Revealed: 276 ‘sanctuary cities’ let 8,145 illegal offenders free in just 8 months, 17,000 total–37GH. B40
a long read–but a lot of info
Some 276 “sanctuary cities,” nearly 50 percent more than previously revealed, released over 8,000 illegal immigrants with criminal records or facing charges free despite federal requests that they be turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation, according to an explosive new report.
The Center for Immigration Studies, revealing new numbers it received under the Freedom of Information Act, said that those releases from cities that ignored federal demands came over just eight months and are just part of an even larger release of 17,000 illegals with criminal records. Author Jessica M. Vaughan, director of policy Studies for the center, also reported that many of those illegals have been rearrested after their release and charged with nearly 7,500 new charges, including child sex abuse.
“The Obama administration has given sanctuaries free rein to ignore detainers by ending the successful Secure Communities program and replacing it with the Priority Enforcement Program. This new program explicitly allows local agencies to disregard ICE notifications of deportable aliens in their custody by replacing detainers with ‘requests for notification,'” wrote Vaughan.
“The only truly effective and lasting solution is for Congress to spell out in federal law that local law enforcement agencies must cooperate with ICE by complying with all detainers or face sanctions in the form of disqualification from certain kinds of federal funding,” she added.
The new federal documents show that there are at least 276 sanctuary cities, more than the 200 previously believed, and are in 43 states. The majority, 5,132, had past criminal records, like Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, the illegal previously deported five times and now charged with murdering 32-year-old Kate Steinle. Of those, 2,984 had a prior felony conviction or charge.And, 1,867 offenders who were released were re-arrested, accumulating 7,491 new charges, including child sex abuse. Vaughan’s report found that 10 percent of the new charges involved dangerous drugs and seven percent were for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Would Hill Republicans dare crack down on sanctuary cities?
Republican Tom Cotton, with a number of allies, has introduced a bill in the Senate that would deny federal immigration and police funding to cities that defy federal law. “It is unacceptable that cities would issue ordinances that explicitly aim to frustrate federal immigration laws that are supposed to keep illegal immigrant felons off the streets,” Cotton said in a statement. “U.S. taxpayers shouldn’t be expected to support such misguided local policies that put their safety in jeopardy.” ? I asked several Republicans on the Hill, House and Senate, some members, some staff, none of whom wanted to speak for attribution. What I got was a picture of a complex situation in which unanimous GOP support is not guaranteed, and Democratic support even dicier. The consensus: Congress might be pressured to do something — or more accurately, to appear to be doing something — that in the end won’t mean much.
“I think you’re going to see is a spectrum of positions on what to do. Nobody can really, politically, say nothing should be done. But what you’re going to see is a lot of people push for something along the lines of simply making sure states, counties, and cities comply with ICE requests. . Law enforcement would still be hamstrung, illegal aliens could still receive benefits in these localities, and the only increase in deportations might be from those who had committed very serious crimes — while those who had committed lesser crimes would be allowed to stay, and some would go on to commit more serious crimes. “That said, that’s what I think Congress is going to try to do: Pass a really weak bill that would get massive bipartisan support, but change little. A big show vote everyone can pat themselves on the back for and say, look, we listened, and we did something. I think the key thing to look for is the details of and differences between the sanctuary city bills that get introduced in the days ahead. I believe that any bill that gets significant Democratic support will be a bill that changes little.
From Senate Republican 2: “ICE already does not place detainers on, or deport, most potentially dangerous aliens. ICE even frees convicted violent felons and killers. Having all ICE detainers mandatory is a floor, not a ceiling. If all aliens in jails were sent home, thousands of American lives would be saved. We don’t have to wait until they commit a felony; they’re here illegally.” From House Republican 2:
“I think the leadership is scared of doing a sanctuary cities bill. If a bill got to the floor such as the Cotton bill linking federal law enforcement grants to following immigration law, it would pass with flying colors. But I think the leadership sees it as something that would lead the media to say Republicans are against immigrants. I personally think it would be terrible politics for Democrats to oppose it, but I bet the D.C.-based consultants who influence the leadership disagree.” The question, then, is whether enough Democrats would go along. And then, if such a bill passes House and Senate, whether President Obama would sign even a modest, limited measure to pressure sanctuary cities to obey the law.
Public: No to ‘sanctuary cities’ by 2-1 margin: By a huge two-to-one margin, Americans want so-called “sanctuary cities” where illegal immigrants, even convicted felons, can avoid federal immigration laws and deportation, punished and their federal funding shut off, according to a new poll.Rasmussen Reports found that 62 percent of likely voters believe that the Justice Department should take legal action against cities that flaunt federal laws. And it found that 58 percent believe that Washington should cut off federal funds sent to those cities.The survey follows last week’s slaying of a San Francisco woman by an illegal immigrant deported several times but protected because the city has declared itself a sanctuary.
When Clinton, Obama and Biden debated sanctuary cities: Years before the killing of Kate Steinle in San Francisco, sanctuary cities were a hot issue in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary campaign. And as it happened, the three top figures in today’s Democratic party — Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton — were all running for president and were all grilled, in a single debate, about their stands on the question.
Only one — Biden — said he would not allow cities to defy federal immigration law. Obama sidestepped the question but managed to leave the clear impression he would allow sanctuary cities to continue. And Clinton made clear she would leave sanctuary cities untouched.The debate took place on September 26, 2007 at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. Biden was questioned by Alison King of New England Cable News. She had to pull an answer out of him, but eventually got one:KING: Would you allow these cities to ignore the federal law?
BIDEN: The reason that cities ignore the federal law is the fact that there is no funding at the federal level to provide for the kind of enforcement at the federal level you need…Part of the problem is you have to have a federal government that can enforce laws. This administration’s been fundamentally derelict in not funding any of the requirements that are needed even to enforce the existing law…
KING: So Senator Biden, yes or no, would you allow those cities to ignore the federal law?
Give Biden credit; he answered the question. But Obama didn’t allow himself to be cornered. Under less persistent questioning from the late Tim Russert of NBC, Obama stuck with a non-answer without giving even the slightest hint he would change the sanctuary city system:
RUSSERT: Senator Obama.
OBAMA: The federal law is not being enforced not because of failures of local communities, because the federal government has not done the job that it needs to do. And —
RUSSERT: But you would allow the sanctuary cities to exist?
OBAMA: What I would do as president is pass comprehensive immigration reform. And the federal government should be doing, which is controlling our borders but also providing a rational immigration system, which we currently don’t have.
Clinton tried to avoid a direct answer, too, but ended up saying she saw no choice but to allow sanctuary cities to continue:
RUSSERT: Senator Clinton, would you allow the sanctuary cities to exist?
CLINTON: Well, in addition to the general points that have been made, that I agree with, why do they have sanctuary cities? In large measure because if local law enforcement begins to act like immigration enforcement officers, what that means is that you will have people not reporting crimes. You will have people hiding from the police. And I think that is a real direct threat to the personal safety and security of all the citizens. So this is a result of the failure of the federal government, and that’s where it needs to be fixed.
RUSSERT: But you would allow the sanctuary cities to disobey the federal law.
CLINTON: Well, I don’t think there is any choice. The ICE groups go in and raid individuals, but if you’re a local police chief and you’re trying to solve a crime that you know people from the immigrant community have information about, they may not talk to you if they think you’re also going to be enforcing the immigration laws. Local law enforcement has a different job than federal immigration enforcement. The problem is the federal government has totally abdicated its responsibility.
Clinton was more direct a few months later in a 2008 interview with Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly. “Are you going to crack down on the sanctuary cities?” O’Reilly asked. “No, I’m not, and I’ll tell you why,” Clinton answered, offering pretty much the same explanation she gave at Dartmouth.
But for a moment in 2007, the three figures who would go on to lead the Democratic party for years to come all had to answer the sanctuary cities question. And of course, under President Obama, cities across the country have been allowed to ignore the law, leading, years later, to the death of Kate Steinle on the pier in San Francisco.
Sanctuary Cities: 200 Cities In The United States ‘Shield’ Illegal Immigrants: San Francisco passed a sanctuary city law in 1989, called the City and County of Refuge ordinance. That law prohibits all city employees from “assisting federal immigration enforcement” officials unless they are compelled to follow the law by a court order, according to CNN.
The bulk of sanctuary city laws were reportedly passed during the 1980s. Those who support the federal law-defying ordinances have stated that such rules permit “law-abiding” illegal immigrants to report crimes without fear of deportation. The phrase “law-abiding” being applied to “undocumented immigrants” has also been a hotly debated topic. When an individual breaks a law by entering the country illegally, then breaks more laws by working in America without paying taxes on the income — can the person still be described at law-abiding? Sanctuary cities, illegal immigration, and border security are topics likely to be discussed during the 2016 presidential campaign
“The city made a mistake, not to deport someone that the federal government strongly felt should be deported,” Hillary Clinton said when referencing the Kathryn Steinle murder and San Francisco sanctuary city laws. “So I have absolutely no support for a city that ignores the strong evidence that should be acted on.”
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, MS-13 gang members were reportedly among the illegal immigrants held at Texas border facilities when a wave of illegal immigrants poured across the border last year. The young males, who admitted to being in the gang, are also reportedly attempting to recruit younger unaccompanied children into their drug-running group. Border Patrol agents say their hands are tied to separate the members of the deadly gang from the younger boys, or to schedule them for immediate deportation, because MS-13 members are minors themselves. An internal summary of Border Patrol operations at the Nogales, Arizona, U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility indicates that 16 illegal immigrants, males 15 to 17, are part of the Mara Salvatrucha — MS-13, gang.
Sanctuary city is a name given to a city in the United States that follows certain procedures that shelters illegal immigrants. These procedures can be by law (de jure) or they can be by action (de facto). The term most commonly is used for cities that do not permit municipal funds or resources to be applied in furtherance of enforcement of federal immigration laws. These cities normally do not permit police or municipal employees to inquire about one’s immigration status. The designation of Sanctuary City” has no legal meaning.
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6 big things to know about sanctuary cities: If a person is in the United States illegally, why isn’t he or she arrested and shipped back to his or her home country immediately? As mentioned above, immigration is often complicated. At least some portion of the people who do enter the country illegally or overstay the terms of their visitor or student visas also have legitimate asylum claims. Asylum is limited to individuals who can provide evidence that they have faced persecution or might be killed if they return to their home country. And U.S. law says that most people caught inside the United States should be given a chance to make those claims in an immigration court.
Now, layer on top of that more than 445,000 people awaiting immigration hearings. Most of these people cannot make a successful asylum claim but might have some other legal defense such as proof of a U.S. citizen parent or grandparent.
Sanctuary laws are in the national spotlight after an illegal immigrant with prior deportations and a criminal history pleaded not guilty to murdering a woman at a San Francisco pier. Here is what you need to know about those laws and how they protect illegal immigrants. (Jayne W. Orenstein and Osman Malik/The Washington Post)
Unauthorized immigrants caught inside the United States — or in some cases at the border — generally get a hearing in one of the nation’s deeply backlogged immigration courts. Wait times now stretch into 2019.
That means that federal immigration authorities also have to make decisions about whom to hold during that wait and whom to release and trust to show up again.
How many people does the United States deport each year?: The data reporting here lags a bit behind and, of course, varies from year to year. But on average, between 2011 and 2013, immigration courts ordered about 414,650 people out in one way or another. Here’s the picture painted in the Department of Homeland Security’s most recent annual immigration data report, for 2013.
What is a “sanctuary city,” anyway?
The policies and practices differ in the estimated 60 sanctuary cities around the country. That list includes major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Houston. But generally, when someone has been, for instance, arrested for driving without a license and then identified as an illegal immigrant at a jail in a sanctuary city, they must serve jail time for state charges or pay related fines. Then, they are let go.
Most of these cities have identified some set of guidelines or conditions under which federal immigration officials must be alerted before the person’s release. Usually they are connected to what’s on the person’s rap sheet.
But some either don’t have them or don’t follow them
Once an undocumented immigrant has been arrested for committing a crime inside the United States, why do sanctuary cities let them go?
During the apex of the country’s illegal immigration challenges, before the recession, law enforcement officials in some communities expressed concern about the practice of releasing these inmates after they had served time for state offenses. Some of those communities entered agreements to help federal authorities with immigration enforcement. This went on between 2004 and 2012.
These agreements allowed local jails to house undocumented immigrants after they had served time on state charges and bill the federal government for this service. Sometimes inmates were passed along to jails in other places without any formal notice to family members, then into the immigration court system for an expedited removal hearing. In many cases, people were returned to their home countries in weeks.
That program was widely criticized as a possible revenue stream for some local jails and a potential violation of international human rights accords. Some people were unable to communicate with embassy officials from their countries of origin or notify family members of their arrests, basically disappearing without explanation. Civil liberties groups called it a vehicle for racial and ethnic profiling. One Tennessee sheriff described it as part of his toolkit to “stack these violators like cordwood.” In addition, more than one analysis of who was deported and what happened during that process showed that most were people initially arrested for minor traffic violations and who had no criminal record.
President Obama touted the fact that his administration had deported the largest number of people in U.S. history. (Read the more complicated truth here.) Meanwhile, immigrant advocates said all of this deeply damaged already-limited police trust in immigrant communities, making people afraid to call police or provide information. That, these advocates argued, was the real threat to public safety.
This is where sanctuary cities come in.
What happens in other cities?
After a series of changes, new programs and memos from the top that were supposed to assure that more of the nation’s deportation apparatus got aimed at serious and violent criminals, the Department of Homeland Security is now asking communities to participate in a different program, this time called Priority Enforcement.
Priority Enforcement won’t formally begin until later this summer, The Washington Post reported Tuesday. When it does, it will ask local law enforcement agencies to notify federal immigration authorities before the scheduled release of an immigrant targeted for deportation. Those targeted for deportation include people with violent and serious crime convictions. And federal officials told The Post that they did make just such a request to the folks in San Francisco.
Finally, is there any evidence that those who enter the country illegally commit more crime than others?
The Fix looked at this issue this week and found an answer that shouldn’t really be surprising.
Like every population, there are some people who have immigrated to the United States illegally who go on to commit serious and misdemeanor crimes in this country. But immigrants of all kinds are actually less likely to commit crimes than those born inside the United States.
This chart highlights all immigrants, but it’s important to note that more than one-quarter of all immigrants currently in the United States are undocumented. So a spike in their crime rate would likely mean the “first generation” line wouldn’t be so low.
source-paul bedard, byron york, inquisitr, cnn, ojjpac.org, downtrend.com, janell ross, washington post, pew