Unlike the recently enacted Arizona law, sanctuary policies are in direct violation of federal law. Section 642 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 provides that "no ... government entity or official may prohibit, or in any way restrict, any government entity or official from sending ... information regarding the citizenship or immigration status ... of any individual."
Aside from being illegal, sanctuary policies protect criminals. Consider these tragic examples, all of which took place in sanctuary cities and might have been prevented:
An illegal immigrant gang member shot three students in Newark, N.J., execution-style in August 2007. He was free on bail and was facing charges of aggravated assault and sexual abuse of a child at the time of the murders.
Seventeen-year-old Jamiel Shaw Jr. was murdered by an illegal immigrant in Los Angeles in March 2008. The murderer had been released from jail on an assault charge the day before he killed Shaw.
And an illegal immigrant who had numerous past violent crime convictions savagely murdered Tony, Michael and Matthew Bologna in San Francisco in July 2008. Tony and his two sons were all shot while sitting in a car.
The Obama administration needs to enforce our immigration laws, not ignore them. Will they also ignore individuals who fail to pay taxes? Of course not.
The Obama administration, in a lawsuit brought by Attorney General Eric HolderEric H. HolderPerez and Ellison an unlikely duo to help Democrats start winning Report: Uber exec resigns after failing to disclose past sexual harassment accusation Perez wins bid to lead Democratic Party MORE's Justice Department, argued that Arizona and other jurisdictions may not adopt their own immigration enforcement measures — even measures that mirror federal law — because that will result in a "patchwork" of immigration laws. But the administration is apparently content to ignore a patchwork of sanctuary-city laws.
It would not be a stretch to conclude that the only immigration policy that the Obama administration favors is one that allows illegal immigrants to remain in the United States.
And it's not just illegal immigrants in sanctuary cities.
Though President Obama recognizes that jobs are a magnet for illegal immigration, his administration has ignored enforcement of immigration laws at the workplace. Arrests of illegal immigrant workers are down 81 percent from 2008. The administration's new policy? If they conduct a paperwork audit of a company and find illegal immigrant workers, the workers are not arrested. Instead, they are free to remain in America and look for a job somewhere else.
In fact, the Obama administration has asked the Supreme Court to overturn a 2007 Arizona law that allows the state to revoke the business licenses of companies that knowingly hire illegal immigrants. This is an authority explicitly given to the states by Congress, but the Obama administration wants to rewrite the law to remove that authority. The result? Illegal immigrants will remain in the U.S. and have an easier time finding jobs that should go to citizens and legal immigrants.
These policies and the Obama administration's announcement that they will allow sanctuary cities to violate the law reflect its anti-enforcement ideology. It is just one more piece of evidence that the Obama administration has no interest in enforcing the nation's immigration laws.