“Sanctuary Prosecutors”: Endangering the Public, Devaluing Citizenship



Americans have heard for years about sanctuary cities, counties, and states where law enforcement policies prohibit or impede cooperation with federal immigration authorities.  More recently, there’s a whole new group of public officials that are putting illegal aliens ahead of public safety and the rule of law—sanctuary prosecutors.

Whether called district attorneys (“DAs”), state attorneys, or something else similar, locally-elected prosecutors and their assistants are supposed to represent the public in pursuing criminal charges.  However, in some of these offices, properly punishing criminal defendants for endangering the community and for harming innocent victims can take a back seat to trying to protect those same defendants if they’re illegal aliens.  Dismissing charges or pleading felonies down to misdemeanors has become routine if it could help an alien who has already been arrested for a crime-escape deportation.

In big sanctuary cities in the northeast, these policies are probably unsurprising.  For example, in Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner followed the lead of Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez  in hiring immigration attorneys to train hundreds of prosecutors in their offices to protect illegal aliens.  In Suffolk County, Massachusetts, a memo written by DA Rachael Rollins instructed her staff “‘immediately notify [me]of ICE activity at Boston courthouses[.]”

However, these sanctuary prosecution policies are showing up in the heartland of the country, too.  In St. Paul, Minnesota, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi directed his staff to consider how plea deals and sentencings might affect a defendant’s immigration status. Moreover, he too hired an immigration attorney to help him understand the ramifications of prosecuting illegal aliens, and to train junior prosecutors. 

And in Nueces County, Texas, where Corpus Christi is the county seat, the sheriff–who had signed a 287(g) agreement to specifically work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)–was completely unaware for six months that DA Mark Gonzalez implemented new policies to ignore or dismiss the felony charges of illegal aliens.  

Policies like these go so far towards giving illegal aliens special privileges that even in a sanctuary county like Denver DA Beth McCann wondered why an illegal alien would be treated better than an American citizen.  She raises a good question.  How could it possibly be fair to sentence citizens committing the same crimes more harshly than people who don’t even have the right to be here?  Doesn’t this even fly in the face of the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of Equal Protection?

Prosecutors are supposed to represent the community.  Their role is to uphold the law and ensure lawbreakers are punished for their crimes while deterring others from committing crimes.  They aren’t supposed to protect criminal aliens from deportation.  If they abandon their role, criminal aliens are protected while their communities become less safe.

About Author

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Dave joined FAIR in 2017 after more than ten years as an Assistant State Attorney in Broward County, Florida. His prosecutorial experience covered trial litigation at the misdemeanor and felony levels, drug court and mental health court, and two years as an intake attorney in the juvenile division working closely with law enforcement. Before this, he was a legislative analyst/staff attorney with the Judiciary Committee of the Florida House of Representatives, where he assisted state legislators in ensuring the effectiveness and constitutionality of legislation on a wide variety of subject matter. In both capacities, he often dealt with the interaction of state law and immigration. Dave holds BAs in History and International Relations from American University and a JD from Tulane University Law School.

5 Comments

  1. avatar

    ALERT: They’re also endangering human life. Ancient Hebrew Scriptures issues travel alert for murder, kidnapping, and rape, in contiguous 48 states due to Illegal immigration crises. Travel @ your own risk. Travel armed if you are legally allowed to do so. My opinion. Catch up with me on youtube. Editorial page, Click my name.

  2. avatar

    It begins with an illegal is here ILLEGALLY. What more needs said?
    Santuary cities DEFY FEDERAL LAW. Cut off all funding to such places, as they, the political force encouraging such, should all ARRESTED.

  3. avatar

    If the current Immigration Laws would be enforced, not only would the DHS Secretary have the authority to call for the arrests of those who aid and abet illegals and ignore the Federal laws which apply in every jurisdiction across the nation – the Attorney General of the USA would be able to add his legal clout to ensuring that these laws be upheld and the the application of other laws administered exclusively by the DOJ could also be levied in the form of RICO actions, as Tax Payer dollars are being used in a scheme to deliberately and maliciously circumvent the Rule of Law, but also to defraud the tax payers of America. The only reason that I can come up with as to why this isn’t happening is: those charged with enforcing the laws don’t have the balls to use the laws to confront the elected and appointed public employee’s who are openly violating the laws. At every level of our government – Federal, State, County and Local elected and appointed politicians – our public employee’s, are engaged in not only in violations of the immigration laws, subversion of the laws, financial fraud, conspiracy and other actions which violate the RICO Act, they are knowingly engaged in such violations. It is time for the Attorney General of the United States to compile a list of these people and the violations they have and are known to commit and indict each and every one of them – post haste. To this end, the AG would be fulfilling his sworn duty as required under existing laws and meeting the expectations of the American people as his position as the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the land requires him to do. Failure to act in a legal capacity sends the wrong message to everyone and the reprehensible behavior of those responsible for ensuring that the Rule of Law is enforced will continue to be ignored to the detriment of the Nation and the American people. Let us all demand from the AG that such broad action be taken before such avenues of judicial and legal relief are undone permanently. No one in Judicial or Law Enforcement can change, modify, or ignore existing Federal laws in order to further personal opinions. Indeed, no one is above the law. Not those who take an Oath to enforce it, or those who arrogantly ignore it. It is time to drop the hammer and do what is right if we ever want to rid ourselves of the run away Deep State and its plans to end the Republic. The INVASION OF ILLEGALS, REFUGEE’S AND ASYLUM SEEKERS HAS GOT TO BE STOPPED – AS DO THOSE WHO KNOWINGLY, WILLFULLY AND HAPPILY AID AND ABETT THEM.

  4. avatar

    You thought that the left couldn’t get any more off the wall, but they continue to go there. Now leading presidential candidates have suggested that not only felons still in prison be allowed to vote, but Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris think that the Boston marathon bomber should be considered for eligibility to vote. Why don’t we pin a medal on him while we are at it? He and his brother kill three people and injure numerous others and he should get to vote? This is mind numbingly stupid. How about if we had captured Bin Laden and he was brought here and convicted. Would he get a vote? It was the Russians by the way that informed us that the two Tsarnaev brothers were suspected radicals and the Obama administration let them in as refugees anyway. The left is indignant when it’s said they care more about foreigners than American citizens but how do you justify such a proposal as letting him vote.