Arnold Ahlert / Mar. 12, 2020

ICE Targets Sanctuary Cities

Few things divide America more than the lawless politics of sanctuary jurisdictions.

Leftists believe laws with which they disagree can simply be ignored or dismissed as inimical to the “greater good” as that greater good is defined solely by them. And while the American Right believes illegal immigration is wholesale defiance of the Rule of Law, there are many on that side of the divide also willing to supplant it with dubious levels of political expediency, such as the notion that only certain additional crimes — on top of being here illegally — should precipitate deportation. Regardless, the Trump administration is making it clear the status quo is unacceptable. Much to the dismay of the Democrat Media Complex, it will initially deploy 100 ICE agents to assist with surveillance and arrests in sanctuary cities. Those agents are from a U.S. Border Patrol tactical unit known as BORTAC, and they typically conduct high-risk operations against often violent criminals with extensive arrest records.

“The specially trained officers are being sent to cities including Chicago and New York to boost the enforcement power of local Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, according to two officials who are familiar with the secret operation. Additional agents are expected to be sent to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Houston, Boston, New Orleans, Detroit and Newark, N.J.,” The New York Times reports.

Note once again that a “secret operation” has been compromised by apparent administration insiders who oppose the administration’s agenda. That such people are still embedded within the administration more than three years after the last presidential election is no accident. Columnist Elizabeth Vaughn reveals the unprecedented effort perpetrated by Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder to politicize the Justice Department. “By the time President Trump took office, most, if not all, of the DOJ’s employees were Democrats,” she writes. “Judging from their résumés, most were far-left Democrats. If this was happening with impunity at the DOJ, we have to assume that similar hiring practices were adopted by all of the other government agencies.”

Indeed. And nothing has better indicated this reality than the number of New York Times and Washington Post articles citing anonymous current and former government officials as their source for a number of anti-Trump administration stories.

Nonetheless, “Operation Palladium” began last month and will continue until the end of the year. As a result, ICE agents have begun implementing 24-hour-a-day surveillance operations around the homes and workplaces of suspected illegal aliens, according to an email obtained by the Times. Agents have been directed to “flood the streets” and arrest as many illegals as possible. ICE has also requested as many as 500 additional agents, who normally conduct long-term investigations into illegals who have committed serious felonies and engaged in human and drug trafficking, to join the enhanced effort.

Matthew T. Albence, ICE’s acting director, released a statement explaining the administration’s rationale. “As we have noted for years, in jurisdictions where we are not allowed to assume custody of aliens from jails, our officers are forced to make at-large arrests of criminal aliens who have been released into communities,” he said. “When sanctuary cities release these criminals back to the street, it increases the occurrence of preventable crimes, and more importantly, preventable victims.”

For far too many leftists, victims are a secondary consideration. Nothing speaks to this more forcefully than one of the latest victims: In Chicago, a three-year-old girl was allegedly sexually assaulted at Chicago’s landmark “Rock & Roll McDonalds” by a previously deported Mexican national.

In a damning statement, ICE revealed just how ideologically bankrupt sanctuary cities truly are. “In June 2019, ICE lodged an immigration detainer with the Chicago Police Department on [the alleged assailant], who has several felony convictions and a prior removal, after he was arrested for theft,” it said. “That detainer was not honored and on Feb. 19, 2020, [he] was once again arrested, except this time it was for sexually assaulting a 3-year-old at a fast food restaurant.”

Cause for serious reflection? Not for Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. After asserting that ICE should “do their job better” and not traumatize children by arresting their illegal-alien parents in front of them, she doubled down. “[ICE is] critical because we have said very clearly we are a welcoming city, a sanctuary city,” she asserted. “Chicago Police Department will not cooperate with ICE on any immigration-related business. And that’s affected their ability to conduct immigration raids across the city. But that’s exactly our intention. We have to make sure our police department is seen as a legitimate force in all our communities.”

In short, Lightfoot and her equally contemptible fellow travelers are promoting anarchy and selling as it compassion and nobility. And nothing, including the traumatization of a three-year-old child, will dissuade them.

If there’s a better reason for Operation Palladium, one is hard-pressed to know what it could be.

Even more hopeful, President Trump has announced his administration will begin withholding federal funding from these lawless fiefdoms, following a ruling by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan on February 26 allowing him to do so. The court correctly determined that Congress had delegated authority to the attorney general to set the conditions whereby millions of dollars in funds from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program can be given to cities. “As per recent Federal Court ruling, the Federal Government will be withholding funds from Sanctuary Cities,” Trump tweeted. “They should change their status and go non-Sanctuary. Do not protect criminals!”

Unsurprisingly, the ACLU had come out against Operation Palladium. Naureen Shah, an ACLU senior advocacy and policy counsel, asserted that the initiative “is about further militarizing our streets.” She further declared that its effects could be lethal, because “we could see CBP officers who aren’t trained for interior enforcement using aggressive force.”

Or maybe we could see law and order restored in cities and states openly defiant of it — to the point where toddlers and countless other victims of murder, rape, assault, etc. are viewed as “reasonable” levels of “collateral damage” in service to despicable political agendas.

Such widespread and politically orchestrated lawlessness has been tolerated long enough.

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