Sheriff David Clarke: Sanctuary cities are havens for crime and defy the Constitution
© Getty

The latest city to thumb its nose at the U.S. Constitution and put the lives of more Americans at risk is Pittsburgh, which apparently wants to join the other murder-ridden capitals of the country as a fellow sanctuary city.

Despite immigration being the realm and responsibility of the federal government, these sanctuary cities have been allowed to go rogue by current and past presidents and attorneys general who fail to enforce the rule of law.

While immigration reform gets an overhaul by the next Congress, and knowing that will be a long arduous process, we can and should immediately enforce existing and relevant immigration laws currently on the books to keep America safe.

ADVERTISEMENT
I would start with 8 U.S.C. 1324, which in part contains criminal sanctions for “any person who knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to or entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, attempts to conceal, harbor or shields from detection, such alien in any place, including any building…or in subsection (iv) encourages or induces an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry or residence is or will be in violation of law, or (subsection (v)(I) engages in any conspiracy to commit any of the preceding acts or (II) aids or abets the commission of any of the preceding acts shall be fined and imprisoned for up to 5-10 years.”

This isn’t just about different interpretation of the law. Our country is being taken over through the cities first, aided by the willful disregard of federal law by Democrat politicians eager to please special interests and anti-American organizations instead of protecting their cities and our country’s borders.

It’s time for stand up for the existing federal rule of law. We must have zero-tolerance for people coming into the United States illegally and setting up residence. The first prosecution and conviction of one of these governors, mayors or university presidents vowing to be a sanctuary for illegal aliens will cause all but those wanting to be sacrificial lambs for the cause to cease this dangerous and willful disregard for our nation’s sovereignty.

It is telling that Pittsburgh has decided to join the list of law-breaking municipalities. After the 2015 census, it was determined that Pittsburgh was the only major metropolitan area of the Top 30 to have fewer people in 2015 than in the 2010 census. Perhaps Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto is trying to make up the numbers in a way other than job growth or economic opportunity.

This is the same mayor, it should be noted, who berated a Pittsburgh police commander for enforcing the law against anti-Trump protesters in November. The police officers, that had donned riot gear, were following department policy. Peduto seems to have a problem with respecting the rule of law.

Sanctuary cities don’t just fly in the face of federal law – they also create an ecosystem friendly to criminal behavior. Criminals prey on illegal aliens knowing that these crime victims are reluctant to notify police to report them for fear of being found to be in the country illegally themselves.

This leads to under-reporting of crime in offenses like domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse, robbery, burglary, theft, sexual assault, and simple and aggravated assault – just to name a few.

Of course, U.S. citizens are also on the receiving end of violence from criminal illegal aliens.

President Obama once said, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon [Martin],” inserting himself into a local case and fueling its hyper politicization. If Obama had a second son, it seems he wouldn’t look like 17-year- old Jamiel Shaw, Jr., killed in 2008 by illegal alien gang members in the sanctuary city of Los Angeles.

If enforcing current laws about immigration to save lives of Americans isn’t enough incentive for Obama to crack down on these lawless city mayors, perhaps the plight of the inner-city black community and the jobs they lose would be.

Peduto, Obama, and all those elected officials who serve illegality as their master instead of the will of the people who elected them may not have swallowed the lessons of the recent presidential election.

The rule of law was given a mandate with the recent Trump election. Americans across the country demanded their elected officials return their thoughts to those they are supposed to represent.

The Democrats were roundly defeated, not just at the presidential level, but across the states, they were voted out of office.

Trump ran on a law-and- order platform, and if Mayor Peduto refuses to listen to the will of the people, he’ll very soon have a president and attorney general with the will and who understand that mandate.

Sheriff David Clarke is the Milwaukee County sheriff. Follow him @SheriffClarke

Ed. Note: According to several news reports, Sheriff David Clarke is under consideration to head the Department of Homeland Security. 


The views expressed by Contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.