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Tuesday, May 28, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Group Seeks Info on Immigrants & Crime

WASHINGTON (CN) — An "immigration-reform" group sued the FBI and Bureau of Prison on Tuesday, seeking information it claims will show that the government undercounts crimes committed by undocumented immigrants.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) also sued the Office of Justice Programs in the federal FOIA complaint, seeking raw data from a Government Accountability Office report "relating to criminal aliens with arrests dating from August 1955 to April 2010."

FAIR says it submitted the FOIA request on behalf of Don Rosenberg, a resident of California ... [whose] son, Drew Rosenberg, was killed by an illegal alien in 2010."

In a statement announcing its lawsuit Wednesday, FAIR said: "That report, published in 2011 by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), attributed, at a minimum, over 20,000 killings of U.S. citizens and lawful residents to illegal aliens. Mr. Rosenberg's research indicates the figures are far higher."

A chart on page 27 of the GAO report, "Estimated Number and Percent of Criminal Alien Arrest Offenses by Type of Offense," estimates 25,064 arrests on homicide charges.

FAIR describes itself as a centrist, nonpartisan nonprofit that advocates for reduced levels of immigration.

The Southern Poverty Law Center describes it as an "extremist group" and its ideology as "anti-immigrant." Refugee support and policy organizations, some religiously affiliated, some not, also contested FAIR's depiction of itself, in interviews with Courthouse News.

FAIR says the defendants missed their deadline to respond to the FOIA request, so it sued, through the Immigration Reform Law Institute, which is FAIR's legal arm.

"The records we expect to receive in response to our suit we hope will raise public awareness regarding President Obama's no-borders policies and the burden placed on American families, like the Rosenbergs, families who've been forced to deal with the loss of a loved one," Immigration Reform Law Institute executive director Dale Wilcox said in a statement.

"Every crime illegal aliens commit in the U.S. was potentially preventable if the alien had been identified, apprehended, and removed before they victimized anyone."

The institute said in its statement Wednesday that Rosenberg found "statistical irregularities" in the Government Accountability Office Report, the raw data of which came from the Justice Department.

Julie Axelrod, the institute attorney who filed the complaint, said in an interview Wednesday that Rosenberg believes the government has suppressed the number of crimes committed by undocumented people, and that the lawsuit will shed light on the "actual amount."

The agencies have not yet responded to the lawsuit.

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