Tag Archives: sanctuary cities

U.S. bishops oppose federal enforcement of immigration laws

Matthew 22:15-21

The Pharisees went off
and plotted how they might entrap Jesus in speech.
They sent their disciples to him, with the Herodians, saying,
“…Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?”
Knowing their malice, Jesus said,
“Why are you testing me, you hypocrites?
Show me the coin that pays the census tax.”
Then they handed him the Roman coin.
He said to them, “Whose image is this and whose inscription?”
They replied, “Caesar’s.”
At that he said to them,
“Then give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
and to God what belongs to God.”

“Sanctuary” is a name given to a city, county, or state that shelters illegal immigrants in violation and defiance of federal immigration laws.

While there is no universal legal definition of a sanctuary jurisdiction, those that describe themselves as sanctuary have some public policies of leniency regarding enforcement of federal immigration laws. Typically, a sanctuary city/county/state forbids its police or other government employees (such as schools and community health care centers) to inquire about an individual’s immigration status.

On January 25, 2017, five days after his inauguration, President Trump signed an executive order vowing to strip some federal funds from sanctuary jurisdictions that “willfully violate federal law in an attempt to shield aliens from removal from the United States,” because sanctuary cities “have caused immeasurable harm to the American people and to the very fabric of our republic.” (Source: whitehouse.gov)

The Trump administration and opponents of illegal immigration say that sanctuary cities make it easy for violent individuals and gang members, who are not supposed to be in the country to begin with, to evade detection by federal immigration authorities. The critics point to several highly publicized incidents where illegal aliens have committed horrific crimes of murder, rape, shootings, armed robberies and assaults, including the murder of Kate Steinle by illegal alien Jose Zarate in San Francisco, a sanctuary city since 2008.

Kate Steinle: Killed by an illegal alien.

President Trump followed his executive order with a Feb. 16 news conference in which he:

  • Vowed to launch a “crackdown on sanctuary cities,” announcing that a “nationwide effort to remove criminal aliens” had begun.
  • Ordered an end to the “catch-and-release policy” that allows apprehended illegal aliens to go free while awaiting a court hearing;
  • Announced the creation of “a new office in Homeland Security dedicated to the forgotten American victims of illegal immigrant violence, of which there are many.”

According to the Center for Immigration Studies, there are 4 sanctuary states (California, Colorado, Connecticut, New Mexico) and 165 sanctuary cities and counties across America, mainly clustered in the Northeast, the Midwest and the West Coast.

A considerable part of the sanctuary movement is occurring in California, which became a sanctuary state on October 5, 2017, despite being warned by the Trump Department of Justice that it could lose more than $18 million in federal funding. A snapshot of the scope of the California situation was provided in a brief released in late April by the Education Trust-West advocacy group:

  • 1 in 13 California residents is an illegal alien, comprising 20% of all undocumented persons in the U.S.
  • About 12% (or 750,000 students) of all students in California’s K-12 schools have an undocumented parent.

Brian Faga reports for National Catholic Register, May 11, 2017, that U.S. bishops have spoken out against President Trump’s plan to reduce sanctuary cities/states’ federal funding.

Even before President Trump’s executive order, the Catholic Church in the United States, as represented by the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), already had made clear their refusal to support the federal government’s enforcement of immigration laws. As an August 2013 document posted on the USCCB’s website puts it, “The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) opposes ‘enforcement only’ immigration policies and supports comprehensive immigration reform.”

President Trump’s executive order drew sharp rebukes from Church leaders, including:

  • Bishop Joe Vásquez of Austin, Texas, the chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Migration, released a Jan. 26 statement where he said the President’s executive order risked injuring local relationships between migrant communities and law enforcement and would force local jurisdictions to accept a “one-size-fits-all” approach to immigration policy. “I have enormous respect for and value our federal law enforcement agents who risk their lives every day to enforce our immigration laws. I also recognize that there may well be situations where local governments feel they need to foster a relationship with their communities by working with the victims of or witnesses to crime without instilling a fear that, by coming forward, they or their family members will be handed over to immigration authorities.”
  • Bishop Joseph Kopacz of Jackson, Mississippi, issued a statement on Feb. 15 opposing a bill that would prohibit cities and universities from declaring themselves as sanctuaries for immigrants without legal documents. Kopacz calls the bill “flawed and not needed.”
  • The Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops condemned a new Texas law passed in late April that punishes local police officers if they do not cooperate with detainer requests issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), as well as enables local police to inquire into the legal status of anyone arrested or detained.
  • Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, who is also President of the USCCB, called the Texas law inhumane: “Immigration law should be enforced in a way that is targeted, proportional and humane. This bill does not meet the standard.”
  • Ned Dolejsi, executive director of the California Catholic Conference, said California bishops support S.B. 54, a state bill that would prohibit local and state law enforcement agencies from using their resources to help federal immigration enforcement. Dolejsi said, “From the Catholic Conference’s standpoint, we want the undocumented people [i.e, criminals] protected. We don’t want mass deportations to occur here. We’re trying to accompany people and provide legal services, support and encouragement to folks. At the same time, we recognize that it’s important to remove serious violent felons and the need for some type of relationship between local law enforcement and ICE. How we get there is going to be an interesting struggle.”
  • Lorena Melgarejo, an immigration advocate for the Archdiocese of San Francisco, said that “undocumented immigrants” are feeling more anxious than ever that they or their loved ones will soon be rounded up and deported, although she admitted to not having seen any actual signs of stepped-up immigration enforcement by the federal government. “The only thing we can do from a pastoral standpoint is to walk with people in this moment, provide information, connect them to resources and take that as an opportunity to engage and encounter people in dialogue, not just with immigrants, but also with other Catholics who are asking themselves: What is their role in a moment when our communities feel targeted?”
  • Christy Williams, an advocacy attorney with Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc., said, “If [illegal] immigrants know there is a standing policy that local leaders have taken time to implement, a policy to respect their civil rights, to promote practices that treat them in a humane manner and with dignity, I think they tend to feel welcome, and I think that’s the most important thing.

Marguerite Telford, a Catholic and a spokeswoman for the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank that supports a stricter national immigration policy, told the National Catholic Register she does not agree with the approach of bishops and other Church officials who emphasize assisting illegals over border security, national sovereignty and public-safety concerns. She said:

“I care about the victims [of illegal alien criminals], and I’ve met a lot of the victims of these crimes, and I almost never hear my church talk about the victims of criminal aliens — almost never. I don’t understand why the bishops don’t have a heart for those impacted by the United States having open borders, with no vetting, and allowing people to be in this country whom we know nothing about.”

This is the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ explanation of Matthew 22:21:

“Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar: those who willingly use the coin that is Caesar’s should repay him in kind.”

St. Thomas Aquinas, a Doctor of the Church considered by the Catholic Church to be the greatest theologian and philosopher, respected a country’s laws governing immigration and would gravely disapprove of illegal “immigrants”, much less their brazen demands for special treatment in the U.S. today. So prudent and concerned was he for the well being of the host country that St. Thomas recommended that even legal immigrants be granted citizenship only after 2 or 3 generations. (See “St. Thomas Aquinas disapproved of illegal immigration and expected all immigrants to assimilate“)

In their opposition to the U.S. government’s enforcement of immigration laws approved by Congress, U.S. bishops precisely go against not only what St. Thomas had recommended, but also what Jesus Himself had instructed — that we who “willingly use the coin” that is the federal government’s should “repay in kind” by observing the government’s laws.

And since the bishops are picking and choosing which federal government law to oppose and ignore, does that mean we get to pick and choose which of God’s commandments or church law/doctrine to ignore as well?

See also:

~Eowyn

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Kate Steinle’s last words: “Help me, dad”

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Kate Steinle: Murdered by an illegal alien in sanctuary San Francisco

A child’s last words, should they perish before their parents, should be “I love you.” This is so heartbreaking.

From Fox News: The second day in the trial of the homeless illegal immigrant from Mexico charged with killing Kate Steinle featured testimony from a witness to the slaying. 

Michelle Lo took the stand on Tuesday to tell the jury, with the help of an interpreter, what she saw the night of July 1, 2015 when Steinle was shot.

Lo said she was on vacation in San Francisco with her family at the time of the shooting. She remembered a man dressed in black who “looked like a homeless person” and was spinning around in a chair “grinning and laughing” who made her uncomfortable.

She said she and her family continued along the pier before hearing a “very sharp scream” and seeing a woman on the ground. And she said she saw the same man from earlier walking away.

Lo had taken pictures on the pier before the shooting occurred and both Steinle and the defendant, Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, appeared in them. One showed Zarate sitting in one of the aformentioned chairs and another showed Steinle walking near him.

During the defense’s cross examination, attorney Matt Gonzalez questioned Lo based off her initial police interview at the time of the shooting, during which she said she didn’t really notice Zarate.

After Lo repeatedly said she didn’t remember certain details, Gonzalez read portions of her interview transcript. She confirmed to the jury that at the time of the interview she said, “I didn’t pay too much attention to him” and “looked because [I] was passing by but not intentional.”

She also confirmed that Zarate’s presence in her pictures was coincidental.

Following Lo, the jury heard from two other witnesses, Maria Moreno and Aryn Carpenter, who were staying at a hotel near the pier at the time of the shooting. The pair said they could hear “screams like you’d hear in a horror film” and saw a large group of people hovering around what appeared to be a body.

They said they were later able to I.D. Zarate for police because he had been “the only person walking away” and they remembered that he had a “scowl on his face.”

San Francisco Police Department Officer Raymond Ortiz also testified Tuesday. He was part of the investigative team that processed the crime scene. He showed the jury pictures of some evidence obtained that day including crime tape around the chair Zarate had reportedly been sitting in, crime scene markers around Steinle’s tan sweater and sandals, and medical equipment near large blood stains.

Zarate, 54, admits shooting Steinle, but says it was an accident.

Steinle’s father testified Monday that before she died, she said to him: “Help me, dad.”

The prosecution said those were her last words.

While Garcia’s immigration status is what brought the case into the national spotlight, jurors will not hear evidence about that, and it will not be a factor in the trial.

Steinle’s murder became a signature issue for Donald Trump as he was running for president. He invoked the murder in calling for the construction of a wall on the Mexican border and stepping up deportations and cracking down on illegal immigration.

DCG

Claro que si: Brown signs bill making California a sanctuary state

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The death of Kate Steinle meant NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING to the demorats running California.

From Yahoo: California Gov. Jerry Brown signed sanctuary state legislation Thursday that extends protections for immigrants living in the United States illegally — a move that gives the nation’s most populous state another tool to fight President Donald Trump.

Brown’s signature means that police will be barred from asking people about their immigration status or participating in federal immigration enforcement activities starting Jan. 1. Jail officials only will be allowed to transfer inmates to federal immigration authorities if they have been convicted of certain crimes.

“These are uncertain times for undocumented illegal Californians and their families, and this bill strikes a balance that will protect public safety, while bringing a measure of comfort to those families who are now living in fear every day,” Brown said in statement.

It was one of several immigration-focused bills that Brown signed Thursday, which was also the final day for young immigrants to renew their permits under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that protects them from deportation. Trump intends to end the program if Congress doesn’t act on it.

California is home to an estimated 2.3 million immigrants without legal authorization.

The Trump administration said the sanctuary state bill will make California more dangerous. The state “has now codified a commitment to returning criminal aliens back onto our streets, which undermines public safety, national security, and law enforcement,” Devin O’Malley, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Justice, said in a statement.

The measure came in response to widespread fear in immigrant communities following Trump’s election. He railed against immigrants in his campaign and promised to sharply ramp up the deportation of people living in the U.S. illegally.

Democrats hope blocking police from cooperating will limit the reach of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.

The bill “will put a large kink in Trump’s perverse and inhumane deportation machine,” Democratic Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon said at a press conference in Los Angeles celebrating the signing.

De Leon’s bill cleared the Legislature with support only from Democrats. Republicans said it will protect criminals and make it harder for law enforcement to keep people safe.

The bill, SB54, originally would have severely restricted the authority of police officers to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. At Brown’s insistence, it was scaled back to allow cooperation in jails.

Police and sheriff’s officials, including jail officers, will still be able to work with federal immigration authorities if a person has been convicted of one of about 800 crimes, mostly felonies and misdemeanors that can be charged as felonies. But they will be barred from transferring immigrants to federal authorities if their rap sheet includes only minor offenses.

The changes convinced the California police chiefs association to drop its opposition, while sheriffs — elected officials who run jails — remained opposed. ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan has condemned the measure, saying California is prioritizing politics over public safety.

California’s Democratic political leaders have enthusiastically battled Trump and his administration with lawsuits, legislation and fiery public rhetoric, particularly about immigration and the environment.

Among other things, the other bills signed Thursday by Brown will limit federal immigration authorities from entering schools and workplaces without warrants; prohibit landlords from reporting tenants to ICE; and stop local governments from contracting with for-profit companies and ICE to hold immigrants.

Some law enforcement officials say the impact of the sanctuary measure likely will be minimal because it bans immigration enforcement activities that few agencies participate in.

Immigrant rights advocates say it’s important to codify restrictions with the force of law while adding new ones. For them, it’s a rare victory during Trump’s presidency.

The measure was dubbed a sanctuary state bill because it sought to expand so-called sanctuary city policies that have long been in place in some of California’s biggest cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Brown, though, has resisted the label. In his signing statement, he noted the bill does not prohibit ICE from operating in California. “They are free to use their own considerable resources to enforce federal immigration law in California,” Brown wrote.

De Leon put it somewhat differently. “It won’t stop ICE from trolling our streets,” he said.

DCG

ICE arrests nearly 450 illegal immigrants in sanctuary city raids

Number should be much higher but it’s a good start. Bonus: it upsets libtards.

From Fox News: As part of a massive illegal immigration sweep, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced Thursday that officials this week arrested nearly 500 illegal immigrants living in sanctuary cities across the country.

The raid, referred to as “Operation ‘Safe City’” in a news release, spanned four days in cities through the U.S., and ended Wednesday.

Illegal immigrants with criminal charges or known gang-affiliations were targeted, the release said, noting that recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program were not.

In Philadelphia, 107 illegal immigrants were arrested, while 101 were arrested in Los Angeles and 45 people were arrested in New York.

The release noted that 18 of the 498 people arrested were gang members or have gang affiliations.

A Mexican illegal immigrant in Los Angeles who was arrested is a member of the Colonia Chiques gang, a group dubbed one of the “largest and deadliest gangs” in southern California’s Ventura County by the FBI.

That immigrant, who was found with a handgun, allegedly rammed a number of law enforcement vehicles in an attempt to escape from authorities.

Sanctuary cities — or cities that don’t cooperate with federal immigration policy — have become a heated topic as the Trump administration has pushed for a stronger crackdown on illegal immigration.

Even though ICE has said arrests of illegal immigrants are up 43 percent since this time last year, deportation numbers are down, according to The Washington Post.

DCG

Playing politics in exchange for American lives: California “lawmakers” approve sanctuary state bill

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Kate Steinle: Murdered by an illegal alien in sanctuary San Francisco

The death of Kate Steinle meant nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, to demorats in California.

I cannot express here, within our guidelines, how outraged I am with the so-called lawmakers of that state. 

From Fox News: Lawmakers in California on Saturday passed “sanctuary state” legislation even as President Trump and his administration have vowed to crack down on jurisdictions that do not cooperate with federal immigration agents.

The bill approved early Saturday limits police cooperation with federal immigration authorities and is intended to bolster protections for illegal immigrants in the state.

But the acting director of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Saturday warned of “tragic consequences,” saying the policy “will make California communities less safe.”

“By passing this bill, California politicians have chosen to prioritize politics over public safety,” Thomas Homan, the acting director of ICE, said in a statement. “Disturbingly, the legislation serves to codify a dangerous policy that deliberately obstructs our country’s immigration laws and shelters serious criminal alien offenders.”

Homan said ICE wants to work with local law enforcement to prevent “dangerous criminal aliens” from being released back onto the streets.

The legislation will now be considered by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, who announced his support after the top state Senate leader agreed to water down the bill and preserve authority for jail and prison officials to cooperate with immigration officers in many cases.

The bill that passed Saturday prohibits law enforcement officials from asking about a person’s immigration status or participating in immigration enforcement efforts. It also prohibits law enforcement officials from being deputized as immigration agents or arresting people on civil immigration warrants.

The legislation follows Trump’s vow to crack down on sanctuary cities. Such policies limit just how much local law enforcement officials cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

The debate about sanctuary cities intensified in July 2015 when Katie Steinle, 32, was killed as she strolled along the San Francisco waterfront with her father. Steinle was fatally shot by a illegal alien with a criminal record who had slipped into the U.S. multiple times illegally.

On Friday, a federal judge in Chicago has ruled Attorney General Jeff Sessions can’t withhold public grant money from so-called sanctuary cities for refusing to follow federal immigration policies.

U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber made the ruling Friday, in which he granted Chicago’s request for a temporary “nationwide” injunction.

The ruling means the Justice Department cannot deny grant money requests until Chicago’s lawsuit against the agency is concluded. Leinenweber wrote that Chicago has shown a “likelihood of success” in its arguments that Sessions overstepped his authority with the requirements.

The city of Chicago sued the Trump administration in August after it threatened to withhold funds from sanctuary cities, and refused to comply with the Justice Department’s demand that it allow immigration agents access to local jails and notify agents when someone in the U.S. is about to be released from custody.

At least seven cities and counties, including Seattle and San Francisco, have refused to cooperate with new federal rules regarding sanctuary cities.

DCG

King County judge pulls sanctuary city measure from Burien ballots

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The judge who made the ruling: Elizabeth Berns

The good judge stated the language in the petition was “inflammatory.”

About the judge who made the ruling:

“Judge Berns has been active in the LGBTQ community helping others understand domestic violence and sexual assault within that community. She has co-authored a chapter on LGBTQ Minorities and Sexual Offenses in the Sexual Offense Bench Guide for Judges, and a chapter on LGBTQ DV in the Domestic Violence Manual for Judges. She is the Project Chair for the King County Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment Coordinated Response Oversight Committee, and is on faculty for the National Council of Juvenile & Family Court Judges for judicial education programs entitled “Enhancing Judicial Skills in Domestic Violence Cases.”

From Seattle Times: King County Elections is pulling an anti-sanctuary city initiative off the Nov. 7 Burien ballot, following a Thursday court ruling. The initiative calls for repealing a city ordinance, passed by the City Council in January, that bars police officers and other city employees from asking about a person’s religion or immigration status.

King County Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Berns issued a preliminary injunction Thursday morning declaring the ballot measure invalid on several grounds, including that it exceeded the scope of authority granted to initiatives and deviated from state requirements “for the contents and form of a petition.”

“It was a little overwhelming to get to this point,” said Hugo Garcia, a member of Burien Communities for Inclusion, the group that sought the injunction. “But yeah, I’m very happy.”

The initiative, pushed by the organization Respect Washington, sparked a fierce immigration debate in Burien that mirrored the national one prompted by President Donald Trump’s rhetoric about Mexicans being criminals and stealing American jobs.

Burien Communities for Inclusion cited language in Respect Washington’s petition to argue that it used inflammatory language that misrepresented the ordinance it sought to repeal.

The petition said the ordinance “threatens the safety of every Burien citizen and legal resident by allowing criminal aliens, like the one who shot Kate Steinle in San Francisco, to prey upon others inside our once peaceful town.”

Trump, among others, has cited Steinle’s murder in 2015 by an undocumented immigrant illegal alien as justification for cracking down on illegal immigration.

The plaintiffs also successfully argued that the petition intruded upon the city’s rights to govern its own affairs.

“It tells the city of Burien what kind of instructions to give its employees,” said Dmitri Iglitzin, a lawyer for Burien Communities for Inclusion, which includes city residents and other immigrant advocates.

Neither Respect Washington nor its lawyer could be reached immediately for comment.

Janine Joly, senior deputy King County prosecutor, said Thursday she had not yet heard of an appeal filed by the group. If Respect Washington did appeal, and won, she said a court would have to issue emergency relief to get the initiative back on the ballot.

The deadline for sending ballots to the printer is Thursday, said King County Elections spokeswoman Kafia Hosh. “Our team is working right now to create new ballots without the measure,” she said. The county is required to send ballots to overseas residents and service members by Sept. 23.

Garcia said the initiative had created a lot of fear in Burien, even for him, a naturalized American citizen who came here from Mexico when he was 8. “As a Latino male, I don’t know that cops are going to be able to differentiate whether I’m documented or undocumented illegal,” he said.

DCG

Illegal alien deported twice now in ICE custody charged with 6 robberies in Chicago, suburbs

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Rahm Emanuel: Fighting to keep illegal aliens safe

Mayor Rahm Emanual wants to harbor these illegal aliens and is suing the federal government for monies to do so. Good luck with that strategy demorats!

From MyFoxChicago: A man who has been deported from the United States twice was indicted last week for six robberies in Chicago and several suburbs since December.

Jose Cruz Morales-Cortes, 45, was indicted on six counts of robbery on Aug. 1, according to a statement from the FBI.

Morales-Cortes, of Gary, Indiana, was deported for being in the country illegally on March 26, 2004 and again on Aug. 29, 2016, the FBI said. He was caught in the country again on Jan 20, 2017, and was in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement when he was indicted for the robberies.

According to the indictment, Morales-Cortes is accused of robberies on the following dates at the following businesses:

  • Dec. 17, 2016, at El Coyote, 11532 S. Pulaski Road in Alsip;
  • Dec. 26, 2016, at El Chisme Express, 5955 S. Pulaski Road in Chicago;
  • Dec. 27, 2016, at Taqueria Los Gallos, 4252 S. Archer Ave.;
  • Dec. 30, 2016, at Nuevo Mexico, 1920 Mannheim Road in Des Plaines;
  • Jan. 2 at El Mariachi, 18329 Torrence Ave. in Lansing; and
  • Jan. 3 at Taco’s and Burrito’s Rancho Grande, 3444 Rodge Road in Lansing.

He was also indicted on one count of being in the U.S. without permission from the Department of Homeland Security after having been deported in the past, the FBI said.

DCG