When we talk about sanctuary cities, we normally keep our focus on a few. Chicago, San Francisco; the usual suspects. The cities and states with hard-blue Democratic leadership, most of whom seem to have more interest in raising their national profile than in doing what they were elected to do. Then again, you’ve got to do what you’re good at. Democrats are really good at talking on television and raising money from gullible Hollywood leftists; they aren’t so good at governing.
But we digress.
The point is, this phenomenon of sanctuary jurisdictions is much more widespread and viral than you would think at first glance. Indeed, the Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security just released a new report that shows that approximately 675 localities in the U.S. have specifically rejected ICE detention requests. In other words, there are nearly 700 cities and governments in this country who refuse to hand illegal immigrants (that they have already arrested for unrelated crimes) over to federal authorities, even when asked to do so.
“Some local law enforcement agencies will not honor ICE immigration detainer requests, which further impacts ERO’s ability to take criminal aliens into its custody and apply KSTEP to identify possible terrorist connections,” read the IG’s January report. “To bring these aliens into custody, ICE files detainers with the applicable law enforcement agency requesting to detain them upon their release.
“Based on source data provided by ERO’s Law Enforcement Systems and Analysis unit, we determined that approximately 675 jurisdictions nationwide declined to honor more than 29,269 ICE immigration detainers from January 2014 through May 2017,” the report continued. “When a state or local law enforcement agency declines to transfer custody of a removable criminal alien to ICE, the released alien may put the public and ERO personnel at risk and requires significantly more resources to bring the individual into ICE custody.”
These policies are not just making our streets less safe and they aren’t just giving potential immigrants a “carrot” by inviting them to hop the fence and take their chances. Make no mistake, it’s doing both of those things, but it’s also doing something else.
The IG’s report, mind you, was not actually about these detainer requests at all. That was only one small section of a larger report about how local jurisdictions must cooperate with the federal government on matters of national security; i.e. disrupting terrorist cells and bringing jihadis to justice. By severing the relationship with the Trump administration, these sanctuary jurisdictions are actively making it easier for terrorists to work and fly undetected in the United States.
It’s only a matter of time before these reckless policies lead to tragedy.