Sanctuary Policies Endanger Public Safety With Repeat Offenders



President Donald Trump, highlighting the disastrous and deadly effects of sanctuary policies, got more ammunition from a California sheriff the day after his State of the Union address.

Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes reported that one in four criminal aliens released under the Golden State’s two-year-old sanctuary law were rearrested for new crimes in his Southern California county, with offenses ranging from rape and domestic violence to drunken driving and sex with children.

The 25 percent recidivism rate is conservative because new charges do not include any criminal acts committed in other jurisdictions.

“The social science experiment with sanctuary laws must end,” Barnes said. “SB 54 restricts law enforcement from notifying, transferring and communicating with [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement]. It has made our community less safe.”

Trump on Tuesday night recited the tragic story of a California man, Rocky Jones, who was gunned down by a twice-deported illegal alien. The killer had been arrested most recently in December 2018, and though it was his sixth apprehension, he was released per the state’s sanctuary policy.

The Immigration Reform Law Institute recently compiled a “List of Shame,” ranking 10 sanctuary cities with the highest crime rates. San Francisco came in at No. 1.

Last year, the San Francisco-based Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals handed the administration a welcome legal victory when it ruled that federal “community policing” grants could be withheld from sanctuary cities that refuse to cooperate with immigration agents.

Trump says more must be done.

“The U.S. should be a sanctuary for law-abiding U.S. citizens,” the president declared, as he called on Congress to pass legislation allowing victims of crimes committed by illegal aliens to sue local or state governments over sanctuary policies. Just such a measure by Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., has been in the Judiciary Committee since last July. The “Justice for Victims of Sanctuary Cities Act” has 13 co-sponsors, all Republicans.

While Congress dithers, more than half of all Americans now reside in sanctuary jurisdictions. Law enforcement officials courageous enough to challenge local political mandates assert that turning over illegal alien criminals to federal authorities is sound practice and the epitome of “community policing.” Indeed, common sense says it’s cheaper and safer to return such offenders to their country of origin, instead of irresponsibly releasing them back onto our streets to re-offend.

About Author

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Bob Dane, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s Executive Director, has been with FAIR since 2006. His deep belief is that immigration is the most transformational determinant of where we are heading as a nation and that our policies must be reformed in the public interest. Over many years on thousands of radio, TV and print interviews, Bob has made the case that unless immigration is regulated and sensibly reduced, it will be difficult for America to reduce unemployment, increase wages, improve health care and education and heighten national security. Prior to joining FAIR, Bob spent twenty years in network radio, marketing and communications after an earlier career in policy and budgeting within the Reagan Administration. Bob has a degree from George Mason University in Public Administration and Management.

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