Response to another letter writer

To Gilbert Mendez, from Sebastian and from Stephen F. Austin State University, hello. I do not question your intent.

Clearly, you have a good heart as do many others who will agree with you. I am second to none in my admiration for those of whom you write.

As a young boy, I worked in the fields next to Braceros (who were here legally) and alongside illegal aliens who were here as you say, trying to better themselves and their families.

They were all good people. If those people were the ones coming in today, I would probably be saying what you are saying. The truth, though, is that those coming in today include many, many who are far from desirable.

Please check out the GAO Report 17-187, published March, 2011; it is available for viewing on the internet. GAO stands for the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of the United States Congress. When the Congress gives it an order to investigate something, they do it and report back.

This report deals exclusively with illegal aliens who are incarcerated, why they are incarcerated, and the costs to the Government for that incarceration.

This report covers the period FY Year 2003 to 2009. The federal government pays for all costs for all criminal illegal aliens in federal prisons. It also partially reimburses states and localities though the Department of Justice.

Specifically, the DOJ has an element in its organization called State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAF) which does the reimbursements.

These report covers the period 2003 through 2009. I will pick up only some numbers for the year 2008. Think on the following items:

a. In the year 2008, there were about 5000 criminal illegal aliens covered by SCAAP in state prisons and localities in New York state, 50 percent were convicted for homicide and drugs. Page 46 b. In 2008, SCAAP illegal alien criminals numbered about 10,000 in Texas. Of these, about 50 percent were in for drugs, sex offenses and assault, 9 percent were there for homicide.

Homicide covers murder and manslaughter. The number above indicates there were some 900 murders committed in Texas alone by illegal aliens in one year. Compare that with some 530 or so people killed in mass shootings in the entire US since 1979. Where is the uproar?

Page 47 c. In 2008, there were some 27,000 SCAAP criminal illegal aliens in California prisons. Some 50 percent of these were for drugs, assault, and drug offenses. Some 8 percent were for homicide, 8 percent of 27,000 = 2,160. Imagine that. 2,160 murderers in one of our states in one year. All of them illegal aliens. Page 41 d. In Florida, there were about 25,000 criminal illegal aliens incarcerated. About 50 percent of them were convicted for drug offenses, sex offenses, burglary and robbery.

About 8 percent were for homicide. That translates to 2000 murderers. Page 43 Please note that I reported only numbers out of four states. As of 2010, not all numbers were in. There were 55,000 illegal aliens in federal prisons. As of the end of 2009, there were 296,000 illegal aliens incarcerated in state prisons and localities.

Please check out this report. It really is available. You will be astounded to learn that these illegal aliens in our prison systems are costing our government between $1.5 to $1.6 billion annually. This information is in the Highlights page right before Page 1.

Of course not all illegal aliens are criminals! But how many burglars, thieves, murderers and rapists are you really willing to “let” into this country just to get some really good illegal aliens who want a better life?

By the way, the moment they enter this country without proper documentation, they will have already committed a crime.

Guillermo Barrientes, Harlingen