The people we send to Washington DC do not represent the law-abiding American people. As we know they represent the moneyed interests, the folks with the cash, who often work through lobbyists, who bribe the elected officials into doing their bidding. We Americans presently have virtually no voice in what used to be our government.
One of the few voices that we do have is found in Senator Jeff Sessions. Illustrating just how far things have gone out of control, Senator Sessions published a warning on his Senate website Thursday, drawing attention to the dangerous revision to a criminal sentencing bill which has only made a bad bill worse. He wrote in part:
“The changes made to the criminal sentencing bill fail to fix the bill and leave us with legislation that still would release thousands of violent felons and endanger millions of Americans whose safety is increasingly threatened by rising crime rates. While visiting concern on prisoners is an important and valuable act, we must understand a core responsibility of the government is safety of the public. The wise approach is to slow down and evaluate the trends before accelerating prison population decline.
Since 2011, the federal prison population has decreased by over 20,000 (over 9 percent), bringing it to its lowest level since 2006. It will continue to decline by another 10,000 over the next year, bringing it to its lowest level since 2004. Drug prosecutions have dropped 21 percent since 2011. The Sentencing Commission recently ordered the release of 46,276 federal drug trafficking felons from federal prison, including those who carried semi-automatic weapons, participated in international heroin smuggling rings, and have violent criminal histories. And just last year, the Obama Administration released 90,000 criminal illegal aliens from custody.
Meanwhile, homicides in the 50 largest U.S. cities rose nearly 17 percent in 2015—the largest single-year increase since at least 1960. In medium-sized cities, violent crime increased 5.3 percent. The country is in the midst of a historic heroin epidemic where 120 people die each day from overdoses.
Federal drug and sentencing laws have already been considerably relaxed. Congress must examine the potential far-reaching consequences of what has occurred before going any further. It is counter-intuitive to further weaken penalties for drug traffickers, especially heroin traffickers, and to enable the release of several thousand more incarcerated drug and gun felons, particularly at this time.
Professor Matt DeLisi of Iowa State University testified before the Judiciary Committee that ‘releasing 1 percent of the current [federal prison] population would result in approximately 32,850 additional murders, rapes, robberies, aggravated assaults, burglaries, thefts, auto thefts, and incidents of arson.’ According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics 76.9 percent of drug offenders were re-arrested within 5 years (78 percent of possession offenders and 75 percent of trafficking offenders), with 25 percent of the recidivating offenses (for which they were arrested) being violent crimes. Under current policy and law, we will soon see a 20 percent decline in the prison population, which would mean an increase of over 600,000 serious crimes.
According to Gallup, Americans are more concerned about crime than they have been in 15 years. If ever there was a time to release more violent felons into our communities, it most certainly is not now. Passing this legislation would not only be unwise, it would be unsafe.”
He notes that “Despite assurances otherwise, the revised bill still shortens mandatory minimums for repeat drug traffickers, including those who carried a gun, and would allow for early release of those currently in federal prison.” He adds, “Moreover, this proposal would provide for leniency for illegal alien drug traffickers.”
He also notes, “The revised bill adds a provision to shorten mandatory minimums for drug traffickers who smuggle drugs into the U.S. by boat or submarine. These criminals have never been eligible for such leniency and are rarely if ever U.S. citizens. This provision has already been tagged as the “Scarface” provision. Attorney General Loretta Lynch recently testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that other than the Southern border, the majority of drugs come into the U.S. by maritime routes. According to a 2014 study, in 2012, 80 percent of all illegal drugs smuggled into the U.S. arrived by sea. To illustrate, just last month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection intercepted a submarine carrying 5.5 tons of cocaine worth more than $1.9 million.
The bill still provides leniency for illegal alien drug traffickers.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) union president Chris Crane wrote to Senate leaders in opposition to the legislation, noting that of the 6,600 BOP releases that occurred under prior sentencing guideline reductions, fully one-third were aliens. Just prior to this release, amnesty advocates sent a letter to the Administration urging that the criminal alien releases be made eligible for executive amnesty.
70,368 non-citizens (of whom more than 73 percent were Mexican nationals) “passed through Bureau of Prisons custody” in just the first three-quarters of FY2015. It is unknown whether they were transferred to ICE custody, or simply released onto the streets. Similarly, 77 percent of federal drug possession defendants and more than 25 percent of federal drug trafficking defendants convicted in FY2015 were non-citizens.
Many of these individuals are members of transnational gangs that wreak havoc on both sides of the border, as shown by Texas law enforcement professionals analyzing gang activities in the state in 2015.
Opposition to the bill includes:
National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys
Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association
FBI Agents Association
National Narcotics Officers Associations Coalition
National Sheriffs Association
National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council
Senator Sessions’ post can be read in its entirety on his Senate website here.
I’m Rick Wells – a constitutional conservative writer who recognizes that our nation, our Constitution and our traditions are under a full scale assault from multiple threats. I’m not PC; I call it like I see it. – “Like” him on Facebook, “Follow” him on Twitter. – Please SUBSCRIBE in the right sidebar at http://RickWells.us or http://constitutionrising.com to receive our posts directly. Thank You