Easy Visas and Lax Prosecution Make California a ‘Crime Tourism’ Destination

No immigration enforcement has met no law enforcement in California. And just like that, a new industry has been spawned: Crime tourism.

Under the Biden administration not only aren’t our borders being enforced, but it has become even easier to obtain all kinds of visas to the United States, even for people who should clearly be denied. Under the current political leadership in California, particularly in large cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, many theft and property crimes are either ignored by law enforcement or dismissed by permissive district attorneys like George Gascon and Chesa Boudin.

While COVID, crime, homelessness, and streets littered with needles have put a crimp in San Francisco’s once flourishing tourism industry, a local TV station reports that a new kind of tourist is taken the place of those who used to come to see the Golden Gate Bridge, or ride the cable cars. These new tourists, coming mainly from South America, are flocking to the Bay Area and other affluent California communities to burglarize luxury homes.

“This is crime tourism. They’re coming here for the purpose of targeting neighborhoods,” Cmdr. Erik Buschow with the Ventura Sheriff’s Office, told KGO-TV. “Specifically vehicles, homes. Not violent crimes, but they’re going after the big bucks.”

The phenomenon has become so prevalent that it even has its own acronym. “Police believe South American Theft Groups (SATG) often enter the country legally and rotate members out of the country in a matter of weeks,” reports another San Francisco news outlet, KPIX-TV.

California voters may finally have had enough of anti-law enforcement law enforcement officials. Efforts are afoot in San Francisco (perhaps the Wokest place on earth) to recall D.A. Boudin, on the heels of a successful recall of three school board members who were more interested in renaming schools than actually getting kids back into them. Similarly, Los Angeles County voters are on track to put a petition to recall D.A. Gascon on the ballot.

Getting the federal government to tighten up on issuing visas to people whose purpose for coming to the United States is to burglarize luxury homes is a bit more challenging. The Biden administration has made it abundantly clear that scrutinizing visa applicants and removing all but the most violent criminals is simply not a priority.

About Author


Ira joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 1986 with experience as a journalist, professor of journalism, special assistant to Gov. Richard Lamm (Colorado), and press secretary of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. His columns have appeared in National Review, LA Times, NY Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and more. He is an experienced TV and radio commentator.

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