Last week, the Justice Department made an astonishing statement about its unprecedented lawsuit to stop the Arizona illegal-immigration law. Attorney General Eric Holder's spokeswoman, Tracy Schmaler, claimed that it was appropriate to go after Arizona, but inappropriate to stop "sanctuary cities."Hmmm, I guess that is just a federal law which Holder feels comfortable in ignoring. But it was a law signed by Bill Clinton, the man that the Obamanians are sending out on the road to campaign for Democrats.
Schmaler said: "There is a big difference between a state or 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. . . That's what Arizona has done in this case."
There's a big difference, all right. Sanctuary cities are expressly forbidden by federal law, while Arizona's statute is in perfect compliance with federal law.
n 1996, Congress prohibited sanctuary cities in no uncertain terms: A "local government entity or official may not prohibit, or in any way restrict, any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual" (8 USC Sec. 1373(a)).As Kobach reports, the tolerance of sanctuary cities make those cities targets of illegal-alien gangs. He represents the family of victims of such criminals whose presence in a sanctuary city led to deaths of victims rather than deportment of illegal aliens.
In direct contravention of that statute, New York, San Francisco, Chicago and dozens of other cities have adopted "sanctuary" policies that prevent their police from reporting illegal aliens.
The consequences can be deadly. The story of the Bologna family in San Francisco is a case in point. On June 22, 2008, illegal alien Edwin Ramos shot Anthony Bologna, and his two sons, Michael and Matthew, as they sat in their car coming home from a picnic after church. Ramos, a member of Mara Salvatrucha 13, had been arrested by the San Francisco Police three times before the murder.
Those "priors" were for crimes of violence, including mugging a pregnant woman and beating up a juvenile who wasn't a member of his gang. Each time, San Francisco sheltered Ramos from ICE and eventually released him back onto the streets. On the third occasion, Ramos went on to murder the Bolognas.
Had the police simply phoned ICE, Ramos would've been deported, and the Bolognas would be alive today. But San Francisco's sanctuary policy prohibited the officers from making that call.
In sanctuary cities, residents face a much higher risk of being victimized by illegal-alien criminals. Local lawmakers ignore this fact (and federal law) to satisfy their political agendas. Unbelievably, after the Bologna murders, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors nevertheless voted to retain the city's sanctuary policy.
That's just fine with the Holder Justice Department -- which is too busy suing a state that actually wants to see federal law enforced.