by Joseph Klein
City governments vow to protect even violent predators in defiance of Trump administration.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned on Monday that sanctuary jurisdictions risked losing federal grants if they persisted in obstructing the enforcement of federal immigration laws. Billions of dollars in federal law enforcement funding are at stake. “I urge the nation’s states and cities to carefully consider the harm they are doing to their citizens by refusing to enforce our immigration laws,” Attorney General Sessions said. "Countless Americans would be alive today and countless loved ones would not be grieving today if these policies of sanctuary cities were ended."
Instead of heeding the Attorney General’s sound advice and taking care of their own citizens, city officials around the country are planning to sabotage federal law enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws.
“We are going to become this administration's worst nightmare,” said New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. On the same day that Attorney General Sessions issued his warning, she hosted a meeting with like-minded officials from other sanctuary cities, including San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, Chicago, and Philadelphia, who prioritize the welfare of illegal immigrants over their own citizens. Ms. Mark-Viverito and her comrades threatened to block access by federal immigration authorities to city property and to city records that could help with the enforcement of the nation's immigration laws. They are acting in the spirit of Alabama’s late Governor George Wallace, who stood in the schoolhouse door to defy federal enforcement of desegregation.
“The Trump Administration is pushing an unrealistic and mean spirited executive order,” tweeted New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Spare us the tears, Mr. Mayor. We are not talking about innocent children caught up in vindictive mass deportation sweeps. Rather, President Trump’s so-called “mean-spirited executive order” is intended to rid this country of fiends like Estivan Rafael Marques Velasquez, a gang member from El Salvador with a criminal record, who was released from Rikers Island this year onto the streets of New York before U.S. officers from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) unit could pick him up for deportation proceedings. And there is Luis Alejandro Villegas, 31, who was released from local custody on Dec. 31, 2016, despite a detainer request from ICE. Villegas had previously been removed from the United States and has a prior conviction for forcible theft armed with a deadly weapon.
“Villegas is a criminal alien who was released back into our New York communities, posing an increased and unnecessary risk to those who live in this great city,” said Thomas R. Decker, field office director for ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations in New York.
Fortunately, ICE agents were able to catch up with both Velasquez and Villegas on their own and place them into federal custody. If de Blasio has his way, we may not be so lucky next time. In the New York City suburb of Hempstead, two women and a 2-year old girl ran out of luck. A MS-13 street gang member, who had been deported back to El Salvador from the U.S. four times and had a number of prior arrests, stabbed the women and sexually assaulted the little girl.
Hempstead is in Nassau County, which is a sanctuary jurisdiction. Hempstead’s Mayor Wayne J. Hall, Sr. said last February, "President Trump's recent executive orders go against the moral fiber with which our great nation was built, and I wholeheartedly support New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio and countless other Mayors throughout the United States in denouncing these acts. I, Mayor DeBlasio and leaders from many other communities throughout the country will work together to oppose these executive orders and protect the rights of all people." Good going, Mayor Hall. Now you can explain your opposition to rounding up and deporting illegal aliens with prior criminal records to the illegal aliens' victims in your town, whom you should have been more worried about.
Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who is presiding over a city beset by rampant crime, reiterated his pledge that Chicago will “continue to welcome” immigrants. “Chicago was built on the back of immigrants and our future is hitched to the wagon of immigrants who come to the city,” he added. Do these include the 45 out of 48 illegal immigrants picked up in a raid last month in the Chicago area who had previously been convicted of crimes, including criminal sexual assault? Twenty of the illegal aliens had returned to the country after have been already deported. In refusing to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement officials, Mayor Emanuel is hitching Chicago’s future in part to criminal illegal aliens who remain free to prey on Chicago’s citizens.
Challenging the Trump administration’s intention to put an end to sanctuary cities, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Monday that his city’s policies are “designed to keep our residents safe.” Tell that to the surviving family and friends of the Californian woman killed in a car crash caused by a drunk illegal alien with a long rap sheet,who had been deported previously. Perhaps Mayor Garcetti would do well to listen to the victim’s fiancé, who blamed politicians like himself for the “criminal illegal immigrants that are being harbored here.” Then again, Garcetti, Emanuel, de Blasio and the rest of the sanctuary city crowd are intent on placing their own pro-illegal alien progressive agenda above the safety and welfare of the people they are supposed to serve and protect.
In Travis County, Texas, Sheriff Sally Hernandez, known as “Sanctuary Sally,” has adopted sanctuary policies for the county in defiance of both federal and Texas state law enforcement. “We can’t have state and elected officials in the state like Sanctuary Sally [Hernandez] down here in Travis County turn a blind eye to releasing illegals that have felony convictions and then wonder what’s going to happen when they get back into general population,” said Texas District 7 Senator Paul Bettencourt. But it may be too late. According to a report issued by ICE on March 20, identifying those sanctuary jurisdictions which released criminal aliens under an immigration detainer, Sanctuary Sally’s county scored the number 1 position. It’s only a matter of time when a released illegal immigrant with felony convictions commits another crime.
Illegal immigrants in the United States make up approximately 3.5% of the nation’s entire population. According to data compiled from the U.S. Sentencing Commission for fiscal year 2015, illegal immigrants were responsible for 30.2 percent of convictions for kidnapping/hostage taking, 17.8 percent of convictions for drug trafficking, 11.6 percent of convictions for fraud, 10.4 percent of convictions for money laundering, 6.1 percent of convictions for assault, and 5.5 percent of convictions for murder. So much for the myth spread by the pro-illegal immigrant crowd that illegal immigrants commit serious crimes at a much lower rate than U.S.-born citizens.
Harboring or shielding from detection any alien who “remains in the United States in violation of law” is itself a violation of federal law. It also has real life consequences for the victims of the crimes committed by illegal aliens who are being shielded in sanctuary jurisdictions. Local and state officials who willfully help illegal immigrants evade detention for possible deportation should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Joseph Klein is a Harvard-trained lawyer and the author of Global Deception: The UN’s Stealth Assault on America’s Freedom and Lethal Engagement: Barack Hussein Obama, the United Nations & Radical Islam.
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