California is infamous for its sanctuary city laws. Sanctuary cities protect illegal immigrants from being deported by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Local authorities are not allowed to question suspects about their immigration status, and often do not turn over illegal immigrants to ICE. In 2017, Governor Jerry Brown approved SB 54, which made the entire state of California a sanctuary state. Under this law, local police cannot share information about a person’s release from custody with ICE and cannot transfer people to ICE without a court warrant. SB 54 has caused Orange County to release over 2,000 illegal aliens from custody during the past two years. More than 400 of these illegals went on to commit violent crimes and were re-arrested.
Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes has condemned SB 54, saying: “SB 54 has made our community less safe. The law has resulted in new crimes because my deputies were unable to communicate with their federal partners about individuals who committed serious offenses and present a threat to our community if released,” The sheriff argues that the law harms peaceful immigrants, because it “…has enabled offenders to be released, often times back into the the immigrant communities they prey upon, and create new victims.” Acting Director of ICE Matthew T. Albence agrees with Sheriff Barnes’ sentiment.
Albence said, “These policies do nothing but ensure that criminals are released back into the community, where many re-offend, instead of being turned over to ICE. These are preventable crimes, and more importantly, preventable victims. As the data released by Sheriff Barnes clearly demonstrates, all communities are safer when local law enforcement works with ICE.”
California is a good example of how Democrats have abandoned a rational perspective on immigration. Democrats claim they are being compassionate towards immigrants by supporting sanctuary laws. They invoke emotion, and paint conservatives as ‘xenophobic’ or ‘racist’ for opposing illegal immigration. However, the emotional argument does not make for sound policy. The left is so focused on protecting immigrants that they disregard the impact that criminal immigrants may have on the people around them. The Democratic Party has gone very far left on immigration, breaking with the views of Bill Clinton and even Barack Obama. The Republican talking point of ‘open borders’ may have been hyperbolic in the past, but California demonstrates that it is becoming reality.