“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses . . . (and) the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.” As you know, that’s part of the inscription on the Statue of Liberty in New York.
Those were noble sentiments when poet Emma Lazarus wrote those words in 1883. But our immigration situation is far different today when many countries are all too willing to send us the wretched refuse of their teeming shores, mostly from Asia and Latin America. Unfortunately, that kind of immigration doesn’t improves the quality of life for anyone who lives here.
Many politicians and illegal immigration advocates continue to extol the virtues of those who sneak into our country in defiance of our immigration laws. All illegal immigrants are wonderful, hard-working, law-abiding people who come here in search of a better life for themselves and their families, they tell us, and that’s true for most illegal immigrants. Nevertheless, there’s another side to this story, and that’s the part they try to hide from us. Because the truth is a small but significant number of illegal immigrants are dangerous and/or violent criminals.
Exhibit “A” in the undesireable immigrant hall of fame is Juan Francisco Lopez–Sanchez, a drug-addled illegal immigrant who gunned down a 32-year-old woman on the San Francisco waterfront earlier this month. Lopez–Sanchez, who had already been deported five times, entered a not guilty plea to murder charges while standing alongside his taxpayer-funded defense attorney and interpreter. The accused murderer, who has a second grade education and no job skills, has four felony drug convictions on his record. So how did an armed felon/illegal immigrant come to be lurking on the San Francisco waterfront?
One possible reason is the Obama administration is unable or unwilling to enforce our nation’s immigration laws. Another reason is ultra-liberal San Francisco is a “sanctuary” city that turns a blind eye to illegal immigration. Both of California’s senators, liberal Democrats Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, have criticized the sanctuary policy. “We should focus on deporting convicted criminals, not setting them loose on our streets,” said Ms. Feinstein, a former San Francisco mayor.
The U.S. Homeland Security Department and San Francisco Sheriff’s Office blamed each other for the waterfront tragedy. Homeland Security officials said Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi failed to honor a federal “detainer” that would have kept Lopez–Sanchez behind bars, but Mirkarimi said he was acting in accordance with the city’s sanctuary law.
Meanwhile, two California state lawmakers have introduced legislation to force sanctuary cities to hold illegal immigrants for 48 hours to determine whether they should be deported or federally prosecuted. I agree with conservative commentator Michelle Malkin, who wrote sanctuary programs “have protected, harbored and enabled criminal illegal aliens who disappeared into the deportation abyss. Both Democrats and Republicans, goaded by Big Government and Big Business, have collaborated to turn America into a collective sanctuary nation.”
According to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), 1,000 of 36,000 illegal immigrants released by the Obama administration in 2013 went on to commit other serious crimes including murder and child sexual abuse. Grassley said the 1,000 criminal illegal immigrants who were released back onto our streets amassed 88,000 convictions, including 193 homicides, 426 assaults and more than 16,000 drunk or drugged driving infractions.
Egomaniacal multi-billionaire Donald Trump, a Republican presidential candidate, has branded illegal immigrants as dangerous criminals and while his statements are incendiary and provocative, they do contain a sliver of the truth other candidates don’t want to face. Trump will force them to face the truth, and that’s a much-needed contribution to the illegal immigration debate.
Guy W. Farmer was married to a LEGAL immigrant from Mexico for more than 40 years.