The left has convinced the gullible that non-sanctuary cities are where ICE and local police are teaming up, to go door-to-door and round up peaceful illegal aliens, for doing nothing. And thus a sanctuary cities are where there’s no such police state (and the other cities are bad). Only the truth is there is no city in the U.S. where that falsehood is happening. Nothing close.
What it really means is that local cities will thwart federal law, and release fugitives into the public rather than risk repeat-felons being imprisoned or deported for federal crimes (if illegal immigration has anything to do with it). So, if an illegal alien is arrested for another crime, and they’re fingerprinted or information is shared with the federal government in any way (which is common practice) and the federal government or ICE finds out that person is an illegal alien, AND has committed other crimes that they’re wanted for, ICE/Fed agents normally send a request to hold that person for 48 hours so they can come pick that person up. Sanctuary cities will ignore federal law, and release that person, and often delete information (obstruct justice), rather than share info/detainees with the fed/ICE. That’s what a sanctuary city means.
Then when one of these repeat felons murder someone, like happened with Francisco Lopez-Sanchez killing Kathryn Steinle, the city plays dumb and claims “who knew?” that a repeat felon, with multiple violent crimes and complaints, and that had been deported many times, was a threat to public safety?
Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez & Katryn Steinle
The commonly quoted example is Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez. He was arrested innumerable times (he had about a dozen aliases), he'd been convicted of felonies on 7 prior occasions, and deported 5 other times. SF kept letting him go and wouldn't detain him or share information on his capture with the ICE despite their repeated requests. Finally, On March 26, 2015, the prison had turned Sanchez over to San Francisco authorities for an outstanding drug warrant, and despite ICE issuing a detainer for Sanchez (requesting that he be kept in custody until immigration authorities could pick him up), SF did not honor the detainer and let him go on April 15. On June 27th a gun was stolen from U.S. Bureau of Land Management ranger's car (and the windows broken). And on July 1, 2015 he shot and killed Kathryn "Kate" Steinle on the pier by “accident”. He claims he was shooting at the sea lions and missed. Which is also a major crime (up to $10,000 fine for each incident).
Sanchez said he knew San Francisco was a sanctuary city where he would not be pursued by immigration officials, which is why he went there.
This incident started an effort for Kate's law, which says come if you come back illegally (after 2 aggravated felonies) and you get 5 year minimum, after 3 felonies or more, it is a 10 year minimum. In a mostly party line vote, Republicans passed it, Democrats filibustered it. Let them eat lead.
The basic problem is either you believe in the rule of law or you do not. Democrats do not. Not really. They believe you do what you think it right no matter what the law is, then you scream your head off when the other side shows a fraction of the contempt for bad laws that you do.
Can you imagine what would happen if cities in Red-States just ignored the EPA and said they weren’t going to comply with their mandates? They screamed Arizona were racists for wanting to comply with federal law wrt immigration because they disagreed with it. How about if the democrats finally got one of their federal gun-control laws (like the Brady Bill) passed, and all the Red-States/cities just said, “no thank you” and that they were a “sanctuary city” for the Constitution? Or abortion? Imagine they said, “yeah, federal law says that you can get an abortion, but we’re a sanctuary city for the unborn and no abortion doctors will be allowed to practice medicine in this state”. And therein lies the problem.
By undermining the rule of law, the left is setting a precedent that the other side can use too. And when after decades of fighting the criminality of the left, the right will eventually copy their means, the left is going to lose it. And then we get into a much bigger/stronger conflict.
So whether you agree with Trump on immigration or not (and many, many do), they’re still the laws of the land. Either he wins enforcing the immigration laws against sanctuary cities, or we all lose the ability to govern from the fed. If we can’t stop far left cities and states from thwarting federal law — then I’m certainly not going to complain when far right ones copy those methods. Because I care more about consistency of justice than any single program. Thus, while I have no problems with immigration, and think we should make it easier for more people to come here legally, I have a serious problem with a few places just ignoring federal law because it doesn’t fit with their sensibilities.