Department of Justice officials just took a small but important step to force the leaders of sanctuary cities to help federal agents deport illegal alien criminals.
Currently, sanctuary cities don’t permit their local police forces to detain foreign criminals wanted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Instead, they release them back onto the streets. That puts Americans’ lives and jobs at risk.
That’s why the DoJ’s move is so welcome — and why the federal government should go to even greater lengths to crack down on sanctuary cities.
Specifically, the DoJ announced that to receive funding for two law enforcement grant programs, cities now must prove that they do not block their police from sharing information with immigration officers. The desire for funding will hopefully compel sanctuary city officials to change their ways.
Sanctuary cities that refuse to aid ICE put their citizens’ lives in danger.
Consider the case of Jose Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, who infamously shot and killed Kate Steinle in San Francisco last year. He had previously committed several felonies. Yet, because San Francisco is a sanctuary city, he, along with thousands of other dangerous illegal alien criminals, wasn’t handed over to ICE after he was arrested by local law enforcement. He killed Kate just weeks after being released from custody.
Illegal aliens also threaten Americans’ economic security. By competing with U.S. workers, they inadvertently drive down wages. In fact, illegal immigration reduces the wages of American workers by almost $120 billion per year.
Unfortunately, the DoJ’s carrot-and-stick approach only applies to two grant programs. To force all sanctuary cities to reverse their disastrous policies, the federal government would need to cut off a far larger percentage of funding.
The Senate recently considered a bill from Pat Toomey (R-PA) which would have done exactly that. The proposed law attracted bi-partisan support — but not quite enough to make it out of committee.
Americans shouldn’t have to live in fear that illegal aliens will take their jobs — or their lives. Compelling local leaders to end their sanctuary policies and cooperate with ICE would boost citizens’ physical and economic safety.