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Paul Albaugh / Jul. 7, 2015

Sanctuary Cities and Obama's Failed Immigration Policies

Kathryn Steinle just might be alive had it not been for bad immigration policy.

Last Wednesday in San Francisco, an illegal immigrant named Francisco Sanchez murdered Kathryn Steinle. While Sanchez alone is responsible for his crime, Steinle just might be alive had it not been for bad immigration policy from the Obama administration, and likewise the city of San Francisco.

The fact is Sanchez should not have been in the United States at all. Sanchez had already been convicted of seven felonies and deported five times before this murder. Yet he chose San Francisco as his dwelling because it’s a “sanctuary city.”

Sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants, that is. Cities like San Francisco that adopt such policies typically don’t necessarily seek out undocumented immigrants, but they also don’t enforce deportation, which yields the same result. These cities — primarily run by Democrats — have a policy in place that benefits illegal aliens at the expense of citizens. Such a policy is detrimental to these communities, as evidenced by this recent killing, and the politicos responsible for this terrible policy should be held accountable.

Democrats, of course, claim creating sanctuary cities is good policy. One such enlightened progressive is Hillary Clinton, who claimed in a 2007 speech at Dartmouth College that sanctuary cities help to ensure the “personal safety and security of all the citizens.” (Note the particular irony of using the word “citizens.”) Furthermore, she claimed that if local police officers acted like immigration enforcement officers, then people would be hiding from the police instead of reporting crime.

We’re still waiting for the Leftmedia to question Hillary on her continued support of this policy, but the noise from Donald Trump’s recent bombast on immigration seems to be drowning that out. It would be a prime opportunity for serious conservative candidates to say something about the failed policy of sanctuary cities, but so far most of them are missing it.

Sanctuary cities aren’t the only problem with immigration policy. There is a massive problem at the federal level too, which is one of the reasons Sanchez wasn’t kept out of the U.S. for good. Yet he is just one of the many illegal immigrants who remain in or return to the U.S. because of a faulty deportation process.

Recent documents from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) show that “about 900,000 undocumented immigrants, including 170,000 criminals, have been ordered deported ‘in absentia,’ meaning a judge kicked them out without them even knowing it.” How can someone be deported for being here illegally when they don’t even know they have been ordered to leave?

Jessica Vaughn, director of policy studies at CIS, notes, “[E]ven those immigrants who are in court to receive their removal orders are not immediately removed. Instead, they are often told to report in with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement — but often vanish.”

Certainly there could be more and better detention centers to hold these illegal aliens. After all, does anyone really think that someone who is here illegally would turn himself into Immigration and Customs Enforcement? Apparently the Department of Homeland Security doesn’t see the need for more detention facilities, as it has sought new rules that will loosen detention policies.

According to a recent DHS release, “[O]nce a family has established eligibility for asylum or other relief under our laws, long-term detention is an inefficient use of our resources and should be discontinued.” Can the Department of Homeland Security explain how this bolsters homeland security?

Not surprisingly, Obama spokesman Josh Earnest took to the stage Monday to not only defend the administration’s immigration policies but to blast Republicans for blocking “common-sense” immigration reform.

Of course, Obama’s version of common-sense immigration reform was nonsense. Democrats have made the issue of immigration a divisive one for their own political benefit. Forget security, they are worried about votes.

Republicans, on the other hand, need to do a better job at explaining how they are going to fix immigration policy. And there are basically four points to drive home:

First, the “immigration reform” pledges by Obama and his Democrat lackeys are disingenuous because they would undermine the Left’s entire “living wage” platform. Allowing 5-10 million immigrants to compete for low-wage jobs is certainly not consistent with that agenda.

Second, Obama is willing to trash the Constitution in order to advance his ruinous policies. Republicans need to use his abject abuse of power and the threat it poses to Liberty as a constitutional teachable moment.

Third, any debate about immigration is useless unless it begins with a commitment to securing our borders first. That includes eliminating sanctuary cities. As Ronald Reagan declared, “A nation without borders is not a nation.” Likewise, it must address the issue of so-called “birthright citizenship,” which is a gross misinterpretation of our Constitution’s 14th Amendment.

And last, Republicans need to embrace the fact that Liberty is colorblind. It’s not a “white thing.” Essential Liberty is timeless. And because it transcends all racial, ethnic, gender and class distinctions, it will appeal to all freedom-loving people when properly presented.

In the end, Americans like Kathryn Steinle shouldn’t pay the ultimate price for Democrats’ vote-buying schemes.

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