Corporal Ronil Singh, a police officer with the with the City of Newman California Police Department, was recently murdered during a routine stop of a suspected drunk driver. Cpl. Singh was a lawful immigrant from Fiji who sought a career serving his adopted community as a law enforcement officer. And, through hard work and determination, he achieved his American dream.
Gustavo Perez Arriaga, the man accused of killing Cpl. Singh, was an illegal alien. He was also a suspected member of the vicious Sureños street gang, known for murder, extortion, kidnapping, drug smuggling and human trafficking.
There has been a significant amount of commentary on the contrast between Singh and Arriaga. However, that type of coverage misses the fundamental point: Unlike Singh, Arriaga began his relationship with the United States by breaking our laws, and that pattern continued unabated throughout his time in our country.
That makes this case is more than just a study in contrasts or a cautionary tale about poor life choices. It’s an object lesson in how most popular notions about illegal aliens and crime are terminally flawed. And a searing indictment of everything that is wrong and misguided about sanctuary policies.
The mainstream media regularly claims that illegal aliens have a lower rate of criminality than average Americans. It also portrays them as unequivocally beneficial forces, who are harder working than their native-born counterparts. Ann Coulter has poignantly referred to this tendency as, “the civic religion of treating every non-American as better than an American – a potential valedictorian, Medal of Honor winner and Nobel Prize recipient.”
Of course, that clearly wasn’t the case when it came to Perez Arriaga’s friends and family. Seven of Perez Arriaga’s associates are now facing charges for allegedly helping him attempt to flee prosecution. And all of them are also illegal aliens.
California became a sanctuary state in order to encourage illegal aliens to cooperate with law enforcement, unencumbered by the fear of deportation. Nevertheless, not a single one of Perez Arriaga’s unlawfully present associates felt compelled to inform police that they knew where he was. Instead, they actively aided and abetted his attempts to flee to Mexico.
Aside from trespassing in the United States, illegal aliens regularly commit a host of other serious crimes – ranging from identity fraud to tax evasion – in order to conceal their unlawful presence and work without authorization. Studies have repeatedly shown that the tolerance of minor crime within a given community inevitably gives rise to more significant criminal acts. In fact, that notion is the basis for the “broken windows policing” strategies that have proven effective in many urban areas.
As Perez Arriaga and his cohorts clearly demonstrate, when local authorities repeatedly tell foreign nationals there are no consequences for breaking immigration laws, it can set off a continuum of crime that begins with jumping the border and may end with much more serious offenses.
Therefore, it is a complete mystery when state and local legislators seem to think that they can turn a blind eye to immigration violations and still keep their communities safe. Had California authorities been actively cooperating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, it is likely that Perez Arriaga wouldn’t have been here to shoot Cpl. Singh. And his morally-challenged friends and relatives wouldn’t have been here to help him try and escape to Mexico.
Adam Christianson, the sheriff of Stanislaus County where Newman is located, acknowledged this fact. He said in reference to Perez Arriaga, “”This is a criminal illegal alien with prior criminal activity that should have been reported to ICE. Law enforcement was prohibited because of sanctuary laws and that led to the encounter with Officer Singh.”
But California’s state and local legislators seem to prefer utopian fantasies about open borders to the safety and security that come with reasonable notions of law and order. Unfortunately, Cpl. Ronil Singh was forced to pay the unacceptably high price that comes with their brand of California dreamin’.