The Right Opinion

Murdered by the Left

Time for a campaign against "sanctuary" cities.

Arnold Ahlert · Jul. 8, 2015

On Monday, illegal alien Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, a 45-year-old repeat drug offender who had been deported five times, was charged with killing Kathryn Steinle, 32, at Pier 14 in the “sanctuary city” of San Francisco. The details surrounding this case are a testament to the multi-layered bankruptcy of progressive ideology.

We begin with the contemptible notion of a sanctuary city itself. Despite the passage of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Responsibility Act of 1996 requiring cities to cooperate with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE), there are literally hundreds of cities in the nation that provide safe haven for illegal aliens in open defiance of federal law. Yet because that law conflicts with progressive sensibilities, not a single lawsuit has ever been filed by the federal government against a sanctuary city for violating it. In a revealing contrast, the Obama administration has filed suit against states such as Arizona, Alabama and South Carolina that were attempting to enforce federal immigration law. The administration claimed the states had no right to do so — despite the reality the administration itself refuses to do so.

The case of Lopez-Sanchez itself is equally illuminating. Despite his presence in America following five deportations to his native country of Mexico, ICE turned Lopez-Sanchez over to San Francisco police on March 26 because he had an outstanding drug warrant. And despite the reality he had a record of seven felony convictions, San Francisco released Lopez-Sanchez to the streets on April 15, after the district attorney declined to prosecute him for a 20-year-old marijuana possession charge. In short, the feds aided and abetted the release of a serial border-buster to a sanctuary city manifestly unwilling to jail a career criminal.

No one made that reality clearer than San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi. Mirkarimi first blamed ICE for Sanchez-Lopez’s release, insisting the agency didn’t file a formal court application to detain him. But in a later interview with CNN, his progressive instincts were revealed. The sheriff defended San Francisco’s sanctuary city policy, insisting it “makes us safer.” “We’re a world-renowned city with a large immigrant population,” Mirkarimi declared. “And of that population is a population that is also here undocumented. From a law enforcement perspective, we want to build trust with that population. And our sanctuary city and other attendant laws have allowed us to do that.”

Mirkarimi’s arrogant defiance of federal law is nothing new. In a press release sent out last year, he boasted about a revision made to his department’s policy of retainment that “reduced the number of individuals released to ICE authorities by 62 percent. Only one other county in California had a policy of similar strength,” it stated.

San Francisco’s equally contemptible Mayor, Ed Lee, added ideologically-inspired insult to injury. Despite issuing a press release saying he was “deeply saddened” by the “tragic and senseless death” of Steinle and that his “thoughts and prayers” were with her family, he also endorsed his city’s sanctuary policy. “Let me be clear: [the policy] protects residents regardless of immigration status and is not intended to protect repeat, serious and violent felons,” he said. Lee further emphasized his commitment to “civil liberties” and “public safety” to explain his 2013 decision to “veto any legislation” undermining the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department’s ability to determined whether or not to honor ICE-issued “detainers” on a case-by-case basis.

As for ICE itself, their criticism of San Francisco rings exceedingly hollow. “We’re not asking local law enforcement to do our job,” ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen said in a statement. “All we’re asking is that they notify us when a serious foreign national criminal offender is being released to the street so we can arrange to take custody.”

Utter sophistry, belied by two inconvenient realities. ICE had Lopez-Sanchez in custody before turning him over to San Francisco, and by any reasonable measure his record of five deportations should have made his continued retention a no-brainer.

Yet even more to the point, ICE itself has released tens of thousands of criminal immigrants onto America’s streets over the past two years. In FY2013, 36,007 criminal aliens were released, followed by another 30,558 criminal aliens in FY2014. ICE cited both overcrowding and the Supreme Court case Zadvydas v. Davis as their rationale for doing so. In that case the Court ruled the doctrine of plenary power does not allow the federal government to detain an immigrant under a deportation order indefinitely if no other country will accept him. As a result of that decision, 134,000 aliens were released into the general population in only three years. Moreover, ICE does not keep track of those they release — including the 618 sex offenders given their freedom in the 2013 mass release.

In an April House Judiciary Committee hearing, Rep. Lamar Smith challenged ICE Director Sarah Saldaña regarding those releases, honing in on that Court case. “One-quarter of these 30,000 criminal aliens had been convicted of level one crimes, such as murder, rape, and sexual abuse of a minor,” Smith revealed. “Of those 30,000, only 8 percent were Zadvydas cases.” When Saldaña insisted that half of those released in 2014 were the result of the Zadvydas ruling, Smith noted the Obama administration was nonetheless releasing criminal aliens not affected by that ruling. “Why are you doing this to the American people?” Smith asked. “You know their recidivism rate is high. You know these individuals are going to be convicted of other crimes. Why are you doing the this to the American people?”

The answer is as simple as it is distressing: because the Obama administration has embraced the American left’s determination to ignore any law it doesn’t like, using a policy of selective law enforcement as a club to do so. Just as it is with sanctuary cities, Obama’s executive actions attempting to grant amnesty to as many illegals as possible, or the administration’s continuing policy of allowing hundreds of thousands of illegals to surge over the nation’s border — followed by their calculated dispersion throughout the nation — the extortionist message is clear: Americans will be force-fed so-called comprehensive immigration reform, whether they like it or not.

And if that means Americans must tolerate a certain level of mayhem, such as the 860 sex offenders deported from the state of Texas during the first half of 2014, a heroin supply of which 90 percent comes from Mexico and Columbia and is brought into the nation by Mexican drug cartels, the spread of once-eradicated contagious diseases – or the estimated 1,806 to 2,510 people murdered annually by illegal aliens — so be it.

And why is that last number an estimate? Because no federal agency is tasked with keeping overall track of crimes committed by illegals. We do know, however, that a staggering 816,000 criminal aliens with charges or convictions were removed from the country between the years of 1998 and 2007. We know that as of 2009, DHS had identified 221,000 non-citizens in the nation’s jails, equaling 11 to 15 percent of the entire jail population.

And we also know a bankrupt left will go to virtually any lengths to keep these realities and others from the American public. Thus when GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump stated that when Mexico “sends its people, they’re not sending their best….They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems to us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people,” the left sought to make him a pariah. Thus Trump has been subjected to a campaign of business boycotts, and a steady stream of vituperation best likened to George Orwell’s Emmanuel Two Minutes Hate. That the global Trump Organization employs people from every ethnic background, including Hispanics? Utterly irrelevant.

Even more to the point, what the left, their media allies and a few spineless Republicans have not done is refute the substance of Trump’s argument. Perhaps that’s because there’s considerable substance to it, as indicated by a number of media releases published on the Border Patrol website detailing cases of drug smuggling and sexual abuse. Or maybe it’s the reality that as many as 80 percent of girls and women passing through Mexico to the United States are raped along the way, according to a series of interviews of immigrant shelter managers conducted in September 2014 by Fusion Magazine. Instead, all of them preferred to drown Trump in a barrage of name-calling — when they aren’t busy completely mischaracterizing what he said in a scurrilous attempt to conflate his criticism of Mexican illegals with Hispanics in general.

Infuriating these would-be assassins even more is Trump’s refusal to engage in the preferred GOP custom of backing off his remarks and issuing a meek apology. Trump’s take on Steinle is indicative of his no-holds-barred approach. “This senseless and totally preventable act of violence committed by an illegal immigrant is yet another example of why we must secure our border immediately,” he insisted. “This is an absolutely disgraceful situation and I am the only one that can fix it.”

It is a senseless and preventable act of violence owned by an ideologically-bankrupt Obama administration, corrupt San Francisco officials, and everyone else who would take the side of foreign criminals over Americans. People who are willing to elevate de facto anarchy over the rule of law as long as it serves their progressive, amnesty-minded agenda.

Trump aside, it’s long past time for the right to fight back. One Republican gets it. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) is reintroducing a bill targeting sanctuary cities. It would force the Immigration and Nationality Act to restrict funding to any city with a law, policy or procedure contravening federal immigration law. The Republican-controlled Congress should pass it and put it on the president’s desk for the certain veto — and ideological clarity — it would engender. Failure to do so will engender a similar amount of clarity heading into the 2016 elections.

Ordinary Americans fed up with this overt defiance of the rule of law can also adopt a familiar tactic from the leftist playbook, making it clear they will boycott cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, etc., along with pro-illegal organizations and businesses that continue to hold the citizens and legal immigrants of this nation in ill-disguised contempt.

The alternative is the continuing submission to a lawless agenda shaped by an ideology so bankrupt, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest had the temerity to blame the GOP for Steinle’s murder because they voted against last year’s Gang of Eight bill that contained funding for border security. Border security that does absolutely nothing about the millions of illegals already here, many of whom undoubtedly embrace the same reasoning as Sanchez-Lopez. He told authorities he came to San Francisco because it was “a sanctuary city where he would not be pursued by immigration officials,” the police report stated.

Just as important if not more so, Earnest’s efforts reveal the left is once again attempting to shape the narrative, even as the right forms a circular firing squad in an effort to attack Donald Trump for telling the truth. If that’s the best the GOP can do, get ready for President Hillary Clinton and the continuation of the left’s pro-illegal alien agenda. The one for which Kathryn Steinle paid the ultimate price. She will not be the last American to do so, and if that reality can’t ignite coherent opposition from anyone other than Trump, this nation may never recover.


Originally published at FrontPage Magazine.

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