There was a time when residents of El Paso, Texas, felt unsafe. Property crime plagued the city. Thousands of times a year illegal aliens would steal cars and drive them back across the southern border before law enforcement had the time to react. Virtually any property of any size left outside the home was fair game for illegal border crossers.
“They couldn’t leave stuff out like lawn chairs or garden hoses or anything of any value because it would be carted into Mexico,” said Silvestre Reyes, a former Democratic congressman and Border Patrol chief.
Things changed when a border fence was built in 2008, and the situation began to improve. After reviewing El Paso Police Department (EPPD) crime data, KFOX14 reported that the city saw auto thefts decline from more than 2,700 in 2008 to about 1,900 in 2009. By 2017, that number had fallen to only 800.
In addition to auto thefts, the local Fox affiliate stated that other crimes were down as well.
- Burglary cases decreased from about 2,100 in 2008 to just 1,300 in 2017.
- Theft cases also dwindled from about 14,900 to 10,400 in the same time period.
- And this is despite the population of El Paso increasing by 70,000 in those years.
Property crimes had already decreased from the early 1990s after more Border Patrol agents were deployed in Operation Hold the Line. However, a fence provided the extra border security essential to protecting the city’s residents. Who knew a wall could halt most attempts to drive stolen cars back to Mexico?
In addition, these declining crime statistics appear to prove the same point made in a new study from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). The research showed that illegal aliens were 60 percent more likely to commit crimes in Texas than legal residents. Considering auto thefts immediately fell as soon as the fence was constructed, illegal aliens were probably committing more than their fair share of the crimes.
And if a barrier has the potential to reduce crime in El Paso, it can probably produce the same results in other localities. Congress has no plausible excuse to ignore that walls work at this point. It’s time to secure our southern border and protect the American people.