Crime Down in Harris County - Is 287g working?

US Border WatchThe Houston Police Department has issued a reports saying that there has been an overall decrease in violent crime in Houston during the first nine months of this year compared to last.  Some other major (non-violent) crimes are also down. This is good news for Houston and the residents of Harris County, Texas.

  • Murders are down 9.7 percent. 
  • Rapes are down 13.5 percent. 
  • Robberies are down 15.6 percent. 
  • Aggravated assaults are down 9.2 percent. 
  • Burglaries are down 0.6 percent. 
  • Thefts are down 1.6 percent. 
  • Auto thefts are down 13.6 percent.

Coincidentally, or maybe not, this report coincides with the second anniversary of the implementation by Harris County Sheriff's Department of the ICE 287g program.  287g is a federal program that partners local police agencies with the federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Agency to more effectively identify illegal aliens who have committed crimes and remove them from the country.

Harris County Sheriff's Department Lt. Michael Lindsay stated in the "Give Us Liberty" blog that approximately 900-1000 criminal illegal aliens are being identified by the program every month.  If accurate, that would extend out to nearly 24,000 criminals being identified as being in this country illegally and processed for deportation.

US Border Watch President, Curtis Collier asked, "Could it be that by actually removing over 20,000 criminals from the streets of this county and the United States, that crime has actually been reduced?" Collier continued, "Normally in a recession, crime increases, but here crime has gone down significantly. Would this be an indicator that the 287g program is doing exactly what it is supposed to be?  Is 287g reducing crime?"

Mayor Annise Parker ran on a campaign pledge to implement 287g in the Houston Police Department Jail.  In January, when she took office, I spoke before her and the City Council and asked her to live up to her promise.  She assured me (and the people of Houston) that as soon as her new police chief was appointed, she would follow through with this promise.  Instead, she opted to stay with the weaker "Secure Communities" program implemented by the previous mayor, Sanctuary City Bill White.

While this may have kept the program from being as successful as it could be, violent and major crime arrests are not bonded out from City Jail, but are processed to the Harris County Jail prior to bonding out. This puts them through the 287g process anyway. Illegal aliens committing more minor offenses could be bonded out and released back on the streets from the Houston City Jail.

So, the question is, if crime normally increases during a recession but it is going down in Houston, is that an indication that 287g works?  If so, let's roll it out in more cities across the country.

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