In another assault on public safety and commonsense, a national coalition of immigration enthusiasts is pushing “no-cash bail” policies to spring criminal aliens from local lockups.
The jailbreak is led by the Fair Punishment Project and two migrant-defense organizations that bemoan President Donald Trump’s “barbaric immigration policies.”
The group’s report – “The Promise of Sanctuary Cities and the Need for Criminal Justice Reforms in an Era of Mass Deportation” – never uses the term “illegal immigrants” in its 35 pages. Nor does it offer any evidence that America is in an era of mass deportation. But the study lumps illegal alien criminals in with garden-variety offenders who are, it is asserted, abused by the American criminal-justice system.
“The (cash bail) system keeps poor people in jail because they cannot pay,” the study states.
Obvious as that may be, the Fair Punishment Project argues that illegal immigrants charged with criminal offenses are entitled to a get-out-of-jail-free card. Why?
Because keeping them behind bars “makes many noncitizens sitting ducks for ICE.”
And the problem with that is?
The progressive-left’s campaign for reduced (or no) bail overreaches when it extends a free pass to criminal aliens who, by definition, pose a flight risk.
Putting up cash surety – with the amount contingent on the severity of the offense and the risk of flight – keeps dangerous individuals off the street. At minimum, money bonds incentivize defendants to show up in court.
Alternatively, more personal-recognizance releases strain law enforcement and increase costs with GPS tracking gear and added staff supervision, as Harris County (Houston) contends in an ongoing court challenge.
Fair Punishment’s report actually makes the case for setting cash bail.
“For localities that notify or otherwise cooperate with ICE, setting bail increases the likelihood that ICE will have time to issue a detainer,” the study acknowledges.
In the sanctuary city of Austin, Texas, newly elected District Attorney Margaret Moore intends to ask judges to raise the bail amounts for immigrant offenders to ensure they are not released before prosecution.
“ICE can simply wait until the individual finally walks out of jail,” Fair Punishment observes.