One of Congressman Goodlatte’s favorite pursuits is an effort to link undocumented immigration (and Barack Obama’s allegedly lax attitude toward it) to criminal behavior.
Despite well-pubicized cases, there is no evidence that immigrants in the US, illegal or otherwise, commit crimes at a higher rate than native-born Americans– a fact which does not unduly trouble Goodlatte when it comes to fear-mongering.
When two immigrant teenagers at a high school in Rockville, Maryland, were charged with raping a 14-year-old classmate, Goodlatte was quick to exploit the case to stoke fear and prejudice. He squeezed out every ounce of political advantage he could. He posted on his website, on Twitter and on Facebook. He wrote to the secretary of Homeland Security effectively blaming the Obama administration for the alleged crime. He went on Fox News and did the same.
The Washington Post reported Friday:
Maryland prosecutors said they will drop rape and sex offense charges against two immigrant teens accused of attacking a 14-year-old classmate in a high school bathroom stall in a case that shocked local parents, attracted international and White House attention and stoked the debate about illegal crossings into the U.S.
Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy said at a press conference that “the original charges cannot be sustained and prosecution is untenable” because of “substantial inconsistencies” from witnesses.
In other words, there isn’t sufficient evidence that the crime even happened.
Rape is an awful crime, and those who commit it deserve to be punished no matter where they were born or how they entered the country. But using reported cases as a tool for political advantage does not contribute in the least to stopping it.