San Francisco & Obama Administration Falsely Justify their Sanctuary City Policies – They Lied, Kate Died

Posted on July 23, 2015


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We previously looked at how San Francisco, or “Sanctuary Francisco” officials, not being able to take the heat  – are fleeing the kitchen and trying in vain to deflect responsibility to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, for releasing dangerous illegal alien felons back into the city. Although, they may not have a shred of moral conscience, it is obvious that they do recognize that their actions look scandalous to a sizable number of the populace. Part of their rationale for conducting business in the manner that led up to Kathryn Steinle’s murder, and the Bologna family’s killing before that, are some federal court decisions. As you might suspect, they are only telling part of the story.

The court decision that is cited by San Francisco officials is a ruling in the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in March of 2014. The court relied on a narrow interpretation of a phrase in the federal laws that ICE relies on to take criminal aliens into custody. The key word was “requests” as in the following language from the regulation. “By issuing a detainer, ICE requests that a law enforcement agency notify ICE before releasing an alien and maintain custody of the subject for a period not to exceed 48 hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, to allow ICE to assume custody.”

The judges argued that since the word “request” was used, instead of another more authoritative word like require or demand – cities and counties can flaunt the detainer summons. The panel also stated that, “no provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act authorize federal officials to command local or state officials to detain suspected aliens subject to removal.”

That ruling contradicts 8 C.F.R. § 287.7, which arises from the Secretary’s power under the Immigration and Nationality Act § 103(a)(3), 8 U.S.C. 1103(a)(3), to issue “regulations … necessary to carry out [her] authority” under the INA, and from ICE’s general authority to detain individuals who are subject to removal or removal proceedings.

San Francisco officials maintain that the ruling obligates them to reject the detainers. It does not. They could, in the interests of protecting citizens from violent alien felons, voluntarily cooperate with ICE. San Francisco’s policy is to “refuse to honor U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers unless they are supported by a judicial determination of probable cause or with a warrant of arrest.”  

The judges of the 3rd Circuit, seemed to have ignored a controlling federal law altogether. Under Section 642 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. §1373), it is a violation of federal law for any state or local government to “prohibit, or in any way restrict” law enforcement or other government officials from sending or receiving information from the federal government on the “citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.”

For its part, ICE has not adopted an alternate strategy, to compel cities like San Francisco to cooperate, which would require an extra step – obtaining a court order or a warrant. The court of appeals, did make a veiled suggestion to lawmakers, whether they intended to do so or not. “Congress has not authorized federal officials to command state or local officials to detain suspected aliens subject to removal.”  Congress should have already taken that strong hint, but have felt no urgency to do so.

Having said that, Barack Obama has a hand in the circumstances that have led to Americans being prey to illegal alien felons roaming our streets, highways and neighborhoods. Senator Ted Cruz, grilled ICE Director Sarah Saldana about the numbers of criminal aliens released by the agency under the Obama White House directives.

Cruz queried her about the numbers of murderers, rapists, and drunk drivers released in 2013 and 2014. She apparently came to the hearings to make some general excuses, but not address relevant data, because she didn’t have those statistics aside from some numbers Senator Cruz immediately had to correct her on:

SEN. TED CRUZ: I want to know that your testimony here, on how many criminals ICE released in 2013, you were off by a factor of three. You said 30,000. The correct answer is 104,000. There were 68,000 criminal illegal aliens that ICE declined to begin deportation proceedings against. Despite the fact, that as Sen. Sessions observed the federal law that you are holding up there says they “shall” be deported.

The Obama admin refused to deport them. That is 68,000. In addition to that there are 30,000 in deportation proceedings with criminal proceedings that the Obama administration released. I would note that among those were 193 murderers with homicide convictions. 426 people with sexual assault convictions. 16,000 criminal illegal aliens with drunk driving convictions released by this administration because they refuse to follow the law.

SALDANA: Sir, those numbers, I am looking straight at them. You asked me I thought about 2014. That is 30,558. And the good news is, at least it went down from 2013, when it was 36,007.

CRUZ: But you are omitting the 68,000 criminal illegal aliens that ICE did not begin deportation proceedings against at all. You’ve got to add both of those together, it is over 100,000.

SALDANA: Yes, sir, that is absolutely right, all pursuant to the statute that the Congress has outlined…

That last reference to “the statute that the Congress has outlined”, is a deliberate deception. Congress does not “outline” statutes, they enact them. There is no part of the law Congress has given ICE, that requires the release of criminal alien felons. What she is disingenuously referring to – and out of specific context as she did earlier, is the actions of immigration judges in allowing these detainees to argue that they are not a bail risk and granting release on bail.

The Obama Administration is not relying on statutes for releasing criminal aliens – they are using the flimsy and irresponsible pretense of Obama’s executive orders invoking “prosecutorial discretion”.  Saldana was really alluding to agency directives delivered to ICE in a memo from DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson.

The loophole that San Francisco and other self styled sanctuary cities rely on, would cease to exist, if Congress would do it’s job and enact a companion measure to the existing statute to remove all parsing and obfuscating on the part of the courts. And in fact, such bills have been proposed and disposed by the House of Representatives.

One such attempt was launched by Congressman Lou Barletta, (R-PA), former Mayor of Hazleton, Pennsylvania. Barletta, known for his attempts to enact laws reinforcing federal immigration law in Hazleton, introduced a bill called the “Mobilizing Against Sanctuary Cities Act,” which would have targeted the estimated 300 sanctuary cities across America, with loss of federal funds. At the time, Barletta said of the bill, “Local officials who choose not to enforce immigration laws are aiding illegal immigrants. My bill makes sure that sanctuary cities no longer get federal money as long as federal officials ignore federal law.”

Partnering with Barletta, was Lamar Smith (R-TX), former Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, who was the lead author of the 1996 law that President Clinton signed – the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA)] that requires local governments to cooperate with Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The specific language of that bill was clear:

A Federal, State, or local government entity or official may not prohibit, or in any way restrict, any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (now Immigration and Customs Enforcement) information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.

Since then, the clear intent of that bill has fallen by the wayside. But a plurality of Americans are sick of the entire abdication of government on immigration enforcement. A recent Rasmussen poll found that 62 percent of likely voters want the Department of Justice to take legal action against cities that harbor aliens.

In the wake of the recent news on the extreme risk of Sanctuary city policies, a renewed effort is underway in Congress, to bring cities and counties into compliance with immigration enforcement. Californians For Population Stabilization (CAPS) describes one bill now moving forward in the Senate. The Michael Davis, Jr. and Danny Oliver in Honor of State and Local Law Enforcement Act is named after local law enforcement officers who were murdered by an illegal alien with an extensive criminal history. Last October, a twice-deported alien gunned down Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy Oliver and Placer County Detective Michael Davis.

SB 1640 would also end DHS grants to sanctuary cities and bar the mass release of criminal aliens. In the last two years, ICE has released 76,000 convicted criminal aliens. The bill has been endorsed by many law enforcement officers and agencies including the National Sheriffs’ Association and the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers. Naturally, former Border Patrol officers are not under threat of disciplinary action for advocating what they see as a remedy to the current state of dysfunction.

The Senate bill has a companion in the House as well – HR 1148, authored by Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Chairman Trey Gowdy, (R-SC). Of Gowdy’s bill, Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, (R-VA), said:

“There are many issues plaguing our nation’s immigration system but the biggest problem is that our immigration laws are not enforced…By refusing to enforce the laws against illegal immigration, President Obama’s immigration policies collectively undermine the integrity of our immigration system and send the message to the world that our laws can be violated with impunity….Congressman Gowdy’s bill remedies this problem by taking the enforcement ‘on/off’ switch away from the president so that one person cannot unilaterally shut down the enforcement of our immigration laws.”

In addition, the bill would:

  • Allow states and localities to enact and enforce their own immigration laws as long as they are consistent with federal law;
  • Withhold specific grants from sanctuary cities that defy federal enforcement efforts;
  • Facilitate and expedite the removal of criminal aliens. For example, if a country won’t repatriate one of their nationals, the bill would allow DHS to detain the criminal alien and order sanctions on the country; and –
  • Defund Obama’s “unilateral, unconstitutional actions on immigration, whether it be appropriations funds, agency-collected fees or anything else.”

Laura Wilkerson, who lost her 18 year old son to a violent illegal alien, testified before a Senate Committee this week and implored lawmakers to finally do something about the recalcitrance of Sanctuary city public officials. Josh Wilkerson was a small, quiet kid that weighed 100 pounds soaking wet. He was beaten to death by Hermilo Moralez. In the trial, which led to a verdict of first degree murder, Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Stephen Pustilnik outlined the brutality of Moralez that led to Josh’s death.

Dr. Pustilnik explained the condition of Wilkerson’s body when he arrived at the forensics lab and showed jurors a picture of a black body bag with a burned arm extended from the seams. Jurors were told the victim was beaten so brutally that his brain hemorrhaged and his nose was crushed. He told jurors Wilkerson had been strangled repeatedly to the point his voice box was crushed. Jurors then saw a picture of the victim’s mutilated face. His eyes were bruised and swollen shut and his mouth was horribly disfigured. His neck had been pressed in on itself to almost half its normal size.

Moralez was neither fazed by the images Dr. Pustilnik projected for the jurors, nor exhibited the slightest sign of remorse. Laura Wilkerson, in her summary statements to the Senate hearing, told committee members:

“I want you to be angry that America’s borders are wide open. America does not know who is in this country. It is time to put Americans first. Close the borders, figure out who is really here. Keep statistics. Realize that we are at war right here in this country.”

And we are at war in this country against a security threat that claims more lives thousands of times over than any other National Security risk. Next in this continuing series, we will examine the effect of Sanctuary cities on the nation as a whole, and the false claims that amnesty, sanctuary city, illegal alien and open borders advocates are making as they attempt to suggest that the magnitude and impact of illegal immigrant crimes are not as serious as critics have claimed they are.