By now we’ve all seen the video of the migrant attack on two NYPD officers in Times Square. Coupled with the footage of the accused flipping off their adopted nation and their subsequent flight from New York, the incident feels like a watershed moment.
It’s New York’s bad luck to now stand as proxy for all American cities that have adopted the progressive approach on crime and immigration – so leaders here are predictably in cleanup mode.
First among them is Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. Now that at least six of the accused are firmly in the wind, Bragg is claiming that his office released the arrestees in order to “investigate further.” Bragg then shifted the onus to his constituents: “In a court of law, our profound obligation is to make sure we have the right people charged with the right crimes. I don’t think New Yorkers want to charge the wrong person.”
This excuse is every bit as nonsensical as it sounds. The legal standard for bail in New York is not “the need to investigate further.” It is whether the defendant is likely to show up at the next court date. Period. That’s it.
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How could any sentient human being believe these defendants would return for their next court date? Facing felonies, with no ties to the community, and with their nearest family ties likely in Caracas?
As Bragg well knows, serious cases are almost always investigated to some degree post-arrest. Given the likely flight risk, the issue should have been irrelevant to granting bail here. And bail would have at least kept these violent offenders off the streets.
Further, if Bragg’s office was so unsure they “had the right people” – how was there probable cause to charge them in the first place?
Bragg’s office did not even ask for release conditions requiring the defendants to remain in New York. One is therefore left with a discomfiting conclusion: the DA was OK with these defendants remaining unapprehended and unprosecuted.
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Then there’s New York mayor and ex-cop Eric Adams, who ran on a platform of restoring safety in New York City. But faced with taking any concrete action – such as revisiting New York’s “sanctuary city” status with the City Council, and thereby allowing the city’s law enforcement to cooperate with ICE – he seems to have entered the Witness Protection Program.
Next is Gov. Kathy Hochul, who has abetted much of the pandering criminal justice reform that has so denigrated quality of life across New York state. Hochul is now claiming that deporting the defendants is something that “should be looked at.”
Keep looking, Governor. Because as a state-level official, you know you have no authority to deport anyone. But maybe you could rescind your predecessor’s executive order prohibiting state agencies from working with ICE? Or revisit the law you signed in 2021 making it a crime to even threaten to report someone to ICE?
Didn’t think so.
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And finally, we come to President Biden. Let’s forego the roughly 90 Trump-era border initiatives Biden revoked upon taking office. Consider instead his capabilities now, as he demands legislation and more money from Congress.
He could by executive order simply reinstitute Remain In Mexico, perhaps the simplest and most effective southern border measure we’ve had.
Or he could invoke this measure, as per the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website, specifically regarding Venezuelan migrants:
“DHS may also decide to terminate your parole at its discretion for other reasons, such as violating any laws of the United States…. If you stay in the United States after your parole expires, officials who encounter you may refer you to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for immigration proceedings.”
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In other words, Joe Biden, at his “discretion,” could simply order these defendants tossed.
So why do we know he won’t? Even if he wants to?
For the reason that underlies the behavior of all the above poseurs: Because Venezuela won’t take them back. And we don’t have the leverage or diplomatic relations to force them to.
No, these defendants – and alas, probably many more like them who’ve been emptied out of prisons in Venezuela and elsewhere – are here on a one-way ticket.
Meaning that even if any or all of the above leaders were to somehow see the light and alter course, it’s too late to undo the damage. The extent of which won’t be known for years to come.
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