Sanctuary cities have existed in the United States for quite a long time — too long, according to some lawmakers and voters. The murder of a young woman in San Francisco by an illegal immigrant who had been deported five times sparked a nationwide debate about cities which defy federal law and appear to offer refuge to illegal aliens.
There are currently more than 200 sanctuary cities in the United States, according to the Center for Immigration Studies. The cities and states illegal immigrants are believed to flock to after crossing border have passed “laws, executive orders, or regulations allowing them to avoid cooperating with federal immigration law enforcement authorities,” a July study published by the center states. “These [jurisdictions] ignore federal law authorizing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to administratively deport illegal aliens without seeking criminal warrants or convictions from federal, state, or local courts.”
The Kathryn Steinle murder by illegal immigrant Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez prompted some to call for mandatory prison sentences for criminal illegal aliens, and others to call for charges to be brought against elected officials who violate federal law in sanctuary cities.
“Although federal law requires the cooperation, the Department of Justice has never sued or taken any measure, including denying federal funds, against a jurisdiction. Federal law was labelled voluntary by the [Obama] administration in a November 2014 policy memorandum signed by the Homeland Security Secretary,” the Center for Immigration Studies also noted.
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San Francisco passed a sanctuary city law in 1989, called the City and County of Refuge ordinance. That law prohibits all city employees from “assisting federal immigration enforcement” officials unless they are compelled to follow the law by a court order, according to CNN.
The bulk of sanctuary city laws were reportedly passed during the 1980s. Those who support the federal law-defying ordinances have stated that such rules permit “law-abiding” illegal immigrants to report crimes without fear of deportation. The phrase “law-abiding” being applied to “undocumented immigrants” has also been a hotly debated topic. When an individual breaks a law by entering the country illegally, then breaks more laws by working in America without paying taxes on the income — can the person still be described at law-abiding?
Sanctuary cities, illegal immigration, and border security are topics likely to be discussed during the 2016 presidential campaign. Former Texas Governor Rick Perry may likely make the border security — national security topic a cornerstone of his campaign.
“The city made a mistake, not to deport someone that the federal government strongly felt should be deported,” Hillary Clinton said when referencing the Kathryn Steinle murder and San Francisco sanctuary city laws. “So I have absolutely no support for a city that ignores the strong evidence that should be acted on.”
The MS-13 gang has caused significant concern for U.S. Border Patrol agents and Americans living along the divide between America and Mexico.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, MS-13 gang members were reportedly among the illegal immigrants held at Texas border facilities when a wave of illegal immigrants poured across the border last year. The young males, who admitted to being in the gang, are also reportedly attempting to recruit younger unaccompanied children into their drug-running group. Border Patrol agents say their hands are tied to separate the members of the deadly gang from the younger boys, or to schedule them for immediate deportation, because MS-13 members are minors themselves. An internal summary of Border Patrol operations at the Nogales, Arizona, U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility indicates that 16 illegal immigrants, males 15 to 17, are part of the Mara Salvatrucha — MS-13, gang.
What do you think about sanctuary cities and illegal immigration?
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