The Mean Streets of Sanctuary Cities

Sanctuary city politicians and their police-chief hirelings assert that communities are less safe without cooperation from illegal aliens. The claim is risible, considering deportable criminal aliens contribute to the already high crime rates in such sanctuaries as Chicago and Baltimore.

Fact is, there is no hard data to support the sanctuary supposition. There is, however, clear evidence to show that sanctuary policies make streets more dangerous.

The Texas Tribune reports that a “deliberate disconnect between local authorities and ICE ranks as one of the major ways immigrants slip through the hands of law enforcement.”

According to federal records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, local law-enforcement agencies around the country declined to honor more than 18,000 ICE “detainer” requests between Jan. 1, 2014 and September 2016. Two-thirds of the individuals set free had criminal records and, like most criminals, the illegal aliens were primed to steal, beat, rape and murder again.

One of the most notorious cases involved Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, an illegal alien/career criminal who was released repeatedly before allegedly killing Kate Steinle in San Francisco.

Texas has its own horror stories. As the Tribune reported:

Juan Francisco de Luna Vasquez passed through the Webb County jail at least four times on more than a half dozen charges before allegedly beating his wife to death with a hammer in Laredo. He had been deported four times.

Victor Reyes spent three months in the Hidalgo County Jail, four months in state custody and six years in federal prison for multiple felony offenses. Then he went on a random shooting spree in Houston, killing two people and injuring three more. Reyes also had been removed from the country four times.

Juan Leonardo Quintero, a sex offender with multiple criminal convictions and five deportations, shot and killed Houston Police Officer Rodney Johnson in the back of his patrol car.

In the aftermath of Johnson’s slaying, Houston modified its reporting and detention policies to allow more police cooperation with ICE so that wanted criminal immigrants were handed over to federal authorities.

While local authorities in Texas’ sanctuary cities have failed to cooperate with ICE, and the Obama administration leaned toward selective enforcement, President Donald Trump has taken the shackles off the agency. ICE is now going into courthouses looking for deportable criminals.

Sanctuary proponents in Texas aren’t going quietly. Cities – even non-sanctuaries like San Antonio – are suing the state to block Senate Bill 4, which withholds state funds from cities and punishes local officials who freeze out ICE. The law takes effect Sept. 1, unless a federal judge in San Antonio rules otherwise.

Gov. Greg Abbott, who signed SB 4 into law, isn’t flinching.

Noting that Travis County (Austin) denied 204 ICE jail detainer requests earlier this year, the Republican governor countered Sheriff Sally Hernandez’s claim that it’s “compassionate” to flout federal law enforcement and let illegals walk.

Forty-four of the denied requests were for inmates initially detained by Homeland Security and temporarily transferred to the Travis lockup for disposition of state or local charges, according to records obtained by Judicial Watch.

Calling out Sheriff Hernandez’s obstruction, Abbott said, “It’s a capricious conception of public safety [that]allows criminals to walk free — on her own streets no less.”

Undaunted, “Sanctuary Sally” is issuing pamphlets advising criminal aliens on how they can qualify for “U visas,” which are intended for victims of crimes.

While the sheriff opens her jailhouse doors, statistics from the Texas Department of Public Safety illustrate the irresponsibility of her actions.

From June 1, 2011, to May 31, 2017, 222,000 illegal immigrants were charged with 593,000 criminal offenses, ranging from drug dealing and sexual assault to robbery and homicide, DPS reported.

Releasing jailed illegal aliens back onto the streets won’t make Texas communities any safer, and so-called sanctuary cities will be demonstrably more dangerous.

About Author


Content written by Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.


  1. avatar

    Sheriff Hernandez’s home address needs to be made public as a “sanctuary house” where ALL who are worried about deportation have the right to enter and remain as long as they wish. They are free to use anything within the house as if it were their own. Sheriff Hernandez herself stated that they are of no danger to the community, and by suggesting such indicates obliquely that includes her personal residence.

  2. avatar

    time to stop this releasing illegals they are not American citizens send them back where the hell they are from new sherrif in town

    • avatar
      Michael Spinelli on

      I concur, but when a felony is committed by an illegal alien that has been prevented from being deported due to sanctuary policies, than the political leadership in that community/state should be brought up on charges of complicity. After all, if it weren’t for the policy, than the crime would not have been committed.

      • avatar

        Right on! You must have had some good teacher’s in your life! One’s who helped you to learn right from wrong (left) as opposed to the indoctrination instead of education that kids today get.
        How far off am I?