Would Katie Steinle still be alive if San Francisco were not a sanctuary city? We’ll never know the answer to that question.
But it is absolutely indisputable that Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, her accused killer, was not turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, as they had requested. Instead, the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department set him free.
So an illegal alien who had been convicted of seven different felonies, and who had actually been deported from this country on five separate occasions, was able to join the tourists strolling along the San Francisco waterfront. He is accused of shooting Steinle in the back as she walked along the Embarcadero with her dad.
Federal immigration authorities blame the local police for not keeping Lopez-Sanchez in custody, as they had requested, so they could pick him up and make sure he was deported. The San Francisco Sheriff’s Department says sorry, but it was simply obeying the decision by city officials to make San Francisco a sanctuary city for illegal aliens (or, as they like to say, “undocumented workers”).
There are more than 200 cities and communities that have proclaimed themselves sanctuary cities, meaning they have a declared policy of not cooperating with federal law enforcement officials on enforcing our immigration laws.
How do they get away with it? Simple. The Center for Immigration Studies pointed out:
Although federal regulations plainly require cooperation, the federal government has never sued nor sanctioned a sanctuary jurisdiction, nor denied federal funds.
Let me repeat that, so it’s unmistakably clear: Under Barack Obama, the Justice Department has never done anything to compel any of these entities to comply with the law. Our nation’s top law enforcement agency hasn’t sued; it hasn’t tried to withhold federal funds; it has done absolutely nothing to force these “sanctuary cities” to comply with our immigration laws.
As a result, there are untold numbers of illegal aliens in this country, many of whom have already been convicted of other crimes, who are confident they are safe from deportation. What an absurd — and dangerous! — situation.
In a new report, the Center for Immigration Studies said that “more than 8,000 criminal alien offenders” have been set free by sanctuary cities in an eight-month period, despite requests by ICE that they be turned over for deportation.
Jessica M. Vaughan, the author of the report, is the director of policy studies for the organization. She said the information her agency received under Freedom of Information Act requests reveals that a total of 17,000 detainers (“criminal aliens”) have been released from custody. Of that number, she said: “1,867 offenders who were released and subsequently re-offended were arrested 4,298 times during the eight-month period covered by the study. They accumulated 7,491 new charges in total, after their release.”
Defenders of the sanctuary city policies say that too often, immigration officials were rounding up illegal immigrants who had committed no other criminal offenses, but were hard-working people who made a positive contribution to their families and their communities.
ICE said this may have been true in the past, but it isn’t now. According to ICE, 85 percent of the people it deported last year had a criminal conviction on their record. ICE said it focuses its efforts on illegal aliens who are members of gangs, have extensive criminal histories or otherwise pose a threat to national security.
Who on Earth would want to give these people sanctuary in their community?
Well, apparently a lot of them. As I said above, over 200 communities, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Miami, New York City and Washington, D.C., have declared themselves sanctuary cities.
You won’t find any cities in Georgia on the list. That’s because six years ago, the state Legislature passed a bill, which was signed into law by Gov. Sonny Perdue, that prohibited any municipality in the state from declaring itself a sanctuary city.
In a 2011 poll, Rasmussen Reports said that 59 percent of the people it surveyed supported measures to curtail federal funding of sanctuary cities. And 58 percent wanted the Justice Department to initiate action to force compliance. I’ll bet those figures would be even higher today — but not among liberal Democrats.
After the Steinle was killed, Hillary Clinton’s campaign released a statement saying the candidate “believes that sanctuary cities can help further public safety, and she has defended those policies going back years.”
This is no surprise, since Hillary has been moving sharply left for months. But it means there is yet another issue on which voters will have a clear-cut choice next November.
In the meantime, how many more Americans will be raped, beaten, robbed and even murdered by criminals who should have been deported before they could commit more crimes?
Until next time, keep some powder dry.
Chip Wood was the first news editor of The Review of the News and also wrote for American Opinion, our two predecessor publications. He is now the geopolitical editor of Personal Liberty Digest. This article first appeared on PersonalLiberty.com and has been reprinted with permission.