Law & the Courts

All the Areas Where Illegal Aliens Aren’t Deported, on One Map

(CIS)

A map created by the Center for Immigration Studies shows over 200 states, counties, and cities in the United States known as “sanctuaries” for illegal immigrants. In these locales, law officers disobey Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer orders for criminal illegal aliens and hinder the flow of pertinent information about them to federal immigration agents. Depending on the definition of a sanctuary city, the number could exceed 300.

 

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The shooting of 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle in the sanctuary city of San Francisco last week by an illegal alien and felon, who should have been deported to Mexico for the sixth time, raised concerns nationally about local officials’ refusal to comply with the law.

Sanctuary practices stymie the federal government’s prerogative to deport aliens without acquiring criminal warrants or convictions. And the feds has never sued, withheld funds from, or otherwise punished these areas for flouting the law.

Some states and localities have tried to take measures to help enforce immigration laws, but the Obama administration has obstructed these efforts, even suing to prohibit interference with sanctuary policy. A November 2014 policy memorandum signed by the Homeland Security secretary directed ICE agents to issue detainers only very rarely and authorized sanctuaries to disregard ICE attempts to apprehend criminal aliens for deportation. Local law-enforcement now releases thousands of deportable aliens annually.

 A significant percentage of illegal aliens released from custody proceed to commit other crimes. Of the approximately 8,100 deportable aliens released from custody in sanctuary jurisdictions between January and August 2014, about 1,900 were arrested again, on 7,500 charges, according to Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies.​ 

The criminal history of Steinle’s killer Juan Lopez-Sanchez includes seven prior felony convictions. Most recently, he was jailed in March for illicitly selling marijuana, and rather than being transferred to federal immigration officials, was released. He was last deported from the United States in 2009. 

Several Republican 2016 presidential candidates are now calling for the elimination of sanctuary jurisdictions. Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul have all come out against them.

Congress is currently considering legislative measures to ensure compliance with immigration law.

— Celina Durgin is a Collegiate Network fellow at National Review.

 

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