Researcher estimates more than 100 offenders crossing border daily
Posted: May 31, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern
"Based on a one-year in-depth study, a researcher estimates there are about 240,000 illegal immigrant sex offenders in the United States who have had an average of four victims each.
Deborah Schurman-Kauflin of the Violent Crimes Institute in Atlanta analyzed 1,500 cases from January 1999 through April 2006 that included serial rapes, serial murders, sexual homicides and child molestation committed by illegal immigrants.
She found that while the offenders were located in 36 states, most were in states with the highest numbers of illegal immigrants. California had the most offenders, followed by Texas, Arizona, New Jersey, New York and Florida.
Schurman-Kauflin concluded that, based on a figure of 12 million illegal immigrants and the fact that more of this population is male than average, sex offenders among illegals make up a higher percentage than offenders in the general population.
She arrives at the figure of 240,000 offenders – a conservative estimate, she says – through public records showing about 2 percent of illegals apprehended are sex offenders.
"This translates to 93 sex offenders and 12 serial sexual offenders coming across U.S. borders illegally per day," she says.
She points out the 1,500 offenders in her study had a total of 5,999 victims, and each sex offender averaged four victims.
"This places the estimate for victimization numbers around 960,000 for the 88 months examined in this study," she declares.
Schurman-Kauflin breaks down the 1,500 cases reviewed this way:
- 525, or 35 percent, were child molestations
- 358, or 24 percent, were rapes
- 617, or 41 percent, were sexual homicides and serial murders
Of the child molestations, 47 percent of the victims were Hispanic, 36 percent Caucasian, 8 percent Asian, 6 percent African American and 3 percent other nationalities.
In 82 percent of the cases, she noted, the victims were known to their attackers.
"In those instances, the illegal immigrants typically gained access to the victims after having worked as a day laborer at or near the victims' homes," she says. "Victims ranged in age from 1 year old to 13 years old, with the average age being 6."
In her examination of the sex-related homicides, Schurman-Kauflin found the most common method was for an offender to break into a residence and ambush his victims.
Not only were victims raped, she said, but some – 6 percent – were mutilated.
"The crime scenes were very bloody, expressing intense, angry perpetrator personalities," she said. "Specifically, most victims were blitzed, rendered incapable of fighting back, and then raped and murdered. The most common method of killing was bludgeoning, followed by stabbing."
She found it especially disturbing that in 22 percent of all sex crimes committed by illegal immigrants, victims with physical and mental disabilities were targeted.
The highest number of sex offenders, according to the study, came from Mexico. El Salvador was the original home to the next highest number. Other countries of origin included Brazil, China, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Russia, and Vietnam.
Nearly 63 percent of the offenders had been deported on another offense prior to the sex crime, the study showed. There was an average of three years of committing crimes such as DUI, assault or drug related offenses prior to being apprehended for a sexual offense.
In 81 percent of cases, offenders were drinking or using drugs prior to offending. Rapists and killers were more likely to use alcohol and drugs consistently than child molesters.
Only about 25 percent of offenders were found to have been stable within a community. In 31 percent of the crimes, the offenders entered into the communities where they offended within two months of the commission of their sex offenses.
But many, 79 percent, had been in the U.S. for more than one year before being arrested for a sex crime. They typically were known to the criminal justice system for prior, less serious offenses before they molested, raped or murdered, the study said.
Schurman-Kauflin concludes illegal immigrants gradually commit worse crimes and are continually released back into society or deported.
"Those who were deported simply returned illegally again," she says.
She points out that only 2 percent of the offenders in her study had no history of criminal behavior, beyond crossing the border illegally.
"There is a clear pattern of criminal escalation," she said. "