A City Without Law Is No Sanctuary
Government’s first duty is to protect its citizens. That’s why we have the rule of law and established mechanisms to enforce the law – police and courts.
President Trump has a sworn duty to uphold duly established laws. Sadly, some elected officials at the state and city and even federal level stand in defiance of the law.
The administration recently launched Operation Safe City. It resulted in the arrest of nearly five hundred illegal alien criminals across the country in a sweep that included the so-called sanctuary cities of New York, Los Angeles, Baltimore and Washington.
“We are never going to stop enforcing the laws that we’re authorized and required to do,” said Matthew Albence of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “If we need to go into these locations every week, we will go into these locations every week to remove these public safety threats.”
“Sanctuary cities” is the deliberately misleading term used in reference to jurisdictions that mandate police not to cooperate with federal officials in the pursuit of justice. In a civilized society it is the law that protects citizens – laws are the sanctuary. To call a place where there is no law a “sanctuary” is to deny objective reality. It is the worst form of doublethink, right up there with War is Peace and Freedom is Slavery.
But too many elected officials who have sworn to uphold the Constitution want law enforcement to look the other way when criminal illegal aliens victimize vulnerable people.
U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.), chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus is one of them. “These raids are simply another attempt by the President and his anti-immigrant chiefs to bully cities into undermining the constitutional protections of all [their] residents, irrespective of their immigration status,” she said.
Sadly, she is not alone.
Anybody who thinks a criminal illegal alien should remain in the country after their sentence is adjudicated, or they should be let out pending trial, has no conscience.
We’re talking about dangerous individuals who are illegally in the country and murder, rape, rob and engage in domestic violence and child abuse. In one recent case in Milwaukee Wisconsin a “catch and release” illegal alien assaulted his girlfriend holding a gun to her head and threatened her small children.
The claim that cracking down on sanctuary cities and criminal illegal aliens is “anti-immigrant” or an exercise in racial or ethnic discrimination is pure nonsense. In fact, it is immigrants who stand to gain the most when we round up criminal illegal immigrants.
Sanctuary cities provide a safe haven for criminals who prey not only on law abiding Americans and legal immigrants, but other people who are in the country illegally and may not be engaged in criminal activity. The criminals know that these crime victims are reluctant to notify police to report them for fear of being found to be in the country illegally themselves. The violent criminal gang from El Salvador, MS-13 for example primarily preys upon the Salvadoran immigrant community and others in the United States.
In the sanctuary city of Los Angeles, Mexican criminal gangs – many of whose members are illegals – are waging open warfare against African American residents.
Federal prosecutors charged members of the Big Hazard gang with firebombing the homes of black families in a public housing project. While the left imagines that enforcing our laws is somehow a civil rights violation, its worth noting that the L.A. gangbangers were charged with conspiring to violate civil rights, interfering with housing rights as well as committing violent crime and carrying explosives to commit a federal felony.
“The defendants used firebombs to drive the victims from their homes because of their race,” said the head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division at the time. “This is a hate crime. Such violence and intimidation have no place in our society.”
Despite the fact that many of the gang members have no right to even be in this country, as the Manhattan Institute’s Heather MacDonald found, police in these sanctuary cities can’t take down gang members solely based on their immigration status.
“We can’t even talk about it,” says a frustrated LAPD captain. “People are afraid of a backlash from Hispanics.” Another LAPD commander in a predominantly Hispanic, gang-infested district sighs: “I would get a firestorm of criticism if I talked about [enforcing the immigration law against illegals].”
Mayors who declare themselves sanctuary cities are in effect relegating their legal residents to second-class status and not worthy of protecting. This is a slap in the face by these mayors to their law-abiding community and a complete abdication of their responsibility to keep their residents safe.
Any elected official who supports giving criminals a pass because of their immigration status is guilty of discriminating against our citizens, guilty of abdicating their most basic responsibility to uphold the law, and guilty of violating 8 U.S.C. 1324 which stipulates fines and imprisonment for anyone who “conceals, harbors or shields from detection” an alien who has entered the country illegally. I call it the Department of Justice nuclear option if more moderate attempts to comply with the law fail.
Equal justice before the law means any and all lawbreakers, in the streets or the suites, shall be brought before the judge.
And they shall have no sanctuary.
Sheriff David Clarke is a senior advisor for America First Policies. He began his 40-year career in law enforcement in 1978, and served as sheriff of Milwaukee County from 2002 to 2017.
Perspectives expressed in op-eds are not those of The Daily Caller.