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Committee hears illegal immigrants commit relatively few crimes

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH)  – Donald Trump says he wants to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico to stop rapists and murderers from entering this country.

State lawmakers learned Wednesday that illegal immigrants bring relatively little crime to Indiana.

A select committee in the state Senate is studying immigration issues and it heard from an IMPD captain. His testimony came as a surprise to many people in the room.

Capt. David Allender told lawmakers about a 2015 drug bust.

It involved a gang that was selling meth, heroin, and cocaine. Two of it’s members were illegal immigrants and police confiscated drugs and more than a million dollars.

It’s not uncommon, Allender said, for them to encounter drugs from Mexico.

“Most of the meth we get here, in fact about 85 percent according to the crime lab,” he said, “is produced in Mexico.”

But he also pointed out that illegal immigrants make up just over 2 percent of the state prison population.

“So it’s not a large percentage,” he said, “in fact, it’s underrepresented for the number of people that are here.”

And to the apparent surprise of committee chairman Mike Delph, Allender said that the law denying a drivers’  license to illegal immigrants is misguided.

“That hurt us as police officers,” said Capt. Allender.

He said any ID is better than no ID when solving crimes.

“You’re saying from a public safety standpoint and maybe even from a national security standpoint this might be a smart thing for the state of Indiana to consider. Is that accurate?” asked Delph. “Yes, sir,” was the answer.

So what about that 2015 drug bust and the fact that drugs and drug dealers came from Mexico?

Allender said the real problem is the drug customers.

“If we remove the illegals will we still have drugs?” he asked. “Probably.”