Monday, July 20, 2015

Traitor Cities

My article from the July 9, 2015 issue of FrontPageMag:

Traitor Cities

By Matthew Vadum

The "sanctuary city" movement that gave illegal aliens permission to rob, rape, and murder Americans is the product of decades of concerted collusion by radical groups like the ACLU to get cities to pledge to violate laws that protect U.S. national security.
Cheered on by the Left, sanctuary cities frustrate immigration enforcement efforts and shield illegal aliens from federal officials as a matter of policy.
The Obama administration is fine with that. President Obama has made America a sanctuary country, rolling out the red carpet for illegal aliens, especially those from Mexico, to come to the U.S. and depress labor markets while they suck the nation's welfare state dry.
What these traitor cities do is itself unlawful, Hans von Spakovsky notes, but they get away with it because President Obama is determined to dismantle America's immigration system in order to flood the country with desperately poor, illiterate peasants from the Third World.
Obama wants to do this in order to wash away the rule of law tainted as it is by Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence, along with whatever stubborn residue of American Revolutionary enlightenment that remains deeply embedded within the tissues of our culture and free institutions.
Americans are being attacked and killed by illegal aliens in perhaps more than 200 so-called sanctuary cities across the country because subversive left-wing advocates like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have been working to undermine the nation's borders and immigration laws. Throughout this long leftist campaign those who demand that federal immigration laws be enforced have been smeared as racist and lacking in compassion. It's not fair that illegal aliens aren't given the same rights as U.S. citizens, they whine, mindlessly repeating vapid slogans like "no one is illegal."

As David Horowitz noted in his book, Unholy Alliance, radical activists from the ACLU, National Lawyers Guild, Center for Constitutional Rights, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, and People for the American Way "mobilized legislators in local and state governments to obstruct enforcement of" the USA PATRIOT Act, which was the centerpiece of President George W. Bush's Global War on Terror. All of these groups have taken money from the philanthropies of radical anti-American financier George Soros.
The leaders of these leftist groups are unabashedly pro-open borders and wish "to establish rights for illegal immigrants that would blur the distinction between citizens and noncitizens and extend the protections of the Constitution to the latter."
Not surprisingly, sanctuary cities are known in some circles by the arguably more objectionable euphemism of "civil liberties safe zones," a phrase that blurs that very distinction between citizens and non-citizens by implyingillegal aliens somehow possess a civil right to be present in the U.S.
The push for sanctuary cities got a huge boost during the Bush administration. Since the Islamic terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, these groups have "targeted every effort by the Homeland Security Department under the Patriot Act to strengthen America's borders," Horowitz wrote.
By mid-2004, "320 cities, towns, and counties, as well as four states had adopted resolutions condemning the Patriot Act, many refusing to cooperate with Homeland Security officials in the enforcement of its security measures."
The ACLU's model resolution, which was made available on its website to make it easy for municipalities to copy, "came close to incitement to sedition," in Horowitz's opinion. The document stated that those governments that adopted it would "refrain from participating in the enforcement of federal immigration laws[.]"
It should come as no surprise that federal data show illegal aliens, who comprise just 3.5 percent of the U.S. population, represent a staggering 36.7 percent of federal sentences following criminal convictions. Sorted into categories, the report from fiscal 2014 shows illegal aliens represented 74.1 percent of drug possession cases, 20 percent of kidnapping/hostage taking cases, 16.8 percent of drug trafficking cases, 12.3 percent of money laundering cases, and 12 percent of murder convictions.
Immigration violations were included in the data that were produced by the U.S. Sentencing Commission but an assortment of crimes including state-level cases and death penalty cases were not. If immigration violations are removed from the data, illegal aliens would still account for 13.6 percent of all offenders sentenced in fiscal 2014 following federal criminal convictions, which is still almost four times the 3.5 percent of the U.S. population they make up.
The activists from these pro-crime groups are at least morally culpable for each and every bloody crime committed in this country by the violent illegal aliens they have aided, abetted, and underwritten with taxpayer money. President Obama and his allies are complicit in the murder last week of Americans like young Kathryn "Kate" Steinle by a Mexican national illegally present in the country because they have tolerated, and in some cases, openly encouraged local and state governments to violate U.S. immigration law.
In 2014 the Obama administration scrapped the Secure Communities program which required local governments to check the immigration status of those arrested by their police departments.
In July 2010 the Obama administration gave a green light to these traitor cities to continue efforts aimed at frustrating immigration law enforcement within their jurisdictions.
While the feds' partially successful legal attack on Arizona's state-level immigration enforcement legislation was still pending at the time, Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler said the administration had no plans to go after sanctuary cities because what they were doing was not as bad as a state like Arizona that "actively interferes."
"There is a big difference between a state or a locality saying they are not going to use their resources to enforce a federal law, as so-called sanctuary cities have done, and a state passing its own immigration policy that actively interferes with federal law," Schmaler said.
She added, "that's what Arizona did in this case."
And it is also what these traitor cities are doing today. Although left-wingers piously insist everyone in America has to obey the Obamacare law, those who lean to port pick and choose which laws they are willing to honor.
They may as well be flying the Confederate battle flag at city hall in their modern-day campaign of massive resistance against federal immigration law.
Bearing an uncanny resemblance to the Confederates who resisted federal authority and declared war on the United States 154 years ago, or the neo-Confederates in Southern states who resisted federal authority during the civil rights era, Democratic lawmakers and left-wing activists have been working together for decades to create large pockets of immigration anarchy in the United States where the law cannot easily be enforced.
And although Obama has demonstrated an utter lack of interest in enforcing immigration laws, his administration publicly pretends to oppose the existence of sanctuary cities. His lackeys like Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson act shocked and promise to do something whenever an illegal alien the government has kept in the country commits a heinous murder, but it's only political theater.
After all, the Democratic Party needs illegal aliens to fill the voter rolls.
The administration continues to provide federal funds to sanctuary cities under the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program or SCAAP. The program reimburses state and local governments for expenses incurred in jailing illegal immigrants.
This abuse may soon end. This week Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) introduced legislation to prevent cities that don't honor federal immigration laws from receiving federal law enforcement aid. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) is preparing to introduce similar legislation in the House.
Barack Obama has long been a supporter of sanctuary cities. As a U.S. senator he gave sanctuary cities a thumbs-up by voting to kill a proposal to prohibit federal funding for them. (Then-U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York voted the same way. Motion to table S. Amdt. 4309 to S.Con.Res. 70 agreed to on a vote of 58 to 40, March 13, 2008.)
The principles underlying sanctuary cities are easy to grasp.
As economists are fond of saying, people are rational actors. They respond to incentives. Democratic politicians, left-wing activists, and policymakers are in the vanguard of a campaign to undo America. To fundamentally transform the nation, they encourage lawbreaking by providing incentives to people to commit crimes.
When criminals know there is a place where the law is not enforced or where finding helpless victims is easy, they flock there. Just as shooting-spree killers are drawn to gun-free zones whether they be schools, churches, theaters, or restaurants, when illegal aliens learn they can live unmolested by police in a sanctuary city, they move there.
The role that these lawless sanctuary jurisdictions that are in a state of open rebellion against the federal government play in contributing to crime has been thrown into the national spotlight by the senseless slaying of 31-year-old Kathryn "Kate" Steinle a week ago. Her killer is Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, a 45-year-old illegal alien with a second grade education who reportedly has seven felony convictions and who was deported five times to Mexico. San Francisco released him even thought federal officials characterized him as an "enforcement priority" and filed an "immigration detainer" asking jailers to hold him until they could take custody of him.
His criminal career in this country began in 1991 when he was convicted of inhaling toxic vapors, the Daily Callerreports:
Lopez-Sanchez’s record, which stretches back nearly 25 years, shows three lengthy federal prison sentences for felony illegal re-entry. It also shows that on many occasions, Lopez-Sanchez was deported back to Mexico only to illegally re-enter the U.S. within days.
Lopez-Sanchez, who used more than 30 aliases, also has multiple convictions for the manufacture, possession, and trafficking of narcotics.
After being captured by police, Lopez-Sanchez acknowledged the City by the Bay was the place to be because he was safe from immigration enforcement efforts there. Lopez-Sanchez responded in the affirmative when a reporter from TV station KGO asked, "Did you keep coming back to San Francisco because you knew that they wouldn't actively look for you to deport you?" He also claimed he was "looking for jobs in the restaurant or roofing, landscaping, or construction."
In other words, the same progressive policies aimed at undermining the nation's borders by creating sanctuary cities got Kate Steinle killed. If the laws of the land had been enforced, Steinle would be alive today.
And despite what they may say in polite company, Democrats in the heart of latte liberalism and elsewhere are fine with this murder and mayhem. The chaos created provides an opportunity to bring about change, whether it is needed or not.
For example, San Francisco County's sheriff, Ross Mirkarimi, a Democrat and convicted wife beater, is unashamed and is proudly standing by the city-county's sanctuary status.
"I firmly believe it makes us safer. We're a world-renowned city with a large immigrant population ... From a law enforcement perspective, we want to build trust with that population," said Mirkarimi, a co-founder of the Green Party of California.
Not surprisingly, the sheriff blames Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a branch of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for Steinle's murder, claiming ICE should have made more of an effort to pick up the shooter. How ICE could have done such a thing when Mirkarimi's office would not advise the agency of the man's impending release is not explained.
The list of sanctuary cities, which are overwhelmingly Democrat-controlled, is long and growing longer. A list compiled by an activist shows there are at least 30 in California alone including Oakland, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, and San Diego. Other major sanctuary cities across the country are Albuquerque, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Miami, Minneapolis, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Providence, Salt Lake City, Seattle, and Washington D.C.
All these cities serve as magnets for illegals, drawing them from far and wide. Border-jumpers and those getting ready to wade across the Rio Grande know that in these cities they really have to make an effort to get in trouble for immigration law violations.
The sanctuary movement itself began in the 1970s, or the 1980s, according to various sources. Churches wanted to shelter those fleeing violence in Central America and were unhappy that the U.S. government was reluctant to grant the migrants refugee status because they did not meet the legal definition of "refugee," which requires them to be victims of governmental persecution.
Churches, incidentally, still play a significant role in harboring illegal aliens, as Michelle Malkin discovered. There is a certain logic to this. The atheist father of community organizing, Saul Alinsky, preyed on Christian congregations, using them to build up his community organizing empire.
Sanctuary city supporters like Sheriff Mirkarimi claim that encouraging illegal aliens to collaborate with police without fear of being deported improves public safety by helping police go after criminals who might otherwise not be detected. Critics counter that sanctuary cities are bad public policy because they grant illegal aliens special rights and privileges, making them immune to immigration laws and conferring some of the benefits of legal immigration status on them.
As Heather Gies explains at TeleSUR, the Marxist TV network based in Venezuela, the movement attacks the very concept of the illegal alien. Using politically correct language, Gies writes that:
Sanctuary City is a local response to unjust federal immigration policy aimed at carving out spaces of dignity, justice, and solidarity to provide “access without fear” for all on the basis of need, not immigration status. Existing Sanctuary Cities and calls for new ones are part of a broader movement for migrant justice that has been active across the United States and Canada for decades, pushing back against exclusionary immigration laws and border policing. It’s a movement that challenges these oppressive state structures by refusing to accept them and instead creating local alternatives ... Migrant justice activists reject arbitrary categories of legality as a basis for determining who has access and who does not, instead advocating a model of justice, solidarity, and “access without fear” for all, regardless of official immigration status.
"Migrant justice," of course, is in the eye of the beholder.
Los Angeles became the first U.S. sanctuary city in 1979 when its police department issued Special Order 40, a document that forbids police officers from inquiring about the immigration status of individuals not suspected of crimes. This diktat states that "Officers shall not arrest nor book persons for violation of Title 8, Section 1325 of the United States Immigration Code (Illegal Entry)."
Special Order 40 treats the federal crime of illegal entry as a non-crime even though many illegal aliens are by definition criminals. They have committed immigration law-related crimes in order to get onto U.S. soil.
Regardless of what the special order says, in federal law "improper entry" is classed as a crime. It is a misdemeanor for an alien to elude examination or inspection by immigration officers, to enter or attempt to enter the U.S. at a non-approved point of entry (or when an approved point of entry is closed for business), or to enter or attempt to enter the U.S. "by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a fact."
(Contrary to popular belief, "unlawful presence" in the country in itself is not a crime. It is a non-criminal violation of federal law punishable by civil penalties including deportation.    Those unlawfully present in the U.S. may be barred from re-entering the country at a later date. Re-entering the U.S. after being deported can constitute a crime under certain circumstances.)
The LAPD explained the rationale for its standing order this way:
The Department is sensitive to the principle that effective law enforcement depends on a high degree of cooperation between the Department and the public it serves. The Department also recognizes that the Constitution of the United States guarantees equal protection to all persons within its jurisdiction. In view of those principles, it is the policy of the Los Angeles Police Department that undocumented alien status in itself is not a matter for police action. It is, therefore, incumbent upon all employees of this Department to make a personal commitment to equal enforcement of the law and service to the public, regardless of alien status.
By referring to the Constitution's "equal protection" provision, the police agency seems to imply in this seminal document that illegal aliens have a civil right not to be arrested, which is, of course, completely absurd.
But in a post-constitutional age in which the Supreme Court habitually invents new fundamental rights, maybe it's not so crazy after all.
Tolerating seditious cities and their topsy-turvy construction of laws may even be the new normal, which is good news for left-wing revolutionaries and community organizers.
It is also good news for illegal aliens and the Democratic Party that needs them in order to stay electorally competitive.
But it's bad news for unborn generations of Americans and for patriots who see the rule of law, and with it their country, slipping away more and more every day.

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