The term “sanctuary” conjures up a place of safety and comfort and, indeed, in some dictionaries, those two terms are used to describe sanctuaries. Therefore pairing the two terms, “violent” and “sanctuary” in the same title may seem to constitute a contradiction in terms. As you will soon see, in this era of political corruption and intentional ineptitude, those two terms actually fit perfectly together.
While the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary in part, describes a sanctuary as, “a refuge for wildlife where predators are controlled and hunting is illegal” in so-called “Sanctuary Cities” such as San Francisco, predators are being granted sanctuary and innocent people are being hunted. Witness the senseless murder of Kathryn Steinle who fell victim to a predatory criminal alien, Francisco Sanchez, who easily entered the United States by running our borders with impunity on at least five occasions notwithstanding the fact that he has reportedly been convicted of committing seven felonies in the United States and yet was shielded by San Francisco's sanctuary policies.
On Monday, July 6, 2015 ABC News reported, “San Francisco Shooting Suspect Says He Kept Coming Back to the City to Avoid Deportation.”
Here is how the news report began:
An undocumented immigrant suspected of killing a woman at a San Francisco pier said he chose the city for its sanctuary policies -- that is, he knew San Francisco was a good place to avoid deportation, he told ABC station KGO-TV.
In an exclusive jailhouse interview, a KGO-TV reporter asked Francisco Sanchez, the alleged gunman, "Did you keep coming back to San Francisco because you knew that they wouldn't actively look for you to deport you?" and Sanchez responded, "Yes."
Sanchez, who has been deported five times, told KGO-TV he started wandering on Pier 14 on Wednesday after taking sleeping pills he found in a dumpster. He said he then picked up a gun that he found and it went off.
While so much attention has been focused on the need for the United States to secure the U.S./Mexican border -- indeed that border must be made secure -- there is far more that must be done by the federal government and local and state governments to effectively address the immigration crisis that is costing innocent lives and the jobs of American workers. Ending “Sanctuary Cities” and ramping up interior enforcement of our immigration laws by ICE would be a good start.
The many failures of the immigration system was the focus of my July 7, 2014 FrontPage Magazine article, “Border Security and the Immigration Colander” in which I compared the immigration system to a colander with many holes in it. Simply plugging one hole will not make that colander suitable for use as a bucket. Simply securing the U.S./Mexican border without simultaneously addressing the other failures of the dysfunctional immigration system will not solve our immigration crisis either.
Aliens do not run our borders the way that Neil Armstrong and the other Apollo astronauts went to the moon. Our valiant astronauts went to the moon to plant a flag, retrieve some samples of rocks and soil, conduct experiments and quickly depart for mother earth before the expendables, oxygen, water and food, ran out.
Illegal aliens do not simply wish to set foot on the U.S. side of the border, grab some soil and rocks, plant a flag and go home.
In fact, they bring precious few expendables with them, however, they may well display the flags of their home countries, especially during demonstrations demanding that, notwithstanding their violations of our borders and our laws, they be granted lawful status and the right to work and thus send their money to their families back home. (So much for the narrative that they are “hiding in the shadows.”)
Illegal aliens come to the United States for reasons only known to them. There is no way of knowing if they are simply seeking illegal employment, which, of itself creates problems, or if they are criminals -- fugitives who are fleeing prosecution in their home countries for committing serious crimes, including murder, rape and drug trafficking. We don't know their true identities, their potential affiliation with criminal or terrorist organizations or when, where or how they actually entered the United States.
The purpose of the inspections process that CBP conducts at ports of entry is to prevent the entry of aliens whose presence would be dangerous or at the least harmful to America and Americans. This is the process that aliens enter the United States without inspection evade. Yet our leaders and most journalists refer to them simply as being “undocumented” as though handing them a piece of paper or perhaps an official identity document solves the problem.
Illegal aliens who run our borders do not stay near the border for long. Most of them are intent on getting to towns and cities across the United States. They are most likely to go to towns and cities where they can most easily escape detection by law enforcement and especially immigration enforcement officers. Therefore, they move into ethnic immigrant communities to live among those who are most like themselves where they are far less likely to stand out among a population they share much with.
Sanctuary cities provide an irresistible appeal for them. Knowing that police officers will not contact federal authorities even if they are arrested for violating city and state laws is, as the Master Card commercial might state, “priceless.”
The alleged murderer, Francisco Sanchez, clearly stated to news reporters that he specifically went to San Francisco because it is a “sanctuary city.”
The Obama administration’s executive orders on immigration, coupled with outrageous sanctuary policies of cities such as San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and others jeopardizes the lives of innocent people throughout the United States and violate the findings and recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.
On September 23, 2014 FrontPage Magazine published my article, “ 'Sanctuary Cities' or 'Safe Havens' for Terrorists?”
It is not anti-immigrant to want our borders secured and our immigration laws enforced. Indeed, members of the ethnic immigrant communities from around the world, not just Latin America, are the most likely victims of crimes committed by criminal aliens.
The most reliable metric for determining the true state of border security is quite simple to find: Look no further than the price and availability of heroin and cocaine. Every gram of those substances is smuggled into the United States. They are not produced inside our borders. We are in the midst of one of the worst heroin epidemics in history. Furthermore, last year DEA seized the greatest amount of heroin in New York State. (We are a nation of 50 “border states.”)
When I was assigned to the Unified Intelligence Division of the DEA in New York in the late 1980's I did an analysis of arrest stats and was stunned to find that 60% of those arrested by the DEA in NYC were foreign-born, while 30% of all arrested nationally were foreign-born.
The stats are likely not much different today.
Francisco Sanchez, the alleged murderer of Kathryn Steinle, reportedly was deported from the United States on five previous occasions and had seven felony convictions. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) an alien with a history of criminal convictions who is deported from the United States faces a maximum of 20 years in federal prison for the crime of unlawful re-entry as an "aggravated felon.”
I worked with then New York Senator Al D’Amato in the early 1980’s to create the law that addresses the prosecution of criminal aliens who illegally re-enter the United States after deportation.
I approached Senator D'Amato back then with my suggestion to create a separate law that would impose a maximum prison sentence of 20 years of incarceration when criminal aliens are deported and then return without authority. D'Amato asked me to provide substantiation about the need for a change in the law and over a period of about six months, I convinced roughly 30 of my colleagues at the former INS to speak with D’Amato’s staff. Additionally, unknown to me at the time, Walter Connery, the chief of investigations for the INS in NYC, had, before his retirement from the NYPD, been a Deputy Inspector of the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau. He was also an attorney. Walter had written a legislative initiative about this same issue and sent it to D’Amato shortly after my meetings with the senator. (Walter had no idea about my efforts; this was pure serendipity.) We got that change in the law and I also convinced D’Amato to convince the Reagan administration to conduct deportation hearings, now known as removal hearings, in prisons so that when criminal aliens are released from prison, they can be immediately deported from the United States.
Prior to the insane executive orders of the current administration, the enactment of this statute motivated federal prosecutors around the United States to focus on these crimes, making immigration criminal prosecutions the most numerous for every U.S. Attorney’s office in the United States.
This is the link to the section of law to which I am referring, 8 U.S.C. § 1326 -- Reentry After Deportation (Removal)
While the language of this section of law runs roughly a full page, here is the relevant and brief paragraph:
The basic statutory maximum penalty for reentry after deportation is a fine under title 18, imprisonment for not more than 2 years, or both. However, with regard to an alien whose "removal" was subsequent to a conviction for commission of three or more misdemeanors involving drugs, crimes against the person, or both, or a felony (other than an aggravated felony), the statutory maximum term of imprisonment is 10 years. Moreover, if deportation was subsequent to conviction for an aggravated felony, the statutory maximum term of imprisonment is 20 years.
Re-entry cases are extremely easy to prosecute and are the most cost effective way of getting criminal aliens off the street. All that is required is for the case agent to obtain the executed Warrant of Deportation and have a fingerprint analysis done. Additionally, a search is done of immigration records to verify he/she did not apply for and receive authorization to legally return to the United States. Finally, certified copies of the convictions and sentencing orders need to be obtained.
Aliens in custody certainly cannot claim to not be present in the United States. As I have joked during some speaking engagements, any alien who would claim to not be here would be making a prima facia case for not being “all there.” Because of this, an alien charged with unlawful re-entry may as well plead guilty and get it over with.
There is no reason that Sanchez should not have been prosecuted for unlawful re-entry after his first deportation, presuming he had already been convicted of a drug trafficking felony.
Furthermore, since San Francisco has previously refused to honor ICE detainers, ICE should never have turned Sanchez over to San Francisco for a relatively minor crime. As an INS agent I had an effective way of dealing with this sort of thing. I would ask the local judge to give the defendant an ACD (adjournment in contemplation of dismissal) so that I could take custody of the alien in question and not risk losing him, should his paperwork fall through a crack in the bureaucracy.
It is likely that the Obama administration, which has turned tens of thousands of criminal aliens loose onto the streets of towns and cities across the United States, is simply looking for a way to put the blame on San Francisco when they need to look no further than the policies of DHS which should, in my judgment, be renamed the Department of Homeland Surrender.
Donald Trump is being castigated and rebuked by politicians from both the Democratic and Republican parties as well as companies that he had been doing business with. He was absolutely correct that our border that is supposed to separate the United States from Mexico needs to be secured. However, the issue of criminal aliens is not solely about Mexican or Latinos but about aliens of every ethnicity from virtually every country on the planet. Crime is not about race, religion or ethnicity. As an INS agent I spent years conducting investigations and arresting criminal aliens from nearly every country.
Undoubtedly, Trump should have taken a more nuanced approach to discussing the failures of our government to secure our borders and effectively enforce our immigration laws. However, it was astonishing for Macy's to attacked Trump when you consider how that upscale department store has apparently treated Black American citizen shoppers.
Just last year, on August 20, 2014 the Daily News published the report, “Macy's agrees to pay $650G to settle state probe into racial profiling at its Herald Square store.”
The lead paragraph under the headline reported:
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is set to announce the agreement Wednesday following the investigation that began in February 2013. Macy’s said it has also 'settled in principle' various private lawsuits related to the allegations.
Here is the balance of that disturbing news report:
ALBANY — Macy’s has agreed to pay $650,000 to settle a state probe into racial profiling complaints at its flagship Herald Square store.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is set to announce the agreement Wednesday following the investigation that began in February 2013.
“This agreement will help ensure that no one is unfairly singled out as a suspected criminal when they shop in New York and that all New Yorkers enjoy full and equal access to our retail establishments,” Schneiderman said.
The settlement comes about a week after Barneys agreed to pay $525,000 to settle similar complaints.
Macy’s said it has also “settled in principle” various private lawsuits related to the allegations.
Trump stated that “Mexico does not send us their best.” It is not the job of governments to send their citizens anywhere. Nevertheless, Mexico is obviously exploiting their citizens, encouraging them to come to the United States and work and send money home. In fact, this money that is wired back to Mexico by their citizens amounts to well over $20 billion annually and represents one of the greatest sources of income for the Mexican economy. It is estimated that nearly 10% of all Mexicans now live in the United States.
Some countries refuse to issue passports for their citizens who are arrested in the United States because they don't want their criminals and sociopaths to return home and so we wind up with no way to return many such aliens.
On September 30, 2014 NPR posted an article, “Mexico Pays To Help Its Citizens Avoid Deportation From The U.S.” which began with this synopsis:
“Mexico is helping some of its citizens apply for a controversial immigration program in the U.S. called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.”
This article also included this excerpt:
Since the Obama administration created the program in 2012, more than 580,000 unauthorized immigrants brought to the U.S. as minors have received temporary relief from deportation and been given work permits that last for at least two years.
But 45 percent of those who are eligible for DACA have not applied, and the cost may be holding some back. Immigrants have to pay a total of $465 to the Department of Homeland Security for fees related to the work permit and for required fingerprinting.
Mexican consulates around the U.S. have been paying those fees for some applicants through a little-known program for Mexican citizens with financial need.
Here is another important excerpt:
"If it's a program that helps youth to work in this country, well, that helps our nationals, and that helps us," he said.
When asked why Mexico is helping its citizens find ways to stay in the U.S., Escutia said that is not the Mexican government's main objective.
"Our main objective is the well-being of our nationals wherever they are," he said. "So what we want for them is that they are successful and really continue contributing to this country [the U.S.]."
An official with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which reviews DACA applications, told NPR that foreign governments are not restricted from providing filing fees because the agency has "no way of knowing where any fees might have originated."
About 80 percent of immigrants applying for DACA come from Mexico, according to USCIS. Among the other top five countries of origin, neither El Salvador nor South Korea has provided financial assistance to applicants, while the embassies of Guatemala and Honduras did not return requests for comment by deadline.
Raising 'An Eyebrow Or Two'
DACA has sparked heated debate in Congress, with House Republicans questioning whether President Obama had the constitutional authority to enact the program. In August, they passed a measure to end the DACA program, which was also the focus of a lawsuit by a group of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.
On January 6, 2006 The New York Times published a report, “A Mexican Manual for Illegal Migrants Upsets Some in U.S.” A copy of the English translation of the manual, titled “A Guide for the Illegal Migrant” was made public.
The governments of Mexico and many other countries seek to exploit their citizens. Today many of America's political leaders also seek to exploit those foreign workers and blithely ignore the American lives and livelihoods that that are lost to their greed and immorality.
While the media is now focused on the horrific and senseless death of Kathryn Steinle, she is one of ever so many innocent victims of the carefully manufactured failures of the immigration system.
American lives matter!