Following on the success of my recent post concerning publicity-seeking illegal aliens who have gone on-the-record with their illegal status and who should be deported immediately upon Trump’s taking office, I am assembling here a list of public officials who have publicly announced that they aid and abet, and will continue to aid and abet, illegal immigrants. This is usually in the context of local officials establishing or reaffirming “sanctuary city” policies, even in the face of President-elect Trump’s announcement that he would seek to cut Federal aid to cities which do not give up these policies.
The position of these public officials is insupportable, and they ought to be appropriately punished by their constituents as well as the higher authorities. Public officials, even more than ordinary citizens, are charged with obeying and enforcing the law. Flouting it instead is an unforgivably deep abrogation of their responsibilities. Yet they try to excuse themselves, and to the unsophisticated public the argument in favor of these policies is often framed as one of public safety. The rationale is that it is difficult for local officials to fight crime and administer basic services efficiently if large groups of people are deeply afraid of any interaction with the government on the grounds that their illegal immigration status might be exposed and deportation proceedings brought against them.
This argument is baloney. Sanctuary city policies go well beyond the sort of Arizona SB1070 behavior that would make this concern remotely plausible. With the exception of Arizona’s attempt, virtually no state or local authority has even supposed that they should inquire into the immigration status of general members of the public at every interaction. Rather, sanctuary city policies involve local authorities refraining from checking status, or taking other immigration-related action, even in far narrower circumstances when when the costs of doing so are very low and the upside likely very high. Officials in sanctuary cities won’t check the status of accused criminals even after they are arrested. They won’t check the status of convicted criminals after they are sent to local lockups to serve their time. They won’t cooperate with Federal immigration officials on “immigration detainers” — requests that local authorities notify the Federal immigration authorities when a particular immigrant convict is scheduled for release from jail, so that the convict can be picked up at the jailhouse door by the Feds and taken away for deportation proceedings.
The public safety argument predicated on cooperation breaks down at this point. Ordinary illegal immigrants who keep out of trouble face virtually no risk of being picked up off the streets and sent home, under current policies, even in “non-sanctuary cities.” Giving a witness statement to police after observing a crime, calling in a code violation or paying a parking ticket brings no additional risk — and everybody knows it. If anything, the public safety argument runs the other way at this point: Refusing to do the minimum necessary to ensure that criminally minded illegal immigrants are picked up by the immigration authorities and deported ensures that more innocent tourists are shot by illegal immigrant criminals in entirely preventable tragedies.
Let there be no mistake: State and local governments should not meddle with every person they meet on the street, but by all means they should have their police forces conduct immigration status checks on every convict who comes into their custody — for whatever reason — and inform the immigration authorities of illegal immigrant convicts whom they find this way. The should then rendering all reasonable assistance in turning these criminals over for deportation proceedings when the federal authorities request it.
Simply put, there is no excuse to fail to run checks on someone arrested on a drug charge, to fail to discover through such checks that this person has prior felony convictions and deportation orders entered against him, and to fail to continue to hold that person in jail until the immigration authorities come to collect him. Yet that’s exactly what happened in the case of Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, the man who shot Kate Steinle.
It also means not issuing photo IDs designed for use by illegal immigrants to get around the restrictions and inconveniences that are rightly put in their way. A Mexican citizen can get a Mexican driver’s license or passport — they have those things in that country, you know.
Trump’s threat to cut funding is a good first start. Average Americans must know who these scofflaw officials are so we can impose our own punishment as well: These people should be hounded from office for dereliction of duty. And last but not least, we should encourage our state and Federal prosecutors to view such actions as criminal — these official acts are no less than aiding and abetting of violations of Federal immigration law. The most egregious of these officials should face trial for all the help they’ve given lawbreakers at the expense of ordinary American citizens.
EDIT: I’m also adding university officials to this list. Given the large amounts of government funding that flows to both private and public universities in America, and the “gatekeeper” function they play in regulating access to good jobs and polite society, this seems appropriate.
Without further ado, the list:
- Rahm Emanuel, mayor of Chicago, quoted by the Washington Post as saying “Chicago will always be a sanctuary city.”
- Warren Wilhelm Jr. (a/k/a Bill DeBlasio), mayor of New York City, claimed by the Washington Post as intending to preserve sanctuary city policies in his jurisdiction.
- Charlie Beck, Los Angeles police chief, said by the Washington Post as intending “to preserve the LAPD’s independence from federal immigration policies, a rule that dates to 1979, when Los Angeles became the country’s first sanctuary city.”
- Ross Mirkarimi, San Francisco sheriff, who, according to the Washington Post, was responsible for declining to prosecute, or turn over to Federal authorities, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, the illegal immigrant felon who went on fatally to shoot Kate Steinle.
- Betsy Hodges, mayor of Minneapolis, who released a statement doubling-down on sanctuary city policies.
- Joseph A. Curtatone, mayor of Somerville, MA, who, according to the Boston Globe, has “vowed to welcome all immigrants, regardless of their legal status.”
- Martin J. Walsh, mayor of Boston, who, according to the Boston Globe, said he would “support all residents, regardless of their immigration status” and implemented sanctuary city policies.
- Josh Zakim, member of the Boston city council, who, according to the Boston Globe, sponsored a city ordinance implementing sanctuary city policies.
- Jorge Elzora, mayor of Providence, RI, who, according to ABC News, has ordered his jurisdiction to refuse to comply with immigration detainers in certain cases.
- David Oxtoby, president of Pomona College, who wrote an open letter to the incoming Trump administration in favor of retaining the DACA program.
- Greg Stanton, mayor of Phoenix, AZ, who supports a municipal ID card program for illegal immigrants.