Sanctuary jurisdictions consistently prioritize their radical, anti-immigration-enforcement ideology over public safety or common sense. This is exemplified by the large number of alien criminals they continue to release to prey on the public rather than cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Fortunately, the agency has stepped in to protect peaceful, law-abiding residents when sanctuary states, counties, and cities refuse to – most recently in California.
According to Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, between September 28 and October 2, ICE conducted Operation Rise in the Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco areas, capturing 128 illegal aliens as a result. According to officials, a whopping 96 percent of those arrested had either convictions or pending charges for crimes such as homicide, sexual assault, sexual offenses against children, weapons offenses, and domestic violence.
The operations targets criminal aliens recklessly released by lawless sanctuary jurisdictions and follows a similar ICE action in North Carolina, which netted 24 criminal aliens throughout that state.
In the case of California, Wolf mentioned the specific examples of two dangerous illegal alien criminals arrested in the ICE operation.
One is a national of El Salvador convicted of first-degree murder in November 2009 and sentenced to serve 25 years to life. In August, the Los Angeles County Jail preferred to release this convicted murderer and ignored an ICE detainer.
Another is a previously deported citizen of Mexico arrested for sexual intercourse with a minor in March 2016 (he was also later arrested for domestic violence and violating a court order in January 2018). In spite of his criminal record, the San Diego County Jail chose to release him rather than honor a detainer. After all, what is the worst that could happen?
“Some mistakenly believe this is compassionate,” pointed out Wolf. “But it is not. There is no compassion for the Americans whose lives have been destroyed or ended by these policies.” And, one might add, that allowing illegal alien felons to roam free in the name of faux “compassion” and misguided virtue signaling endangers not only U.S. citizens but also legal immigrants and even illegal aliens.
While it is encouraging to see ICE keep alien criminals off the streets, it is nevertheless frustrating to see the agency forced to spend more taxpayer money, manpower, and other resources than it would otherwise have to spend if states and localities simply did their jobs, followed the law, and honored detainers. Although the agency manages to successfully track down and capture many unlawfully present offenders, others likely slip through the cracks, free to commit additional crimes. One appropriate response to the nonchalance of sanctuary jurisdictions would be withholding federal funds.
Another way to pressure noncompliant localities into honoring detainers is to pass legislation allowing the victims of illegal alien criminals to sue sanctuary jurisdictions. In the meantime, ICE operations targeting illegal alien criminals are a way to neutralize some of the damaging consequences of foolish and irresponsible sanctuary policies. But, in the long term, these jurisdictions must be held accountable for their blatant disregard for the lives and safety of their residents.
To learn more, please visit FAIR’s archive of serious crimes committed by illegal aliens and our report demonstrating that illegal aliens commit crimes at much higher rates than U.S. citizens and legal immigrants.