CHARLESTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) – West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has joined an 18-state coalition urging President Joe Biden and administration officials to reverse a last-minute cancellation of Operation Talon. It is a nationwide initiative that focused on removing illegally present convicted sex offenders from the United States.
“This ill-advised decision threatens to empower sexual predators to victimize women and children in America, and to exacerbate the tragic crises of sexual assault and sex trafficking among migrant and immigrant communities,” the attorneys general wrote. “We urge you to reconsider this decision and restore an aggressive enforcement policy against convicted sexual predators who are unlawfully present in the United States.”
The letter cites a prior study showing from October 2014 to May 2018 that Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 19,752 unlawful immigrants with whom their most serious prior conviction was a sex-related offense.
The attorneys general argue canceling Operation Talon would send a message that the United States is a sanctuary for sexual predators, thus endangering potential victims and incentivizing unlawful entry by others convicted of less heinous offenses by indicating robust enforcement would be unlikely.
The attorneys general further contend human trafficking and sexual assault are major issues in the immigrant and migrant communities, especially at the borders. Their letter cites the Polaris Project in arguing a large portion of victims of sex and/or labor trafficking were foreign nationals, not U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.
West Virginia joined the Missouri-led letter with attorneys general from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas and Utah.