Protecting the Criminal, Endangering the Citizen

Once again, irresponsible sanctuary laws have prioritized protecting criminal illegal aliens over the safety of the American public. Three of the five suspects being held at Baltimore County Detention Center for the murder of a 16-year-old girl in Baltimore are in the country illegally and suspected of being MS-13 gang members. Two of the three were previously detained and released due to sanctuary policies in New York City.

Sanctuary advocates claim the policies protect immigrants from deportation by enhancing information sharing between immigrants and law enforcement, thus eventually producing safer cities for all people. There is no valid evidence to back these claims. However, more often than not, these policies do provide safe-haven to the likes of sex-offenders, murderers, and gang members by refusing to turn over criminal aliens to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after they encounter local police. The misguided protection of illegal aliens only leaves residents vulnerable to continued crime.

From FY 2014 to FY 2019, refusals from state and local to cooperate with ICE had increased by 89 percent, resulting in 58,900 cases of criminal aliens being released back into the public. And according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 68 percent of released criminal aliens are arrested again for other crimes within three years, and 76.6 percent within five years. 

These illegal sanctuary laws undermine the rule of law and prevent effective law enforcement across the local, state and federal level. Besides incentivizing continued illegal immigration and criminal acts by illegal aliens, these policies undermine the legal immigration system. Such policies tell foreigners that they can not only enter the United States illegally without consequence, but that they will also be protected from federal law enforcement if they commit heinous crimes once they are in the country.  

Criminal illegal aliens ought to be deported whenever they are detected (even if they have not committed subsequent offenses), and certainly after their first criminal offense and conviction. It is irresponsible for cities and states to continue to protect these criminals at the expense of the citizens they have vowed to protect.

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