Where is the sanctuary for our citizens?
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Recently, an illegal immigrant in Stamford, CT, a sanctuary city, allegedly raped a three-year-old girl; one state over, the grief-stricken families of teenage girls who were killed with machetes and baseball bats finally saw their illegal immigrant murderers indicted

Ten of the 15 arrested were in the country illegally. Against this backdrop, a group of non-compliant sanctuary city “law-unenforcement” executives signed a letter calling those who wish to enforce already existing immigration law “extremists.”

That is a great political statement straight from the Democrat Party talking points, but as far as a public safety policy statement it is flawed on several fronts.

Let’s put the talking points away and have a serious discussion.


The letter, addressed to the U.S. Senate, was a response to President Trump’s January executive order threatening to withhold federal funds to those sanctuary cities that refused to comply with federal immigration law. Oh, and it does add a request of their own: they still want the federal funds. I was taught at a young age that you can’t have your cake and eat it too. That applies here.


To be clear, what is being asked of police is no more than to hold illegal aliens if they commit crimes or are subject to deportation until Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials can take custody of the criminal illegal alien. 

Why is that so extreme?

As if they thought no one would notice the glaring inconsistency, the letter opens by repeating their commitment to the safety of the communities they serve. It’s quite an impressive amount of gall for these letter-signers to cite public safety as they give a hearty welcome to illegal immigrants; savage criminality and dangerous pasts a plus.

The claim by these executives that holding arrested or convicted criminal illegal aliens will hurt community policing efforts in Latino communities is nothing more than an emotional and anecdotal claim with no substantiation.

Apply that flawed logic to effort to improve police relations within the black community. Using their approach, the police would not issue any more traffic tickets and refrain from stopping black motorists. Sure, relations would improve but public safety would suffer as traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities would rise.

These catch and release supporting law enforcement executives didn’t just sign an inane, politicized letter; they actively are aiding and abetting criminality. They are choosing the vile path of political expediency and grandstanding upon that political road over their ethical duty to uphold the law.

Sanctuary cities are safe havens for criminal activity. One of the statistics that law enforcement agencies struggle with is unreported and under reporting of crime. Just because a crime goes unreported does not mean that it isn’t a problem or didn’t occur. 

People in the country illegally are less likely to report crime for fear of being identified as being in the country illegally themselves. (Even though local police do not have immigration enforcement authority.) This means rapes, domestic violence, robbery, thefts, and child abuse can often go unreported. It hurts police-community trust when people cannot be protected by police.

The re-victimization and incarceration costs for imprisoning criminal illegal aliens alone should have cities, counties and states on board with President Trump’s attempt to make America safe again.

According to one report, taxpayers paid nearly $1.9 billion to house imprisoned criminal illegal aliens in FY 2014 with states paying most of the cost (92 percent). That is money that could be spent on education, job training and rebuilding infrastructure.

We reduce future costs by deporting all criminal illegal aliens on their first arrest, conviction or not and truly sealing the border so they cannot return. This requires the cooperation of local law enforcement executives and elected officials.

This hypocrisy and disrespect for the law would be almost comical if the stories I’ve recounted here weren’t common occurrences. That three-year-old would not be raped, if it weren’t for the illegal continuance of sanctuary cities.

Consider that President Trump must take on law enforcement executives from these 63 jurisdictions if he wants to keep Americans safe. Let that sink in, and you’ll begin to question what exactly the political left in America stands for – because it isn’t Americans.

Some states are already holding local governments accountable for non-compliance with immigration law by fines and withholding state funding. Additional withholding of federal funds will cause enough strain on local budgets that over time they will comply with immigration laws like they did on mandatory seatbelt wearing and mandated highway speed limits.

It is as if these 63 letter-signers (and the media and politicians who love their sanctuary cities) have no regard for the American way – for laws crafted for and by the people -- at all, but only seek to placate the whims and predilections of the politically correct set.  The consequence is that we are left with representatives, media, and law enforcement who choose politics over duty, and leave their cities wide open to assault, turmoil, and violence.

The true meaning of sanctuary is found in our law itself; in it we can all have rest that we are self-governed, and we can trust our law enforcement executives to fulfill their duty and uphold what the people expect of them. 

Sheriff David Clarke is the Milwaukee County sheriff. Clarke is the author of“Cop Under Fire: Moving Beyond Hashtags of Race, Crime and Politics for a Better America.” Follow him on Twitter @SheriffClarke

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