The California Elite and Sanctuary Hypocrisy

Santa Cruz County in California is a “sanctuary” jurisdiction. And “Policy 428” in the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Policy Manual clearly states, “No individual who is otherwise ready to be released [from Sheriff’s Office custody]should be detained solely for the purpose of making notification to immigration authorities.” Strangely, though, it also says, “Immigration officials routinely interview suspected undocumented aliens who are booked into the county jail.”

Santa Cruz County is committed to protecting immigration violators but it invites immigration officials into its jail to screen offenders and find immigration violators. If that sounds rather hypocritical – that’s because it is. Sanctuary policies are routinely supported by wealthy do-gooders who live far away from the elevated crime, depressed wages, cultural decline that accompany uncontrolled mass migration. But, the fact is, that these devotées of diversity get a bit testy when reality intrudes upon their utopian fantasy world. And when one of their own is victimized by an immigrant, their commitment to a multicultural world of open borders evaporates completely.

Proof of this assertion is easy to find: Alix Tichelman was a high-end call girl servicing the rich and famous around Santa Cruz Harbor. She was also a Canadian citizen, and the daughter of a wealthy tech executive, who had obtained lawful permanent residence in the United States. On November 23, 2013, Tichelman was partying with millionaire Google executive Timothy Hayes, on his private yacht. During the course of their activities, she injected him with heroin. When Hayes began to show signs of an overdose, rather than calling for assistance, Tichelman focused on covering her tracks and leaving the crime scene undetected. She was subsequently convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to jail. The media dubbed Tichelman the ”Harbor Hooker.”

Both upon her arrest, and her release from jail, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) filed detainers requesting that Tichelman be held in custody for arrest on deportation charges. Although the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office made an elaborate public show about refusing to comply with the detainer, it was all political theater. Tichelman was taken into ICE custody without incident and ordered deported from the United States. The Sheriff’s Office didn’t let her go before ICE could arrive and her removal wasn’t accompanied by the histrionic agitprop that has become a common feature of high-profile immigration cases.

And there was nary a whisper from the Hollywood and Silicon Valley elite when Alix Tichelman was being deported. Billionaire Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg – vocal critic of Trump administration immigration enforcement efforts – didn’t say a word. Anti-“travel ban,” pro-sanctuary Canadian immigrant, Seth Rogan stayed off his Twitter account. Why? The answer is simple. The Harbor Hooker didn’t commit a crime that impacted regular folks, like Kate Steinle, or the children of all the “angel moms.” She crossed the one border that California’s pro-alien elite care about – the one that protects them from the real world.

About Author


Matthew J. O’Brien joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 2016. Matt is responsible for managing FAIR’s research activities. He also writes content for FAIR’s website and publications. Over the past twenty years he has held a wide variety of positions focusing on immigration issues, both in government and in the private sector. Immediately prior to joining FAIR Matt served as the Chief of the National Security Division (NSD) within the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate (FDNS) at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), where he was responsible for formulating and implementing procedures to protect the legal immigration system from terrorists, foreign intelligence operatives, and other national security threats. He has also held positions as the Chief of the FDNS Policy and Program Development Unit, as the Chief of the FDNS EB-5 Division, as Assistant Chief Counsel with U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement, as a Senior Advisor to the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman, and as a District Adjudications Officer with the legacy Immigration & Naturalization Service. In addition, Matt has extensive experience as a private bar attorney. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in French from the Johns Hopkins University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Maine School of Law.


  1. avatar
    Joel Wischkaemper on

    It would be so very, very nice if we could sue people like Pelosi and Reid for their rotten policies where illegal aliens are, and deporting them, housing them and all the rest. If we could sue them, and trim the millions they have gained from their positions, I think the sanctuary cities would finally go away. I would add, so would the discussions of civil war.

  2. avatar

    Well you are making the wrong correlation Matt, the reason you do not understand the current reality, a bad, criminal American does not mean The People is bad…..

    Simply put the good illegal people here are being abused and came to work, the bad ones came to do bad things….. we would still have the bad people if the good were not here…..

    • avatar

      Peter: Don’t Use Just Raw Numbers of IAs Committing Crimes

      Use the % in prison versus the % of our population….then its like 3-4 times worse for these type of immigrants than stable American citizens…

      • avatar

        Please read again what I said then comment/feedback accordingly… the bowl!!!..hahaha!!!

      • avatar

        yeah really……like saying all illegals are on the streets asking for money when all are whites and african Americans and you no illegals doing that…hahahaha!~!!! where do you live man?..Mars?….L)

          • avatar

            Fed up that us like saying, you wrtie Chinese ….. hahahaha!!!!

            People’ like you with twisted realities are the dead wood of this country…hahaha!!!!