Texas Lt. Gov. is Right: Sanctuary Cities are Immoral

It is a tragedy that eight people perished from heat exhaustion and lack of water in the back of a tractor-trailer truck in San Antonio. Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick believes that it was a preventable tragedy.

Sanctuary cities entice people to believe they can come to America and Texas and live outside the law. Sanctuary cities also enable human smugglers and cartels. Today, these people paid a terrible price and demonstrate why we need a secure border and legal immigration reform so we can control who enters our country. We continue to pray for the families and friends of the victims.

(Source: Facebook)

I agree with him. Illegal immigration of this kind is strongly correlated with a few things. First, the belief that there’s a path to becoming legal in America; and second, the belief that getting to America is worth the risk because of “sanctuary cities.”

Statistics can easily lie, but in this case, they don’t. Southwest border crossing arrests are down by 76 percent, according to numbers released in April.

Overall apprehensions by the Border Patrol dropped to just 11,129 in April, according to numbers released Tuesday, marking the lowest monthly total for any month in decades.

The number of unaccompanied illegal immigrant children nabbed at the border dropped below 1,000 — a level not seen since before the surge that bedeviled President Obama during most of his second term.

Obama’s policies encouraged Guatemalans, El Salvadorans and Hondurans to make their way to the U.S. border. The message sent to those countries is that the U.S. will give a permiso to those who make it into the country. Of course, criminals run the human smuggling rings that ferry people through Mexico and over the border. Border “Mules” frequently force immigrants to carry drugs or other illegal goods into the U.S.

Enhanced enforcement in the southwest moved much of the immigration business to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, where the unfortunate truckload of illegal immigrants came over only for eight of them to die in a Walmart parking lot.

Trump’s continuance of Obama’s terrible DACA policy once again encouraged Central Americans to flock to our border, despite the election rhetoric. Once again, the numbers speak for themselves.

It shows that during the first three months of this year, USCIS has approved 107,524 DACA renewals and 17,275 new applications. Of the 90 days in the January to March period, 70 of them have been on Trump’s watch, or about 78 percent. Assuming a constant rate of processing, that would mean Donald Trump has given access to work permits, Social Security numbers, driver’s licenses, EITC, and more to 13,436 illegal aliens who had not already been amnestied by Obama. That’s an average of 192 new illegals a day granted amnesty by Donald Trump.

By itself, DACA isn’t enough to start a new immigrant flood. But combined with sanctuary cities, counties and states, like all of California; Aurora, Colorado; Travis and Dallas Counties, Texas, and liberal enclaves all over the nation, it creates a strong reason for immigrants to come in…and some die trying.

If San Francisco and other cities really wanted to give humanitarian, moral sanctuary to illegals, they’d charter busses and run their own border crossing operations. They’d take these activities out of the hands of criminals. They can’t claim “but that’s illegal,” because they’re already breaking the law by offering sanctuary.

Going half way only enables criminals and predators, while enticing victims to submit themselves. How can these sanctuary proponents believe that they’re acting in the best interests of those who come to America illegally?

It would be more humanitarian for Trump’s wall to be built–for America to have an impenetrable southern border. At least then people contemplating the journey would realize the peril and not downplay it.

Sanctuary cities and those who run them are complicit in enabling criminals whose primary motive is making money, without regard to the lives in which they traffic. By enabling those criminals, they are active participants in the deaths of those eight victims loaded like cattle in a trailer.

Dan Patrick got it right, and I hope Texas passes a law making those liberal politicians accountable for their immoral actions.

This post is cross-posted at The New Americana.

San Francisco Awarding $190,000 To Illegal Immigrant After Reporting Him To Authorities

San Francisco is shelling out almost $200,000 to an illegal immigrant after city employees violated its own sanctuary city law.

Pedro Figueroa-Zarceno, a 33-year-old undocumented immigrant from El Salvador, was the alleged victim of a car theft. Figueroa-Zarceno went to a local police station to report the crime in the hopes of getting his car back. Police officers at Southern Station ran him through the system and discovered that, not only was he living in the country illegally, but that he also had a warrant out for his arrest (though police were not able to find details on the warrant).

Police officers then did something absolutely crazy and inexcusable: they reported Figueroa-Zarceno to immigration authorities. Agents arrested him as he left the station.

Despite doing something completely reasonable, police officers actually violated their own city’s laws. San Francisco is a sanctuary city. Its ordinance, Due Process for All Ordinance, dictates that local police officers are prohibited from cooperating with ICE or any immigration officials – except in cases of violent crimes. Since Figueroa-Zarceno was not involved in a violent crime when he reported his stolen vehicle, police officers violated San Francisco law when they turned him over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Because of this, the El Salvadorian citizen sued the city of San Francisco on January 17… and won big league. The City Attorney’s Office awarded him $190,000 this week.

“It’s really important for San Francisco to remain a sanctuary city not in name only but also in practice,” stated Saira Hussain, the lawyer who represented Figueroa-Zarceno. Many attorneys like her are working hard to make sure San Francisco abides by its sanctuary city law.

An illegal immigrant with an arrest warrant successfully sued a major American city because he was detained by immigration authorities… let that sink in for a moment.

 

 

 

BREAKING: Judge Blocks Trump Order Blocking Funds for Sanctuary Cities

A U.S. District Court judge based out of San Francisco (naturally) has issued an injunction that will at least temporarily block President Donald Trump’s executive order that denies federal grants to cities that refuse to cooperate with federal authorities in enforcing immigration law:

Judge William Orrick issued a preliminary injunction Tuesday barring federal officials nationwide from carrying out the portion of a Jan. 25 Trump executive order aimed at cutting off grants to local governments that won’t provide assistance to federal authorities in locating and detaining undocumented immigrants.

 

Orrick cited public comments from Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions in concluding that the order appeared intended to sweep more broadly than allowed by federal law. The judge, an Obama appointee, called “not legally plausible” the Justice Department’s arguments that Trump was simply trying to secure compliance with current law.

 

“If there was doubt about the scope of the Order, the President and Attorney General have erased it with their public comments,” Orrick wrote. “The Constitution vests the spending power in Congress, not the President, so the Order cannot constitutionally place new conditions on federal funds.”

The decision came about as part of a lawsuit filed by the local governments in San Francisco and Santa Clara County.  So it appears as if California, with all of its fiscal problems, is determined to keep illegal immigration at levels that will only accelerate their insolvency.  Then again, what else would you expect from the state that wants to spend billions of dollars it doesn’t have on high-speed rail that nobody wants?

Also on display here is a fair amount of judicial arrogance, with Judge Orrick citing the public statements of Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions as justification for his ruling.  We saw much the same thing with Judge Derrick Watson, when he blocked Trump’s suspension of travel from certain Muslim majority countries based on statements the president made during the 2016 campaign, so this is nothing new.  What is a fair point on Orrick’s part, however, is his insistence that spending power is vested only in the Congress, which makes any order blocking federal grants to sanctuary cities beyond the scope of executive powers.  I’m a firm believer that if these cities want to flout federal immigration law, they shouldn’t be allowed to have that cake and eat their federally-funded goodies too–but it also seems to me that, at least in this aspect, Orrick is on pretty firm constitutional ground here.

Which makes it all the more reason for Congress to act, and make federal funds conditional on upholding federal law.

Big City Defiance on Sanctuary Cities

Hear ye, hear ye!  Their honors, the mayors of Big Democrat metropolises, have taken a brave stand in defying the Trump administration’s new executive order cutting off federal funds to sanctuary cities:

As Trump announced the order — as well as action to build a wall along the U.S-Mexico border and hire thousands of new border patrol agents and immigration officers — leaders of some of the nation’s biggest cities flatly stated they would not be cooperating with the president.

And just who might these pillars of public service be?  Pretty much the usual suspects:

In Boston, Mayor Marty Walsh called the executive order an attack on “Boston’s people, Boston’s strength and Boston’s values.”

“If people want to live here, they’ll live here,” Walsh told reporters at a news conference. “They can use my office. They can use any office in this building.”

Yeah, Marty.  I’m sure you’ll let them take you up on that offer.  Perhaps we can set up a Go Fund Me to provide cab fare for those huddled masses who want to crash at the mayor’s pad?  I’ll be the first to chip in.

In Seattle, Mayor Ed Murray said that he had directed city departments to review their budgets to prepare for a potential loss of federal funding, the Associated Press reports.

“This city will not be bullied by this administration,” Murray said. “We believe we have the rule of law and the courts on our side.”

Um, Ed–seeing as you’re abetting a violation of federal immigration statutes, I’m pretty sure the law’s not on your side.

In Chicago. . .Mayor Rahm Emanuel vowed that the nation’s third largest city would remain a sanctuary city.

“I want to be clear. We’re gonna stay a sanctuary city,” Emanuel said. “There is no stranger among us. We welcome people, whether you’re from Poland or Pakistan, whether you’re from Ireland or India or Israel and whether you’re from Mexico or Moldova, where my grandfather came from, you are welcome in Chicago as you pursue the American Dream.”

Left unsaid was how Chicago’s wave of violent crime and murder has illegal immigrants so scared, they don’t want to go there anyway.  So at least Rahm knows he’s off the hook.

The best, however, is New York City’s own “Che” de Blasio, who proves–like the voters who elected him–if you’re gonna do something stupid, you may as well go big:

De Blasio said that the city has been able to dramatically reduce the crime rate in the nation’s largest city, in part, because relationships the police department has managed to build in immigrant communities. He added that if Trump follows through with the plan it would mean he’s effectively cutting funding from the New York Police Department. An early analysis by NYC officials suggested that about $156 million in federal funding for the NYPD could be impacted.

“Here in New York City and in cities across the nation, this executive order could in fact undermine public safety and make our neighborhoods less safe,” de Blasio said.

Got that, New Yorkers?  Your mayor says if crime skyrockets, that’s okay so long as Hizzoner’s conscience is clear.

I actually think that if the Trump administration plays this the right way, it could be a real opportunity.  De Blasio doesn’t exactly have a great relationship with the NYPD, and the Fraternal Order of Police already backed Trump in the election.  It wouldn’t be hard for Trump to drive an even bigger wedge between de Blasio and the cops, especially when they tell everyone that the mayor is more concerned about the well-being of illegal immigrants than he is about the safety of his own citizens.  My guess is that de Blasio would fold faster than a cheap suit, and the other mayors would follow.

Texas Governor Proposes Sanctuary City Ban

 

 

Texas governor, Greg Abbott, has announced his intention to ban sanctuary cities in the Lone Star State. In a tweet on Sunday, Gov. Abbott said, “Yes. I’m going to sign a law that bans sanctuary cities. Also I’ve already issued an order cutting funding to sanctuary cities.”

A measure similar to the one supported by Abbott was proposed in 2014 but failed to pass. The bill would have provided that “government entities” in Texas “may not adopt a rule, order, ordinance, or policy under which the entity prohibits the enforcement of the laws of this state or federal law relating to immigrants or immigration.” The bill died without gaining enough support for a vote.

The term “sanctuary city” does not have a precise meaning, but generally refers to cities that have policies that prohibit their police departments from enforcing immigration laws or cooperating with federal immigration officials. In reality, it is questionable whether Texas has any cities that fit this definition.

Last February, Texas Monthly examined the question of whether any Texas cities could be considered sanctuary cities. Even though SanctuaryCities.info lists 15 Texas towns and the Center for Immigration Studies lists two, the criteria they used to determine which cities were sanctuaries was unclear. Texas Monthly found that no city in Texas had a policy that would fit the typical definition of a sanctuary city.

In August, the Texas Tribune reported that Austin, already believed to be a sanctuary city by many, was “likely to become the first true ‘sanctuary city’ in GOP-ruled Texas.” The move hinged on whether the Sally Hernandez, the Democratic candidate for sheriff in Travis County, won the election. Hernandez had promised to end cooperation with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement by not detaining county jail inmates that ICE wants to deport. The Republican candidate, Joe Martinez, had said he would end the blanket policy of cooperation with ICE, but would continue to turn dangerous inmates over for deportation. Hernandez won the election after softening her stance on immigration enforcement, but has yet to take office.

Hernandez’ election may bring new urgency to the effort to pass a sanctuary city ban. The Austin Statesman says that the bill has been refiled for the new legislative session and that Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is making it a priority. The bill would cut off state money to cities that do not cooperate with enforcement of federal immigration law.

Local cooperation with federal immigration law is typically relating to honoring “detainer” requests from ICE at local jails. ICE requests local law enforcement to hold certain inmates who are illegal aliens until ICE can take custody and arrange for their deportation. Current federal policy prioritizes the deportation of illegals who are deemed to be “threats to national security, border security, and public safety.”

The Texas Tribune notes that “Texas law states that police officers generally cannot arrest people without probable cause of a crime, and immigration violations often are civil matters, not criminal cases.” Texas law states that police may arrest offenders without a warrant “when the offense is committed in his presence or within his view, if the offense is one classed as a felony or as an offense against the public peace.” This would exclude immigration violations that are civil matters or criminal offenses that do not rise to the level of a felony.

Gov. Abbott’s proposed ban on sanctuary cities would act as a deterrent to any city that decides not to cooperate with immigration laws, but since there are no cities in Texas that fit that description, the bill’s effect would be minimal. As a role of the federal government, the problem of illegal immigration can ultimately only be resolved in Washington.

Sanctuary City Officials Promise to Keep Protecting Illegal Immigrants

This week, mayors and police chiefs in some of the nation’s most infamous sanctuary cities are promising that they will protect illegal immigrants even under a Trump presidency:

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, President Barack Obama’s former chief of staff, said Monday at a news conference that city officials have been fielding calls from residents worried that it may change its status because of the threat from Trump.

“Since the presidential election, there has been a sense of uncertainty among many immigrant communities in Chicago and across the nation,” Emanuel said. “I want to assure all of our families that Chicago is and will remain a sanctuary city.”

Emanuel isn’t alone:

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said Monday that his department will not change its immigration enforcement stance. Trump has promised to toughen federal immigration laws, as well as deport millions of illegal immigrants.

“I don’t intend on doing anything different,” Beck said, according to the LA Times. “We are not going to engage in law enforcement activities solely based on somebody’s immigration status. We are not going to work in conjunction with Homeland Security on deportation efforts. That is not our job, nor will I make it our job.”

Whether these officials are violating federal law is outside my area of public policy knowledge. In 2015, Media Matters cited a Bush-era Inspector General report and a 2009 Congressional Research Service report that indicate no federal lawbreaking. However, a more recent Inspector General report says sanctuary cities that receive certain federal funds are in violation of federal law because of stipulations in federal money received.

Judicial Watch noted that the Department of Justice — a law enforcement agency — sends money to sanctuary cities that protect people who violate federal law, thus showing hypocrisy at the federal level.

What is not outside of my area of public policy knowledge is to note the utter stupidity of the feds in deciding what measures to enforce, and what measures to let slide. The Obama administration sends billions of taxpayer dollars to sanctuary cities — cities that openly defy the federal government’s efforts to secure our borders. Yet this same administration is expending taxpayer dollars to try and force nuns and priests to participate in the destruction of unborn children.

Whatever one thinks of immigration policy, this juxtaposition is asinine. Plain and simple.