Sanctuary is defined as a haven of refuge, calm and asylum from danger. Unfortunately, the word has been hijacked by Democratically controlled cities to mean harboring illegal immigrants, including felons. This is in defiance of the Illegal Immigration Reform Act of 1996 prohibiting states from withholding the immigration and incarceration status of illegals from federal immigration authorities. According to the Department of Homeland Security, of the 3,000 illegal immigrant felons released in Los Angeles in one year, the recidivism rate was 65 percent. Juan Lopez-Sanchez, an illegal immigrant with seven felony convictions, was released by San Francisco authorities and subsequently shot Kate Steinle to death.
The left cries out that opposition to sanctuary cities is racism, despite a Harvard study showing that 80 percent of voters oppose sanctuary cities. Democrats crusade for more government in our lives, but condemn it when it doesn’t suit their political agenda.
Thus far, these cities have suffered little appropriate legal action for their effrontery, but withholding certain federal funds is being considered. However, there is a federal immigration statute that allows a maximum of five years imprisonment for anyone harboring a criminal alien and up to life imprisonment for officials when their non-compliance results in a death, as in the Steinle case. It’s time the Department of Justice drops the hammer on cities that unnecessarily endanger the community at large.