Last week House Democrats advanced a bill to prohibit U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement from arresting criminal illegals at bus stops, public assistance offices, and every courthouse in the United States. The Democrats contend that ICE has been “targeting immigrants” in an “aggressive and mean-spirited” way, and that these tactics, “do not improve the safety of our communities.”
The congressional Democrats thus echo the views of Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Chief Justice of California’s Supreme Court, a registered Republican nominated in 2010 by governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. In a March 16, 2017 letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, Cantil-Sakauye wrote:
“As Chief Justice of California responsible for the safe and fair delivery of justice in our state, I am deeply concerned about reports from some of our trial courts that immigration agents appear to be stalking undocumented immigrants in our courthouses to make arrests. Our courthouses serve as a vital forum for ensuring access to justice and protecting public safety. Courthouses should not be used as bait in the necessary enforcement of our country’s immigration laws…
“Enforcement policies that include stalking courthouses and arresting undocumented immigrants, the vast majority of whom pose no risk to public safety, are neither safe nor fair. They not only compromise our core value of fairness but they undermine the judiciary’s ability to provide equal access to justice. I respectfully request that you refrain from this sort of enforcement in California’s courthouses.”
In an interview with San Francisco PBS affiliate KQED, Cantil-Sakauye said the practice of targeting courthouses was unlike the practices of “the Obama administration.” She explained that she chose the word “stalking” intentionally, based on her court experience with domestic violence. “I understand what stalking means and the fear it instills in the victim,” she said. And according to California’s Chief Justice, “People will not report, they will not cooperate. There will be fewer witnesses against bad guys.”
The Chief Justice provided no actual cases of people declining to testify against “bad guys” because ICE arrested illegals in a courthouse, where armed police and security guards already abound. In their March 29 response to Cantil-Sakauye, Sessions and Kelly noted that she was a rather unlikely source for the “stalking” charge against ICE.
“As the chief judicial officer of the State of California, your characterization of federal law enforcement officers is particularly troubling.” Stalking has “specific legal meaning in American law,” and it was “criminal activity.” On the other hand, “the arrest of persons in a public place based on probable cause has long been upheld by the United States Supreme Court,” as U.S. v. Watson confirmed. Federal statues authorize arrests where probable cause exists to believe that “such aliens are in violation of immigration laws.” Courthouses are not only public places, but visitors are screened for weapons, Sessions and Kelly wrote, therefore “the safety risks for the arresting officers are substantially decreased.”
Besides her apparent ignorance of the law, Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye also overlooked recent northern California cases of violent criminals who should not have been in the United States in the first place, who remained at large, and who murdered police officers and innocent civilians. These criminals include Mexican national Luis Enriquez Monroy Bracamontes who gunned down deputy Danny Oliver, detective Michael Davis and wounded motorist Anthony Holmes. Mexican nationals Saul Isidro-Aucencio and Francisco Delgado, both violators of U.S. immigration laws, gunned down two American teenagers and Robert Corpos, 20, father of an 18-month-old boy.
Repeatedly deported Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez was in custody but not turned over to ICE in keeping with San Francisco’s sanctuary policies. In July 2015, this illegal felon gunned down Kathryn Steinle on a San Francisco pier.
The state Supreme Court is in San Francisco but the murder of an innocent 32-year-old woman did not prompt Tani Cantil-Sakauye to write a letter challenging the city’s sanctuary policies. Neither did any of the recent murders by violent criminal illegals prompt California’s Chief Justice to write federal officials urging stronger enforcement policies to keep the public safe.
After graduating from UC Davis law school, Tani Cantil-Sakauye worked as a blackjack dealer in Reno. She now shows her hand as a pro-bono advocate for violators of U.S. immigration law. On the other hand, Tani Cantil-Sakauye is not the first California Chief Justice to elevate her own ideology above the law she swore to uphold.
Back in 1977, governor Jerry Brown’s pick for chief justice was Rose Bird, only 40 years old and without judicial experience. In ten years, Rose Bird overturned every death sentence that came before the supreme court, including the death sentence of Theodore Frank, duly convicted of kidnapping, torturing, raping, murdering and mutilating two-year-old Amy Sue Seitz in 1978. In November 1986 California voters ousted Bird by a two-to-one margin, 67 to 33 percent.
Tani Cantil-Sakauye is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Rose Bird, shrill, arrogant, and out of touch with the people. It’s a classic case of late-onset Trump Derangement Syndrome, brought on by a president intent on keeping his promise to deport violent criminal illegals. Though legally confused, California’s Chief Justice remains highly qualified to set policy for congressional Democrats who see ICE, not violent criminal illegals, as a threat to public safety.