Illegal Alien Crime and Consequences to Citizens

Article date: 
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
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The large numbers of criminal aliens in Oregon state prisons reflect the level of crimes committed by illegal aliens. This should be a major concern to the Governor and the State Legislature, at a time when budgets for vital services to citizens are being cut severely, and police and prison workers’ jobs are threatened.

According to the Oregon Department of Corrections Inmate Population Profile dated January 1, 2012, there were 13,937 prisoners incarcerated in Oregon state’s 14 prisons.

Not included in the Inmate Population Profile was data indicating there were 1,186 foreign nationals (criminal aliens) incarcerated in the state prison system.

All of these 1,186 criminal aliens had ICE detainers placed on them. ICE (U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement) is responsible for indentifying whether an inmate is a criminal alien or a domestic inmate. If an inmate is identified as being a criminal alien, at ICE’s request, the State prison places an "ICE detainer" on the inmate that directs prison officials to transfer custody to ICE following completion of the inmate’s sentence.

Criminal aliens made up approximately 8.51% of the January 1st prison population in Oregon’s state prisons.

David Olen Cross has been compiling statistics on criminal aliens in Oregon for several years now and regularly shares his work with OFIR. Cross now maintains his own website carrying crime reports, at The site includes Archives with reports for each month from August 2011 to date.

This OFIR report is based on Cross’ compilation of statistics for January 2012. The full report can be viewed on his website; it contains source references for all facts. Following are highlights from his January 2012 report.

From Jan. 1, 2007 to Jan. 1, 2012, there was a 15.48% increase in the number of criminal aliens in Oregon state prisons.

The counties with the most criminal aliens in state prisons as of Jan 1, 2012, were: Multnomah – 263; Marian – 262; Washington – 227; Clackamas – 83; Jackson – 52; Yamhill – 34; Linn – 25; Umatilla – 24; Polk - 20; Deschutes – 16; Malheur - 14.

What were the crimes committed by the incarcerated illegal aliens? Some of the most common were: sex abuses, 208; drug offenses, 175; rapes, 174; homicides, 142; assaults, 124; sodomies, 78; robberies, 76; kidnappings, 50.

From what countries did the imprisoned aliens come? Data is based on the prisoners’ self-declared countries of origin. Mexico was named by nearly 85%. Others named Central American countries, Canada, Cuba, Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam, Laos, and miscellaneous other countries.

Think of the costs to taxpayers for incarceration, housing, feeding, medical care, record-keeping, police and court costs, not to mention the pain and suffering of victims of the crimes.

An individual prisoner in the state prison system costs approximately $82.48 per day to incarcerate. The state’s incarceration cost for its 1,186 criminal alien prison population is over $35 million per year, of which less than $3 million is reimbursed by the federal government.

None of the preceding cost estimates includes the dollar amount for legal services (indigent defense), court costs, nor cost estimates to cover victim assistance.

Besides the illegal aliens in the state prisons, there are additional numbers held in county jails across Oregon. Thus the total number of illegal alien criminals incarcerated in all prisons within Oregon is larger than the figures for state prisons alone.

An unfortunate fact: the State of Oregon is not fully cooperating with federal authorities to fight crime committed by criminal aliens in Oregon.

An Oregon law, Oregon Revised Statute 181.850 (ORS 181.850), Section (1), prohibits Oregon law enforcement from asking immigration status of anyone residing in the State of Oregon "for the purpose of detecting or apprehending persons whose only violation of law is that they are persons of foreign citizenship present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws."

The next Oregon State Legislature legislative session should pass legislation like House Bill 2803 (HB 2803) offered during the 2011 legislative session that will rewrite ORS 181.850 to untie the hands of Oregon law enforcement, OSP, county sheriffs, and city police departments, and allow them to help ICE fight crime committed by criminal aliens in Oregon.

Oregonians should contact their Oregon State Senator and Representative serving in the Oregon State Legislature and ask them to reintroduce, support and pass legislation like HB 2803 during the next legislative session.