Philadelphia’s egregious sanctuary city policy that has repeatedly allowed illegal aliens to commit rape in that city has to end, says Sen. Pat Toomey.
Philadelphia has one of the most “extreme versions” of the policy, Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican in a tough reelection fight, said on the “O’Reilly Factor” Wednesday.
There are hundreds of sanctuary jurisdictions across the country. Some left-wingers use the dreadful euphemism "civil liberties safe zones" to describe them. The phrase blurs the distinction between citizens and non-citizens by implying illegal aliens somehow possess a civil right to be present in the U.S.
The sanctuary movement that gave illegal aliens permission to rob, rape, and murder Americans is the product of decades of concerted collusion by radical George Soros-funded groups like the ACLU to get cities to pledge to violate laws that protect U.S. national security. Cheered on by the Left, sanctuary cities frustrate immigration enforcement efforts and shield illegal aliens from federal officials as a matter of policy.
The Obama administration is fine with that. President Obama has made America a sanctuary country, rolling out the red carpet for illegal aliens, especially those from Mexico, to come to the U.S. and depress labor markets while they suck the nation's welfare state dry.
On Fox News Channel, Toomey slammed the City of Brotherly Love for unleashing a violent illegal alien from Honduras named Ramon Aguirre-Ochoa on Pennsylvanians. Aguirre-Ochoa was previously deported from the U.S. in 2009. He reentered the country illegally and was in the custody of police but was liberated when Philadelphia officials failed to honor a federal request to keep him in custody.
“This monster raped a child and he never should have been here,” he said. “And the folks at ICE didn’t want him here. They had asked the police department of Philadelphia to hold this guy until they could send an agent to pick him up and deport him.”
But “their hands were tied by a very bad policy that forbids them from cooperating with federal immigration officials. It’s terrible, and it’s a security risk for all of us.”
Failing to cooperate with immigration officials who want a prisoner held beyond the expected release date is in theory a violation of federal law, some say, but court rulings have clouded the issue.
The victim in this case has not been named in the media but has been described as a child under the age of 13 years. The child’s sex was not given.
Aguirre-Ochoa, who was arrested last month, could be free again, the senator said. “If he makes bail or if for some reason the case against him falls apart and they have to release him, according to the current policy in Philadelphia, they will not inform ICE. They will just release this guy onto the streets of Philadelphia. This is terrible. We have to end this.”
The previous mayor, Michael Nutter (D), had enforced the sanctuary city policy of non-compliance but suddenly restored cooperation with immigration officials a month before he left office. The new mayor, Jim Kenney (D), brought it back the same day he was inaugurated in January.
"Executive Order 5-16 states that city authorities will not cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer requests for undocumented citizens who are arrested and would have otherwise been released from custody, unless the individual has committed a first or second degree felony involving violence," Kenney’s office said in a press release.
Columnist Stu Bykofsky writes that under Kenney’s executive order:
ICE will be notified only if the suspect has a conviction, but not just a conviction, it must be a felony. But not just a felony, it must be a first- or second-degree felony. But not just a first- or second-degree felony, it must also involve violence.
So good for (non-violent) drunken drivers, identity thieves and burglars. Feel free to offend, foreign felons! Philly's got your back.
In a gigantic additional hurdle, the city demands ICE present a judicial warrant, the equivalent of an arrest warrant, which an ICE spokesman says is almost impossible because the crime has already been solved.”
Making matters worse, local clergy in Philadelphia have created an emergency hotline that illegal aliens and others can call to report ICE enforcement activities. They also set up “Know Your Rights” training sessions to help illegals evade capture and removal.
The sanctuary movement itself began in the 1970s, or the 1980s, according to various sources. Churches wanted to shelter those fleeing violence in Central America and were unhappy that the U.S. government was reluctant to grant the migrants refugee status because they did not meet the legal definition of "refugee," which requires them to be victims of governmental persecution.
Aguirre-Ochoa is far from the only illegal alien to be released from custody in Philadelphia who has gone on to commit more crimes.
Milton Mateo Garcia, also from Honduras, was deported, and then returned unlawfully to the country, Bykofsky writes. The man was in police custody in 2014 but then released because local policy required it. He went on to allegedly rape a 26-year-old female physician.
Philadelphia’s crazy policy also helped an illegal alien from Mexico named Jose Palermos. In 2013 he “was convicted of indecent assault on a 7-year-old girl,” Bykofsky writes. “That got the sex offender on the Megan's Law list, but it wasn't enough to get the city to honor ICE's detainer request. His was ‘only’ a third-degree felony - a ‘minor’ crime. Unless you were the minor. Despite the city's best efforts to protect this monster, ICE found and deported him to Mexico.”
Toomey has been fighting these lawless sanctuary jurisdictions for years. He championed the proposed “Stop Dangerous Sanctuary City Policies Act” that would have withheld some federal funds from sanctuary jurisdictions that forbid their law enforcement officers from cooperating with immigration officials. The measure had bipartisan support from a majority of senators, but in July a minority filibustered the bill which prevented its consideration.
The legislation was endorsed by the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, National Sheriffs' Association, National Association of Police Organizations, International Union of Police Associations, and the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), according to background material provided by Toomey’s Capitol Hill office.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump calls sanctuary cities “a disaster.” They are “a safe-haven for criminals and people that should not have a safe-haven in many cases. It’s just unacceptable.”
Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton supports sanctuary cities, though she criticized San Francisco for releasing Kate Steinle’s killer, saying it was a mistake “not to deport someone that the federal government strongly felt should be deported” and that she did not support “a city that ignores the strong evidence that should be acted on.”
A few days later the Clinton campaign reassured left-wingers that she was still on-board on the issue. Spokesman Josh Schwerin sent PolitiFact a statement that indicated "Hillary Clinton believes that sanctuary cities can help further public safety, and she has defended those policies going back years."
The murder of young Kate Steinle at Pier 14, a tourist hotspot in San Francisco’s Embarcadero district on July 1 last year highlighted just how dangerous sanctuary city policies are. Steinle was shot in the back in broad daylight by Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, a Mexican national illegally present in the U.S. He had previously been deported from the U.S. five times. He had seven felony convictions and was on probation in Texas at the time he shot Steinle. Lopez-Sanchez openly acknowledged he kept coming back to San Francisco because he knew he was safe from immigration enforcement efforts there.
San Francisco’s then-sheriff, Ross Mirkarimi (D), released him even though federal officials characterized him as an "enforcement priority" and filed an "immigration detainer" asking jailers to hold him until they could take custody of him. Refusing to honor immigration detainers is a good thing, he said. "I firmly believe it makes us safer. We're a world-renowned city with a large immigrant population ... From a law enforcement perspective, we want to build trust with that population," said Mirkarimi, who was subsequently crushed in local primary elections.
The Left, of course, shows no signs of abandoning its delusion that sanctuary cities are good for America.