How angry should we be with members of the House and Senate who don’t apologize to the American people now that San Francisco’s sanctuary city status is suddenly new news because of a murder? Public decision makers will frame what happened as a problem caused by the failure to pass sweeping immigration reform legislation. They will ignore the fact that efforts to clamp down on big city refusals to enforce federal law have been rejected for years, with predictable consequences. They will do nothing to fix the problem.
Sanctuary city problem celebrates our ignorance
In these lawless, politically twisted times being a sanctuary city is something city leaders boast about, in part because too many of us are dim-witted enough to believe propaganda about illegal aliens (see: Politicians Lie, So Why Do We Believe This?).
After Homeland Security’s John Morton helped Obama defile federal immigration law, Senator Jeff Sessions warned of our ignorance about what was happening:
Most Americans don’t fully understand the real effect of immigration policies. In reality, if a state law officer apprehends someone for speeding and discovers that he is illegally in the country, the result is that nothing happens. The individual is simply released.1
This would be fine with Illinois Representative Luis Gutierrez, who doesn’t believe that driving without a license and a legal reason to be in our country should result in an immigration detention (see: Washington Waves Its Backside In Our Faces Over Immigration). It may not be so fine with those of us without something to gain.
Nothing was done to stop the federal endorsement of lawlessness. Time passed. Now a woman is dead and Capitol Hill will gloss over the big picture and evade the fact that both parties, the president, and Homeland Security failed to protect the American people. San Francisco and every member of Congress who let this happen have a murder to account for. Their zeal to placate illegal aliens put American citizens last.
Legislation to deter sanctuary cities such as Congressman Marsha Blackburn’s 2007 CLEAR Act2 was proposed even before Obama took office. Since then we have had more calls to block sanctuary city funding with bills like 2012’s H.R. 5855. Now there is a new Republican proposal from Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton to withhold grant money, as reported by The Hill yesterday. Don’t hold your breath. We’ve been down this path too many times to get our hopes up.
Democrats benefit from doing stupid things, so we can’t place all the blame on them for permitting sanctuary cities to flourish. Even Republicans who lean liberal on immigration, like Marco Rubio, trounced Donald Trump for stating the truth about our favorite special interest’s lawlessness (see: Free Country Means You Had Better Agree, or Else). This refusal to respect federal law may not turn a city into a sanctuary, but it certainly makes the option a more attractive choice.
GOP should have tried harder to stop sanctuary abuses
Homeland Security’s most recent Yearbook of Immigration Statistics shows that nearly 200,000 criminal aliens were removed in 2013.3 Where did 146,298 of these criminals come from? Ask Trump. He got it right.
Republicans are too conflicted and afraid of causing offense to do anything serious about enforcement or cracking down on sanctuary city abuses. Boehner talked big last fall. Boehner did nothing. The few voices loudly opposing what is happening can’t compete with the noise from the left.
Secure Communities are out, sanctuary cities are here to stay
One of the “Champions of Change” showcased by the Obama administration decried the “black hole of detention” created by Secure Communities:
In practice, in New York City, we found that this made our communities feel less safe. Community members were afraid to approach police officers either to ask for help or report a crime for fear that any engagement with law enforcement could lead to detention. Victims of crimes were often swept up.
We decided that this was not the kind of city we wanted New York to be.
Other cities have made the same decision to go their own way. California’s attorney general declared in June 2014 that ICE immigration detainers did not have to be followed.5 Rahm Emanuel boasted that he wanted to make Chicago the most welcoming, immigrant-friendly city in the nation. Secure Communities became so unpopular that it was scrapped altogether and replaced with PEP, the Priority Enforcement Program. This grand plan to make us safer didn’t say no to sanctuary city abuses and didn’t stop a murder.
What’s the double standard? Ask Alabama, Arizona, and the police.
What happens when you teach that lawlessness is morally justified? You get what you ask for.
Our massive illegal alien problem produced policies that ignore the law and hope for the best while public figures convince the country to accept the undocumented with no conditions. It also created a double standard politicians benefit from and citizens pay for.
States discovered that when they try to enforce federal immigration laws Washington refuses to honor by creating their own they will be answered with lawsuits and, in Arizona’s case, threats of economic sanctions. When a sanctuary city ignores the law it goes unpunished. That’s a shameful double standard we are far too comfortable with.
While Donald Trump takes a beating at the hands of publicity-hungry illegal immigration enablers, the nation is still reeling from politicized police violence against persons of color. A handful of violent incidents turned us into a nation of racists while we were assured that 11 million illegal aliens are nothing to worry about.
That’s a double standard too, my friends, and one far too dangerous for us to accept.
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