Sanctuary Cities: Dangerous & Deadly by Connie Hair (more by this author)
Posted 07/26/2010 ET
The patchwork array of sanctuary cities around the country is leaving dangerous criminal illegal aliens on America’s streets.
Local municipalities in these sanctuary cities prevent their officials from reporting illegals—even those with criminal records—to Immigrations and Customs enforcement (ICE), and it is costing American lives.
Sanctuary cities are against the law. In fact they violate two federal statutes.
“The case against sanctuary cities is very straightforward,” Kris Kobach, principal author of the Arizona SB 1070 enforcement law told HUMAN EVENTS in an exclusive interview. “There are two laws that Congress passed in 1996 that expressly forbid sanctuary cities and they are found at Title 8 Section 1373 and Title 8 Section 1644 of the U.S. Code. Those statutes say in plain English that a city may not have a policy that prohibits its officers from communicating with the federal government about a person’s immigration status.”
There are numerous cities around the country that are clearly and flagrantly violating those terms of federal law. The Obama Justice Department doesn’t see these deadly sanctuary cities as a threat to public safety. They instead choose to spend taxpayer dollars suing Arizona for enforcing federal statutes.
“There is a big difference between a state or locality saying they are not going to use their resources to enforce a federal law, as so-called sanctuary cities have done, and a state passing its own immigration policy that actively interferes with federal law,” Tracy Schmaler, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Eric Holder, told The Washington Times.
Yet Kobach, a law professor and immigration law specialist holding degrees from Harvard, Oxford and Yale, said it’s the sanctuary cities that are illegal, not the Arizona law.
Kobach said the Justice Department is hard-pressed to find an argument to try the Arizona enforcement law in court.
“The federal government makes a very tenuous argument in its briefs that the reason it’s going after Arizona is that it wants to see the uniform application of federal immigration law across the country,” Kobach said. “The irony is that the Obama Administration is turning a blind eye to sanctuary cities which actually impair the uniform application of the law.”
Kobach points out the Arizona law will remove sanctuary cities in the state to achieve the very uniformity of federal law enforcement sought in the lawsuit.
“Arizona is not creating a new immigration regime. Arizona is merely insuring that federal immigration laws are actually enforced across the state. One critical provision of the Arizona statute actually removes sanctuary cities within Arizona which would bring about the more uniform application of the law that the Obama Administration claims it’s interested in seeking,” Kobach said.
San Francisco is one such deadly sanctuary city. In May of 2008, Anthony Bologna, a 48-year-old man driving home from a family outing, was murdered—along with two of his sons—by an gang member.
“Edwin Ramos was an illegal alien gang member of Mara Salvatrucha-13 who had been arrested by the San Francisco police on three occasions but because of the City of San Francisco’s sanctuary policy he was released on each time and no phone call was ever made to ICE,” said Kobach, who serves as legal counsel to surviving family members. “A few months after the third release, Edwin Ramos murdered Anthony, Michael and Matthew Bologna as they were sitting in their family car on the way back from a picnic after church. This was such an absolutely horrific murder that would not have happened if the San Francisco Police Department had picked up the phone and called ICE on one of those three occasions.”
“Many of the San Francisco Police Department officers would have loved to do so,” Kobach added. “They know that the sanctuary policy tied their hands but as a result of San Francisco’s sanctuary policy Anthony, Michael and Matthew are no longer with us.”
Kobach says ignoring the sanctuary cities shows the Obama Administration has misplaced priorities when it comes to public safety.
“San Francisco’s not the only place where sanctuary cities have resulted in the murder of somebody when that murder could have been stopped had the sanctuary city policy had been removed. This is happening all across the country and you have people in Washington, D.C., specifically in the Obama Justice Department and in the White House who are turning a blind eye to the carnage on our streets that is caused by sanctuary cities,” Kobach said.
“They would rather go after Arizona with taxpayer dollars when Arizona is simply trying to help the federal government enforce federal law. The sort of help that Arizona is providing is well established and fully sustained in the judicial precedence of the U.S. Courts of Appeals,” Kobach added.