Back in July, following the murder of Kathryn Steinle by illegal alien Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez with a federal agent’s gun, sanctuary cities came to the forefront of the national discussion. Unlike the Biblical refuge cities, these cities harbor and protect known people who break the law. Now, we’re discovering that these sanctuary cities have released 9,000 criminal illegal aliens from jail in the past nine months.
Judicial Watch is reporting on a new study, which covers a nine month period in which approximately 1,000 criminal illegal aliens per month were released from jail in 340 cities nationwide rather than turn those individuals over to federal custody for deportation.
Judicial Watch reports:
According to an updated report prepared by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for Congress, between January 1 and September 30, 2014, local sanctuaries released 9,295 alien offenders that ICE was seeking to deport. More than 600 people were released at least twice.
Out of these, 5,947 of the criminal aliens (62 percent) had significant prior criminal histories or other public safety concerns even before the arrest that led to a detainer. Fifty-eight percent of those with a prior history of concern had prior felony charges or convictions; 37 percent had serious prior misdemeanor charges, and 5 percent had multiple prior misdemeanors.
An alarming number — 2,320 — of the total number of released offenders were subsequently arrested within the time period studied for new crimes after they were released by the sanctuaries.
According to the watchdog group, “legislation to crack down on jurisdictions that obstruct enforcement of federal immigration law is long overdue.”
In July, President Obama threatened to veto a bill from the House of Representatives that threatened Sanctuary Cities with punishment by withholding federal law-enforcement grants from cities that shelter illegal immigrants from federal authorities.
Now, there is a bill in the Senate that if passed, would do exactly that.
Senator David Vitter (R-LA) said, “The Obama Administration has forbidden the Department of Homeland Security from removing illegal immigrants unless they have been convicted of serious crimes or have repeatedly flouted the nation’s immigration laws. Thus, when a sanctuary city thwarts DHS, that city is almost certainly releasing someone who poses a serious danger to the community. This should not be a partisan issue. Even the Obama Administration has determined these individuals pose a threat to America. I am pleased to join my colleagues to give the federal government the tools to protect Americans from dangerous, criminal illegal immigrants.”
The legislation is co-sponsored by cosponsors include Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Penn.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), David Perdue (R-Ga.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.).
According to the statement by Senator Vitter, the legislation would:
- Defines a sanctuary jurisdiction as a state or locality that prohibits its law enforcement officers from cooperating with federal immigration officials, even if they wish to do so;
- Provides transparency by requiring DHS to publicly list which jurisdictions are deemed sanctuary jurisdictions;
- Withholds certain federal funds and grants from sanctuary jurisdictions;
- Requires that those withheld funds are re-allocated and made available to other state and localities jurisdictions that allow their local law enforcement to cooperate with federal officials;
- Confirms that local law enforcement have the legal authority to cooperate with federal immigration officials if they wish, while protecting individuals’ civil rights and preserving individuals’ ability to sue for violations of civil and constitutional rights.
- Kate’s Law: Establishes a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years for illegal immigrants who are convicted of re-entering the U.S. after being convicted of an aggravated felony or being convicted of having illegally re-entered the U.S. twice prior.
There are approximately 170,000 convicted criminal aliens, who have been ordered to be deported. However, they remain at large in the united States, and over 200 of these sanctuary cities provide a safe haven for them.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement have a difficult time finding these criminals after their release. According to the report, the largest state offender is California.
Vitter made his emphasis clear, “We need to send a loud and clear message to any sanctuary cities that their dangerous policies are not acceptable.”
Below is the study referenced.
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