A Sanctuary For
This a very sensitive subject for all Americans, immigrants and politicians. More importantly, it is a subject that needs to be addressed and rectified for the safety of our communities, not for politics.
Some of the most violent criminals at large are illegal immigrants. However in many cities across the country and specifically here in California, police cannot use the most obvious tool to arrest them and to prevent them from committing further crimes: their immigration status.
We hear quite frequently of illegal immigrants who commit violent crimes that had previously been arrested, sometimes multiple times and never deported. The reason is because of “sanctuary city” policies. These “sanctuary” policies prohibit city employees, including police officers from reporting immigration violations to federal authorities.
These are not laws, only policies. However, these policies are a violation of The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act of 1996 which requires states and municipalities to cooperate with federal authorities when it comes to immigration enforcement. Further, the California Penal Code says the following:
834b (a) **This part of the article has been removed for the purpose of current state law. The state of California has had immigration laws for many years, including a fine and jail sentence for public officials and police officers who violate the law and not cooperating with federal officials. The current law prevents all of this.**
According to an article written in City Journal-winter 2004, 95 percent of all outstanding homicide warrants in Los Angeles (which total between 1200-1500) target illegal immigrants, and two-thirds of all fugitive felony warrants (17,000) are for illegal immigrants.
In February 2009, American Patriot posted on its website a photo of 30 plus weapons that were “confiscated during a series of arrests of top members of the Mexican Mafia in the Coachella Valley, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s office. Thirteen members of one of Southern California’s most feared gangs, including a 75-year old woman who allegedly collected ‘taxes’ from other gangs in the Mexican Mafia were arrested and hit with a flurry of narcotics and money laundering charges, according to court papers unsealed Friday, April 27, 2007.”
Unfortunately in many cases, when our Law Enforcement officers observe someone who they know is an illegal immigrant or a previously deported illegal immigrant, they can do nothing until the individual breaks the law. And in a lot of cases, it’s when they break the law AGAIN, or harms ANOTHER person.
These tiny bits of information are a mere fraction of what happens all over California and across the country, including right here in our valley.
So why is this so important for us? Posted
on the Justice for Immigrants
Coalition of Inland Southern California website on February 9, 2012, “Mayor Eduardo Garcia has proclaimed the city of Coachella a sanctuary city for undocumented immigrants, but that isn’t the law”. Further, the Coachella Valley Immigration Service and Assistance organization provides assistance to illegal immigrants with criminal histories in the U.S. in order to become legal.
Looking at it from a Law Enforcement perspective, they want to solve crimes and protect people from becoming a victim, whether a citizen, legal immigrant, and even a law abiding illegal immigrant.
The stated reason for sanctuary policies is that they encourage illegal immigrant crime victims and witnesses to cooperate with police without fear of deportation. If that is the case, then sanctuary policies are unnecessary here in California because the law says immigration status only becomes an issue for “any person who is ARRESTED”.
In closing, not one of us can blame anyone wanting to come here to pursue a better life for themselves and their families, as long as it does not involve criminal activity.
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