Philadelphia is Playing by a Dangerous Set of Rules



Sanctuary city politicians often rely on tortured reasoning in order to defend placing the comfort of immigrants, regardless of status or criminal history, ahead of public safety. But Philadelphia’s Office of Immigration Affairs statement that its “policies uphold the Golden Rule” is painfully warped.

That is a very dangerous and irresponsible game to be playing in a city that is home of an estimated 50,000 illegal aliens, more than any metropolitan area in the northeast outside of New York City. But sanctuary politicians rarely feel the real-world impact of gambling with public safety by releasing violent criminal aliens from custody.

Do they really want done to them what they are doing to the law-abiding citizens of Philly? Would Mayor Jim Kenney, who infamously danced around his office following a pro-sanctuary court ruling, really be so welcoming to a recidivist violent criminal alien moved in next door? But that is what happened because of his policies.

Take the case of a 36-year-old Mexican national recently arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. The unnamed alien was familiar to law enforcement having been arrested on at least six occasions since 2018. His crimes ran the gamut from simple and aggravated assault to making terroristic threats. He also had failed to appear at several judicial hearings related to those arrests.

Nonetheless, the Philadelphia district attorney’s office went so far as to write a letter to an immigration judge in York, Pa.,, “which was used as supporting evidence to help get him a favorable custody decision and ultimately released from ICE custody,” according to an ICE press release.

“City officials have indicated that they do not want to be a part of immigration enforcement, and yet in this case [of the 36-year-old Mexican], they go on record and write a letter to an immigration judge, to help get an individual released? This is a dangerous policy, as I am sure the most recent victim(s) can attest to,” said ICE Enforcement and Removal Philadelphia Deputy Field Office Director Gregory Brawley.

Releasing a habitual offender was not an accident, as the case of another criminal alien, Hector Moran-Espinoza, sadly demonstrates. Last November, ICE agents arrested the Guatemalan national for sexual abuse against children following his release from custody of the Philadelphia police for the second time. The first release took place after his April arrest and in both cases ICE lodged detainers against him. The details of his crimes were not disclosed given the age of the victims, but the mere list of charges is chilling.

According to an ICE press release, Moran-Espinoza was arrested by Philadelphia police April 2, 2019, for “involuntary deviate sexual intercourse by forcible compulsion, unlawful contact with a minor-sexual offenses, statuary sexual assault, endangering the welfare of children-parent or guardian commits offense, corruption of minors, indecent assault-without the consent of other person, reckless endangerment of another person, rape by forcible compulsion, sexual abuse of children-photographing, videotaping, depicting on a computer or filming sexual acts, and aggravated indecent assault without consent.”

ICE requested Philadelphia police hold him until agents could get to the precinct to take custody of Moran-Espinoza, but he was released anyway. He would encounter police again when he was arrested five weeks later for sexually assaulting a minor under the age of 13.

“The victims in this case are young children, whose lives are now forever changed,” said ICE Philadelphia Field Office Director Simona Flores-Lund,  driving home the serious consequences of the city’s decision.

Sanctuary policy defenders talk a lot about the fears illegal aliens have about deportation if they cooperate. They talk little about provisions in U.S. law that afford several protections for legal and illegal immigrants who have been victims of a crime. And they talk even less about the victims of those criminal aliens who they are responsible for putting back into the community.

About Author

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Jennifer joined FAIR as Web Content Writer in 2017 and brings to the role extensive communications and media background. She began her career as a policy research analyst on multiple national and state political campaigns before entering journalism. In addition to spending over a decade writing for several broadcast and print news outlets, Jennifer directed communications strategy for a member of Congress and a military nonprofit.

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