When Will Americans Find True Sanctuary in Our Cities?

Published on October 29th, 2011

The online Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the term "Sanctuary" in part, as being: "A place of refuge and protection"

The term sanctuary conjures up the image of a place of safety and security.  Incredibly, there are leaders of a number of cities and states who are declaring that illegal aliens will be not only tolerated by local law enforcement but will be shielded from discovery from the federal government.  In such "Sanctuary Cities" illegal aliens are able to go about their daily lives without concern about being arrested or removed from the United States.  Incredibly, even the federal government has all but declared the United States to be a "Sanctuary Country!"

It is truly remarkable that it is illegal to shield an illegal alien from detection or aid, abet encourage or induce an alien to enter the United States in violation of law or to remain thereafter illegally.

Here are the statutes under the Immigration and Nationality Act that address the issues of concealing, harboring, encouraging or inducing aliens to enter the United States in violation of law or reside within the United States thereafter in reckless disregard of their violations of law:

Title 8, U.S.C. § 1324(a) defines several distinct offenses related to aliens. Subsection 1324(a)(1)(i)-(v) prohibits alien smuggling, domestic transportation of unauthorized aliens, concealing or harboring unauthorized aliens, encouraging or inducing unauthorized aliens to enter the United States, and engaging in a conspiracy or aiding and abetting any of the preceding acts. Subsection 1324(a)(2) prohibits bringing or attempting to bring unauthorized aliens to the United States in any manner whatsoever, even at a designated port of entry. Subsection 1324(a)(3).

Encouraging/Inducing — Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv) makes it an offense for any person who — encourages or induces an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law.

Conspiracy/Aiding or Abetting — Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(v) expressly makes it an offense to engage in a conspiracy to commit or aid or abet the commission of the foregoing offenses.

Recently, Washington, D.C., the city that encompasses our nation's Capitol, has now formalized its sanctuary policies.  The mayor of Washington, D.C. has signed an executive order implementing a "don't ask- don’t-tell" policy that prohibits police from inquiring about the immigration status of people they encounter during the course of their official duties.

Stop and give this madness some thought.  The purpose for our nation's immigration laws is to protect our nation and our citizens from the presence of aliens who pose a threat to the safety and well being of our nation and our citizens.  Aliens who evade the inspections process leave no record of their entry into the United States and there is no reliable way of knowing their true identities, backgrounds or potential affiliation with criminal or terrorist organizations.  There is no way of knowing what motivated them to run our nation's borders- for example, if they are fugitives from justice in another country who committed serious crimes and are on the run.

The easiest and most definitive way to prove just how important the enforcement of our nation's immigration laws are is to review the section of law that delineates the statutory reasons why an alien should be excluded from the United States.

Title 8, United States Code section 212 is section of law that enumerates the various categories of aliens who, under the Immigration and Nationality Act, are supposed to be prevented from entering the United States and are supposed to be removed if they are found here:

Please take the time to review the contents of this section of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

Among the categories of aliens who are supposed to be kept out of the United States are aliens with dangerous communicable diseases, aliens who suffer serious mental illness and are prone to violence, aliens who are convicted felons, aliens who fugitives from justice in other countries, aliens who are human traffickers and drug smugglers, aliens who are war criminals and aliens who have committed human rights violations.  Also aliens who are engaged in terrorism and espionage are among those who are, by law, supposed to be prevented from entering our country and are supposed to be removed if they manage to evade the Border Patrol or otherwise enter the United States.

It is extremely important to understand that these laws apply equally to all individuals irrespective of race, religion or ethnicity.

Our nation's immigration laws make absolutely no distinctions about people where race, religion or ethnicity are concerned.  The only distinction is between people who are citizens of the United States and those who are not and who, under our laws, are referred to as "Aliens."

Indeed, the term "Alien" is defined under our laws as simply being any person who is not a citizen or national of the United States.  This definition is completely compatible and comparable to similar terms used by virtually every other country on this planet to describe people who are present in those countries but are not citizens of those countries.

The biggest problem with the term "Alien" from the perspective of the open borders advocates, is that this term provides something they attempt to avoid in any way and every way possible–clarity!

Similarly, the use of the term "Sanctuary" to describe jurisdictions where illegal aliens are enabled to operate with impunity are not true sanctuaries- they are places where law abiding people, citizens and aliens alike, are at great danger.  Our nation is currently confronting the exploding numbers of violent transnational gang members including members of MS-13, the Mexican drug cartels and other such gangs from the four corners of our planet.  This growing menace was clearly laid out in a newly released FBI Gang Threat Assessment.

Additionally, the threat of terrorist attacks continues to pose a real threat to the safety and security of our nation and our citizens.  As the "9/11 Commission Staff Report on Terrorist Travel" noted in the very first paragraph of the preface to that report:

"It is perhaps obvious to state that terrorists cannot plan and carry out attacks in the United States if they are unable to enter the country. Yet prior to September 11, while there were efforts to enhance border security, no agency of the U.S. government thought of border security as a tool in the counterterrorism arsenal. Indeed, even after 19 hijackers demonstrated the relative ease of obtaining a U.S. visa and gaining admission into the United States, border security still is not considered a cornerstone of national security policy. We believe, for reasons we discuss in the following pages, that it must be made one."

Here is something else to consider:  criminal aliens have two advantages over American criminals. They can easily flee from the United States when they believe that law enforcement authorities are coming after them and they can threaten to do harm to the family members of members of the immigrant communities if these immigrants dare speak with the police or refuse to aid these criminals and are coerced into committing crimes at the behest of these criminals.

This is what makes the often cited claim that anyone who wants our nation's borders secured against illegal entry and our immigration laws effectively enforced from within the interior of the United States is “Anti-Immigrant” is a bald faced lie!  The failures of the government to secure the border and enforce the immigration laws create a clear danger to everyone in the United States but among those who are placed most at risk are the members of the immigrant community.

When a police officer encounters a suspect of a crime or when a police officer stops a motorist who has violated vehicle and traffic laws, the first order of business is to properly identify that person to make certain that he (she) is not a fugitive who is wanted for other crimes and to also determine risk of flight.  In fact, the two factors that are at issue in a bail hearing are danger to the community and risk of flight.  As an INS special agent, I was often called upon to testify in state and federal court about the immigration status and background of aliens who were arrested for committing felonies.  Clearly an alien who had been previously deported, failed to show up for immigration hearings, used multiple false identities and provided false addresses when arrested by immigration law enforcement personnel has already established a clear record of "risk of flight."  This is vital information that must be provided to any judge or magistrate who is considering what bail, if any, is appropriate in criminal cases.

All too often we hear of individuals who are arrested for committing a crime are released by a judge and then commit additional crimes–often crimes of extreme violence and the victims or their family members understandably demand to know why such a criminal was released.

Perhaps such criminals would not be released if pertinent material to the issue of risk of flight was made available to the judge.

It is nothing short of Orwellian to refer to jurisdictions where immigration laws are utterly ignored in this particularly perilous era as being "Sanctuary Cities!"

Such cities should be referred to by a far more honest and descriptive nomenclature perhaps "High Risk" or "Gang Magnets" would be far more appropriate.

Certainly "Sanctuary Cities" fail to place the concerns and needs of law abiding Americans and resident aliens first.

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