The Illegal Alien Continuum of Crime

Corporal Ronil Singh, a police officer with the with the City of Newman California Police Department, was recently murdered during a routine stop of a suspected drunk driver. Cpl. Singh was a lawful immigrant from Fiji who sought a career serving his adopted community as a law enforcement officer. And, through hard work and determination, he achieved his American dream.

Gustavo Perez Arriaga, the man accused of killing Cpl. Singh, was an illegal alien. He was also a suspected member of the vicious Sureños street gang, known for murder, extortion, kidnapping, drug smuggling and human trafficking.

There has been a significant amount of commentary on the contrast between Singh and Arriaga. However, that type of coverage misses the fundamental point: Unlike Singh, Arriaga began his relationship with the United States by breaking our laws, and that pattern continued unabated throughout his time in our country.

That makes this case is more than just a study in contrasts or a cautionary tale about poor life choices. It’s an object lesson in how most popular notions about illegal aliens and crime are terminally flawed. And a searing indictment of everything that is wrong and misguided about sanctuary policies.

The mainstream media regularly claims that illegal aliens have a lower rate of criminality than average Americans. It also portrays them as unequivocally beneficial forces, who are harder working than their native-born counterparts. Ann Coulter has poignantly referred to this tendency as, “the civic religion of treating every non-American as better than an American – a potential valedictorian, Medal of Honor winner and Nobel Prize recipient.”

Of course, that clearly wasn’t the case when it came to Perez Arriaga’s friends and family. Seven of Perez Arriaga’s associates are now facing charges for allegedly helping him attempt to flee prosecution. And all of them are also illegal aliens.

California became a sanctuary state in order to encourage illegal aliens to cooperate with law enforcement, unencumbered by the fear of deportation. Nevertheless, not a single one of Perez Arriaga’s unlawfully present associates felt compelled to inform police that they knew where he was. Instead, they actively aided and abetted his attempts to flee to Mexico.

Aside from trespassing in the United States, illegal aliens regularly commit a host of other serious crimes – ranging from identity fraud to tax evasion – in order to conceal their unlawful presence and work without authorization. Studies have repeatedly shown that the tolerance of minor crime within a given community inevitably gives rise to more significant criminal acts. In fact, that notion is the basis for the “broken windows policing” strategies that have proven effective in many urban areas.

As Perez Arriaga and his cohorts clearly demonstrate, when local authorities repeatedly tell foreign nationals there are no consequences for breaking immigration laws, it can set off a continuum of crime that begins with jumping the border and may end with much more serious offenses.

Therefore, it is a complete mystery when state and local legislators seem to think that they can turn a blind eye to immigration violations and still keep their communities safe. Had California authorities been actively cooperating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, it is likely that Perez Arriaga wouldn’t have been here to shoot Cpl. Singh. And his morally-challenged friends and relatives wouldn’t have been here to help him try and escape to Mexico.

Adam Christianson, the sheriff of Stanislaus County where Newman is located, acknowledged this fact. He said in reference to Perez Arriaga, “”This is a criminal illegal alien with prior criminal activity that should have been reported to ICE. Law enforcement was prohibited because of sanctuary laws and that led to the encounter with Officer Singh.”

But California’s state and local legislators seem to prefer utopian fantasies about open borders to the safety and security that come with reasonable notions of law and order. Unfortunately, Cpl. Ronil Singh was forced to pay the unacceptably high price that comes with their brand of California dreamin’.


About Author


Matthew J. O’Brien joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 2016. Matt is responsible for managing FAIR’s research activities. He also writes content for FAIR’s website and publications. Over the past twenty years he has held a wide variety of positions focusing on immigration issues, both in government and in the private sector. Immediately prior to joining FAIR Matt served as the Chief of the National Security Division (NSD) within the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate (FDNS) at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), where he was responsible for formulating and implementing procedures to protect the legal immigration system from terrorists, foreign intelligence operatives, and other national security threats. He has also held positions as the Chief of the FDNS Policy and Program Development Unit, as the Chief of the FDNS EB-5 Division, as Assistant Chief Counsel with U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement, as a Senior Advisor to the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman, and as a District Adjudications Officer with the legacy Immigration & Naturalization Service. In addition, Matt has extensive experience as a private bar attorney. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in French from the Johns Hopkins University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Maine School of Law.


  1. avatar

    4 Newly minted sheriffs in NC covering all major cities in the state, mind you, flipped long held republican seats to Democratic. This state VOTED TRUMP! Day 1 of swearing in, Charlotte (Mecklinburg Sheriff) stopped ICE cooperation. Wake County Sheriff covering Raleigh, just fired nearly 40 employees and released 16 inmates and also stopped ICE cooperation DAY 1. Across the state in Greensboro/High Point Cities, Guilford County Sheriff just fired 30 and Winston Salem Forsyth County Sheriff, retired FBI, has not made changes YET. Jan 2, 2019 Wake County Fraternal Order of Police – Press Statement released, the new Sheriff ignored programs they fund to help community – taking kids Christmas gifts, etc… As far as I can see from this pattern, the only GOOD Sheriff still left in this state is Sheriff Sam Page of Rockingham County, who went to House Judiciary in 2011 to report on Secure Communities Program and then went back in Sept. with 50 other Sheriffs to urge Congress to fund wall. I cannot find if the executive order that Trump re instated this Secure Communities Program that Obama had ended for a few years extended past 2017. Ice website last updated on this 3/2018 on this program. It is under a new name. I’m assuming this is the program these Sheriff’s are ending cooperation with ? I should add that our Dem Gov that took nearly 30 days to select after the 2016 election (cheat) under NO VOTER ID required, recently tried to veto the amendment voters voted on and WON at midterms to enact VOTER ID again- LUCKILY and with incessant praying, the House over rode his veto. There is a strategic plan across this state,county by county! Election fraud in District 9 involving Harris is a farce! They are corrupt at the NCSBE is corrupt! SURPRISE SURPRISE! Harvesting ballots is the Democratic way, they are just getting this story out to blame Republicans! BET ON IT!! We are under attack here in NC. Sheriff Sam page said it best in a recent article, in Fiscal 2018, 400,000 illegals crossed border, within 3 days crime is here in NC, high profile gangs arrested for drugs & trafficking. (Search Judicial site!) We are the HUB for the Southeast here in NC with route 95/40. Just had another trafficking bust in Wake County reported today!

  2. avatar
    John Kostrubal on

    The Democrats are part of the UN Agenda 2030 . The only nation that stands in their way is America .By supporting illegal immigration, the Democrats are transforming our nation into a One Party Socialist cesspool . The Democrats actions are destroying our sovereignty , our way of life and the very lives of Americans . The Pro-amnesty, open borders politicians could care less .

  3. avatar

    While Democrats celebrated Nancy Pelosi as speaker of the House, the California families of Officer Singh and Kate Steinle, murdered by a five times deported illegal drug dealer turned loose on the streets of San Francisco without contacting ICE, will be without their loved ones forever. It’s no stretch to say that liberals are responsible for both their deaths and others. The worst part is that when these feckless idiots have ruined their own states, California, Illinois, New York, all of which have outflows from their big cities, then they run to nearby red states and spread their lawlessness and high taxes there.

    It was the height of irony for former Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid to call Trump a liar. Reid was just 20 years ago calling for an end to birthright citizenship. Reid falsely said during the 2012 election that Romney “paid no taxes”. Challenged after the election by a reporter his response was well he lost didn’t he. Of course, milquetoast Romney, now attacking Trump, never said a word when the media cast him as “anti-woman” because during the debates he used the term “binders full of women”, when he was clearly saying that when he won the governorship of Massachusetts he asked for information on women who he might appoint to his administration. Romney didn’t have the goodies to call it fake news.