiction for sexual predators.”

Schmitt ended the letter by writing:

“We understand that ICE may have cancelled Operation Talon in response to the administration’s January 20, 2021 memo to the Department of Homeland Security calling for a stay of nearly all interior immigration enforcement.

“If so, this outcome demonstrates the deficiencies of a laissez-faire approach to the humanitarian crisis at our border, and within our borders.

“We urge you to immediately reinstate Operation Talon, adopt an aggressive enforcement policy against illegal aliens convicted of sex crimes, and send a message to sexual predators that they are not welcome in the United States of America.”

In addition to Schmitt, the letter was signed by: Steve Marshall (AL), Todd Rokita (IN), Leslie Rutledge (AR), Derek Schmidt (KS), Ashley Moody (FL), Daniel Jay Cameron (KY), Chris M. Carr (GA), Jeff Landry (LA), Lynn Fitch (MI), Jason R. Ravnsborg (SD), Austin Knudsen (MT), Ken Paxton (TX), Douglas J. Peterson (NE), Sean D. Reyes (UT), Mike Hunter (OK), Patrick Morrisey (WV) and Alan Wilson (SC).

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody appeared on Saturday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends” and said:

“We rely on the federal government to assist our local and state law enforcement and remove those that are lurking in our communities that are sexual predators and that are preying on our most vulnerable.

“And so, to have an administration, Joe Biden, cancel an operation that is focusing on sexual offenders in our country, as the attorney general of Florida certainly, but as a mother, it’s horrifying.”

Co-host Jedediah Bila asked Moody:

“Is there any reason you can see for why this operation would be removed or what the reasoning behind that would be?”

Moody replied:

“Absolutely none. I was a former federal prosecutor. Effective, targeted operations cross administrations.

“These operations help agents do their jobs, especially for states like Florida that rely on federal agencies and law enforcement to help them remove these dangerous people from our communities.

“There is no reason this operation should be canceled.”

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Author: G. Weg

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