Missouri’s Eric Schmitt led a coalition of 18 state attorneys general to challenge the Biden administration to reverse its cancellation of Operation Talon.
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement operation removes convicted sex offenders who are illegally living in the United States.
Addressed to President Joe Biden, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and ICE Acting Director Tae Johnson, the letter argued that cancelling Operation Talon endangers American women and children.
Immigrant sexual predators would remain within the nation’s borders rather than be returned to their nation of origin.
“We’re working hard to fight human trafficking and sex crimes in South Carolina and allowing convicted sex offenders who are here illegally to remain in our country makes absolutely no sense,” said South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, a co-signer of the letter.
The concern expressed in the letter also extends to the message the cancelled policy sends internationally: “The cancellation of this program effectively broadcasts to the world that the United States is now a sanctuary jurisdiction for sexual predators. This message creates a perverse incentive for foreign sexual predators to seek to enter the United States illegally an assault more victims.”
According to a 2019 Polaris Project report cited in the letter, a critical risk also exists of human trafficking within migrant communities.
The group, which operates the National Human Trafficking Hotline, noted that “immigrants are extremely vulnerable to both sex and labor trafficking, in part as a direct result of their migration.”
“We urge you to immediately reinstate Operation Talon, adopt an aggressive enforcement policy against illegal aliens convicted of sex crimes, and send a message to sexual predators that they are not welcome in the United States of America,” the attorneys general pleaded.
Besides Missouri and South Carolina, the states whose attorney general has signed the letter are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.
The full text of the letter is available here.