Despite “astonishing” statistics on violent crimes committed by illegal immigrants, this week the U.S. Senate blocked a bill aimed at cracking down on America’s nearly 300 sanctuary cities.
Laws in sanctuary cities shield illegal immigrants from deportation, even after they’ve committed felonies. The proposal was motivated by the death of Kate Steinle in July. Steinle was fatally shot by an illegal immigrant who had been deported five times and convicted of seven felonies.
Investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson with “Full Measure” found the problem of the U.S. as a sanctuary for crime is much larger and often understated by politicians and advocates with special interests at stake. Families of victims say politics and political correctness have forced their personal tragedies into the shadows, while shielding the criminals
“Especially in San Francisco,” said Don Rosenberg, “they become a protected class with more rights than American citizens. Whatever they do, they get away with.” Rosenberg’s son Drew was run over and killed by an illegal immigrant five years ago.
U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, investigating the issue, noted, “You’ve got an administration that thinks more highly of their interests in protecting undocumented workers [to secure a voting block] than there is enforcing the law, and in the process of making that decision, violating their constitutional oath to faithfully execute the laws of this country.”
It’s not easy finding out how many illegal immigrants commit crimes in the U.S. since the federal government doesn’t publicize the numbers. Grassley demanded the information from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.
What he learned was astonishing. In 2013 and 2014 alone, ICE set loose more than 66,000 illegal immigrant criminals who had over 166,000 convictions (30,000 for drunk or drug driving, 414 kidnapping, over 11,000 rapes or other sexual assaults and 395 homicides). Already thousands of those have already been convicted of new crimes in the U.S., including felonies, since their release.
When Don Rosenberg attended a congressional hearing in July convened after Kate Steinle’s death, he lashed out at an advocate who said illegal immigrants should not be judged by a few bad apples. “A few?” he shouted. “Thousands. Thousands of people, not a few!”
“We’re just collateral damage,” Rosenberg later said, “in their attempt to garner votes on the left, and financial donations on the right.”
Greg Chen, an advocate for illegal immigrants with the American Immigration Lawyers Association, referred to a study that show that most immigrants are law-abiding. “There’s no indication immigrants are more likely to commit a crime than anyone else,” he said, before admitting the study doesn’t distinguish between legal and illegal immigrants.
Chen said the best way to track those who are dangerous is to allow all illegal immigrants in the U.S. to become documented.
“It’s both good for America in terms of national security and public safety, but benefits the economy as well as immigrant families and businesses,” he said.
45 house republicans have co-sponsored Kate’s Law to mandate five years in prison for any undocumented alien who returns to the U.S. after being deported – but the bill has stalled.
Grassley says he’s heard from one whistleblower after another inside ICE claiming they’re told not to do their job. Grassley reports they’re instructed: ignore the laws, just do everything you can to have people that ought to be deported be able to stay in this country.
“Full Measure” spoke to an ICE agent, who asked not to be identified for fear of losing his job, who said: “We have to sit back and watch people die. And that’s not an exaggeration. We have Kate Steinle that was killed. That happens every day. That’s the most horrific thing is to know, that you have the ability to prevent this, and the government would rather not offend anybody than keep people from dying.”
Mike Ronnebeck, whose nephew was murdered by an illegal alien with a criminal record, concluded: “I know that this country welcomes immigrants, this country was built by immigrants. But we’re also a country of laws. When we have people that cross our borders that don’t have the same respect for our laws that we do, it bothers me that we can’t hold them accountable.”