Sanctuary Cities Must End

Sanctuary Cities are front and center in the news. President Trump has vowed to end them – on the other hand, several mayors from major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Philadelphia have promised to keep them. There is clearly a showdown coming. More on this later. Technically, “sanctuary cities” should be called “sanctuary jurisdictions” because they include not only cities, but counties and states as well. As the map shows, there are currently hundreds of sanctuary jurisdictions. For this discussion, we’ll use the phrase Sanctuary Cities.

Sanctuary jurisdictions as of March 2017
Source: Immigration and Customs Enforcement Data

What are Sanctuary Cities?

According to the Center for Immigration Studies, “these cities, counties, and states have laws, ordinances, regulations, resolutions, policies, or other practices that obstruct immigration enforcement and shield criminals from ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement)-either by refusing to or prohibiting agencies from complying with ICE detainers, imposing unreasonable conditions on detainer acceptance, denying ICE access to interview incarcerated aliens, or otherwise impeding communication or information exchanges between their personnel and federal immigration officers.”

Why the Sanctuary City Battle?

One of President Trump’s main themes during the campaign was his belief in the need for stronger immigration policy. Strategies for this include a southern border wall, extreme vetting of immigrants from terrorist countries, and ending Sanctuary Cities.

A recent survey by Harvard–Harris Poll revealed that 80% of voters believe that local authorities need to comply with the law by reporting to federal agents when they come into contact with the illegal immigrants. Yet in many, if not all of the Sanctuary Cities, mayors are not complying. The question is why not. And why is our President against Sanctuary Cities?

Last November, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel had this to say: “To all those who are, after Tuesday’s election, very nervous and filled with anxiety … you are safe in Chicago, you are secure in Chicago and you are supported in Chicago.” He added “Chicago has in the past been a sanctuary city. … It always will be a sanctuary city.” So let me get this straight Mr. Mayor- you promise to protect illegals, but at the same time you do nothing to protect the thousands of your citizens that have been shot (and hundreds killed) this year alone in Chicago. Hmmm….that’s messed up! I have another phrase for it, but I don’t drop F bombs in my writings.

Mayors are being defiant for one simple reason. They claim that Trump will deport ALL illegals based on his early campaign promise to create a “deportation force” that would throw out some 12 million illegals that reside in the U.S. However, the President has clearly backed off from that position. His focus is the deportation of illegal immigrants who have committed felonies and/ or have already been deported from and returned back to the U.S. Here’s Trump’s Executive Order regarding Sanctuary Cities. Within the Order, the Department of Homeland Security will create the Victims Of Immigration Crime Engagement office, or VOICE. “I have ordered the Department of Homeland Security to create an office to serve American victims,” Trump said Tuesday night. “We are providing a voice to those who have been ignored by our media, and silenced by special interests.” I was so happy when I heard this news.

Tragic Results

One heartbreaking story in particular has caused Sanctuary Cities to become a national debate- it involves Kate Steinle. Ms. Steinle was shot while walking with her father along San Francisco’s Pier 14 on July 1, 2015. She died in her Dad’s arms. Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez was the perpetrator. He is a Mexican national who’s been deported five times and is a seven-time convicted felon. He was released back on the streets of San Francisco just weeks before Steinle’s killing; this was solely due to the city’s refusal to hold suspects for immigration violations. Lopez Sanchez has pleaded not guilty and his lawyers have described the shooting as an accident with a stolen law enforcement gun. The trial was delayed until after the Presidential election, and is expected to begin soon.

During the campaign, Mr. Trump referred to Kate often- her death makes this issue very personal and it strengthens his case. In her honor, Kate’s Law has been re-introduced in Congress last week. The bill imposes a mandatory minimum five-year prison term on foreigners who re-enter the U.S. after being deported. The House passed the bill last year, but it died in a filibuster by Senate Democrats.

Kate Steinle (Courtesy of Nicole Ludwig)

Dozens of other families have suffered from crimes caused by illegals. Another sad case occurred last week in Maryland. Two students were charged with raping a 14-year-old girl in a Rockville High School bathroom. Jose Montano, 17, and Henry Sanchez-Milian, 18, recently entered the country from Guatemala and El Salvador. Sanchez is here illegally; Montano’s legal status is currently not known. ICE has lodged an immigration detainer against Sanchez, so ICE can take custody of him when he is released, but it is uncertain whether local law enforcement will allow it.

Maryland’s Republican Govenor Larry Hogan said this today: “I’m not sure I can give assurances that their children will be safe.” However, he did provide three assurances: Get to bottom of the case, end the sanctuary status of Montgomery County, and make the county’s school district more accountable.  As for the county’s decision not to cooperate with federal authorities in their hunt for illegal immigrants, Hogan noted: “That’s a big part of the problem.” Yet, less than a week after this crime, Maryland’s Democrat-controlled House voted 83-55 to make Maryland a sanctuary state! The White House blames this heinous crime on lax border and sanctuary policies.

What’s Next

President Trump is right in demanding that these rebel cities allow for immigration/law enforcement officials to arrest anyone who is here illegally and has committed a felony or has been deported. He may have to withhold federal funding from Sanctuary Cities in order to force immigration law compliance. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. Large cities like L.A. and New York could lose $1 billion in funds, which would be devastating. Hopefully these mayors will slip and fall on their heads. The result might cause a dose of common sense, and put Americans’ safety above politics. This local anarchy is insane and contemptible. Any officials that harbor these lawbreakers are not only forsaking public safety, but they will also have blood on their hands.

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