Donald Trump is correct about the criminal element of illegal immigrants crossing into the United States, says Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies.
"He was certainly right that not everybody who's coming here is a harmless individual," Vaughan said Wednesday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
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"There are very significant crime problems and security issues associated with the border that's not secure."
The billionaire developer, who is seeking the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, continues to be under fire for comments about border security made as he kicked off his campaign last month.
"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people," Trump said.
Vaughan is laying blame on the White House for the border security problems.
"We do not have adequate immigration enforcement in the interior, which is largely because of Obama administration policies," she said.
According to U.S. Sentencing Commission data obtained by Breitbart News
, while illegal immigrants account for about 3.5 percent of the U.S population, they represented 36.7 percent of federal sentences in 2014 following criminal convictions.
"There can be no doubt that the people who are coming here illegally are not necessarily all just innocent busboys and grandmothers coming to escape persecution," Vaughan told Steve Malzberg.
"While my research has found that immigrants are neither more nor less likely to commit crimes than anybody else, what we have found is that there's certain types of crime that are most definitely connected to illegal immigration and certain types of crime problems that are disproportionately associated with illegal immigration.
"And those are going to be the drug crimes, anything gang activity, identity theft, certainly smuggling and anything that has a nexus to the border or is done to facilitate someone's illegal status or associated with cross border drug trafficking."
Vaughan's group is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit, research organization providing immigration policymakers, academics, the media, and concerned citizens with information about the social, economic, environmental, security, and fiscal consequences of legal and illegal immigration into the U.S.
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