Federal law currently allows 675,000 legal immigrants each year, and Congress and the president can set an additional number for special refugees. Some 40,000 federal agents are paid to enforce these laws, but once again Americans are not getting what they pay for, for there are an estimated 11.7 million illegal immigrants now residing in America (up from 8.5 million in 2000).156
Significant problems have been created by many from within this group. For example, noncitizens make up 8.6 percent of the adult population but 26.4 percent of the federal prison inmates and 25 percent of drug offenders.158 Additionally, in 2013 alone Immigration and Customs Enforcement released 36,007 detained criminal illegal immigrants back into the country, including some 200 murderers, 400 rapists, 300 kidnappers as well as 16,000 convicted of DUI, 2,700 convicted of assault, 1,300 of domestic violence, and 1,300 of battery. All told, those illegals released back into the community had been responsible for 88,000 crimes.160
In addition to the societal costs associated with crimes committed by illegals, there are other major economic consequences. For example, many illegal immigrants openly participate in government benefit programs, and the average illegal immigrant household receives $14,387 more in benefits than it pays in taxes.
The Bible warns, “When a crime is not punished quickly, people feel it is safe to do wrong” (Eccles. 8:11). When the government refuses to enforce laws, it encourages more individuals to break the law and to do so on a more frequent basis. Laws should be enforced or they should be changed or repealed, but they should not be ignored.
George Barna and David Barton, U-Turn: Reversing America’s March toward Spiritual Destruction (Lake Mary, FL: Charisma House, 2014).