Illegal immigration sanctuary advocates silent on San Francisco killing

By Jon Feere on July 9, 2015

The Hill, July 9, 2015

As journalists wrote article after article bashing Donald Trump, who said that both "good people" and "people that have lots of problems" cross our border illegally, a five-times-deported illegal alien from Mexico with seven felonies on his record allegedly killed Kathryn Steinle in the sanctuary city of San Francisco.

Politicians and activist groups that have been very vocal in promoting sanctuary policies in recent years are suddenly saying next to nothing about Steinle's death or suspect Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez (who has confessed to the killing, but now claims it was an accident).

Similarly, many of the journalists who leapt to discredit conversation about immigrant crime — and who should be calling out these politicians — have suddenly scurried away, writing nothing about this heinous killing, effectively proving Ann Coulter's argument that the media cover up immigrant crime.

Every journalist who wrote about Trump's immigration comments but who ignores Steinle's killing doesn't deserve to be called a journalist.

Over Twitter, I asked Chicago Tribune columnist John Chapman, who wrote a piece headlined "Trump and the Myth of Immigrant Crime," published a day after Steinle's killing, whether he was going to cover the killing. His response: "It proves as much about undocumented Mexicans as John Lennon's murder proves about white guys named Chapman." I responded: "So that's a no? A record in multiple states, Border Patrol & ICE failures, freed by a sanctuary policy -- it's a huge story." No response. For amnesty advocates, Steinle is just a statistic to be ignored.

The politicians are no better. For simply asking San Francisco's District Attorney George Gascon over Twitter whether he was going to release a statement on the killing, he blocked my account. This is a guy who thinks of himself as a public servant. He's a longtime sanctuary and amnesty advocate who is apparently hoping that if he hides long enough, the media will move on.

Also remaining nearly silent is San Francisco's Mayor Edwin Lee (D), who has been tweeting about women's soccer (and directing all questions to the sheriff). California Gov. Jerry Brown (D), who signed the state's TRUST Act, allowing for sanctuaries, has clammed up. Other California pols who have promoted the city's sanctuary policies have said next to nothing. This includes, for example, former San Francisco District Attorney and current California Attorney General Kamala Harris (D) (also busy tweeting about soccer), who is vying for retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer's (D) seat; former Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D); and the entire San Francisco Board of Supervisors who are tweeting about ice cream, jazz festivals and posting selfies taken on BART. I wish I were making this up.

These are the people responsible for the policy that puts illegal alien felons on the street, but their likely calculation is that the media are full of enough people like Chapman, meaning they'll never be asked about the killing.

As for the activist groups, they're less calculating than the politicians and consequently reveal the mindset of the pro-sanctuary crowd. Three groups — California Immigrant Policy Center, National Day Labor Organizing Network and Asian Americans Advancing Justice — have worked closely with San Francisco to advance their goal of getting "ICE Out of California." They and their allies have littered Twitter with their mantra on deportations: #Not1More.

To them, San Francisco's sanctuary policy operated exactly as it should have. Even knowing what we now know, these groups have not — and will not — take the position that Lopez-Sanchez should have been deported. It would fly in the face of everything they stand for.

For sanctuary advocates, there isn't a difference between citizens and foreigners; they believe that immigration enforcement and borders are not legitimate. As such, they see no rational reason for keeping illegal aliens like Lopez-Sanchez off the streets. Their position — as articulated by a Loyola Law School professor here — is that Americans cause crime, too, so why should a criminal foreigner be sent home?

The Asian Americans Advancing Justice group blocked me on Twitter for simply highlighting one of their pro-felon tweets (part of an anti-deportation campaign), which reads: "ICE claims that anyone w/ a felony record is a threat to public safety, we know this isn't true #FreeDaniel." Daniel is a Chinese illegal alien felon whom the group wants to keep in the country, even though he's committed robbery. The group's website explains that "we all make mistakes."

Despite their being central to the sanctuary movement, no one in the media has asked these groups to weigh in on Steinle's murder. If they did, the public would see how post-American and harmful to public safety the sanctuary crowd's positions really are. They view San Francisco's sanctuary policy as a success, even with the killing. The idea that our immigration system should keep out bad people is completely lost on them.

Also not being asked about the killing is President Obama, even though his policies are at least partially to blame. The San Francisco Sheriff's Office is blaming Obama's ICE, but ICE is blaming San Francisco for not turning the illegal alien over to them. The truth is, both sides are to blame. Obama ended Secure Communities last year, a program designed to increase cooperation between police and federal authorities. Meanwhile, Obama released tens of thousands of criminal illegal aliens even though federal law required Hillary Clinton and John Kerry to prevent it in their respective roles as secretaries of State. Obama's ICE admitted last month that 121 illegal aliens released by the administration committed "homicide-related offenses" from 2010 through 2014.

The city's sanctuary policy has killed before: Just a few years ago, a father and his two sons were murdered by an illegal alien gang member shielded by San Francisco. And it's not just limited to San Francisco. The family of Jamiel Shaw still mourns the loss of their son, killed by a dangerous illegal alien released by the city of Los Angeles.

It is time for Congress to end sanctuary policies. It is time for public safety to be made a priority over the interests of lawbreaking illegal aliens.