by Brian Lonergan
In the age of 24-hour news cycles where virtually everything has been politicized, a strange phenomenon has developed. Propaganda—described more accurately as “lies”—believed by many and challenged by few, is carrying the day. Only after a preponderance of evidence to the contrary accumulates over time does the public begin to question whether, let alone realize they have been sold a bill of goods.
Examples of this are ubiquitous, and nowhere seen more clearly than on the immigration issue.
Anti-borders politicians loudly proclaimed that there was no crisis at our southern border, until the undeniable facts caused them to reverse course and admit the obvious. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) once suggested that even members of the notoriously violent Central American gang MS-13 have “the spark of divinity” in them and hence deserve a chance here. We haven’t heard that talking point in a while, as details of the gang’s penchant for rape, drug trafficking, and murder have become known.
The latest talking point to wither and die in the light of truth is that sanctuary policies make communities safer, and that they protect immigrant communities. This can no longer be stated with any credibility. Sanctuary laws are poison for communities, and immigrants disproportionately are suffering as a result of them.
The Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) recently compiled a list of America’s Worst Sanctuary Communities, and the details that emerged should act as a disturbing wakeup call to all Americans. Illegal aliens given “sanctuary” and protected from deportation have been charged with heinous acts.
In one case in Maryland’s Prince George’s County, two MS-13 members were arrested and charged with the murder of a 14-year-old girl. They allegedly led their victim to a wooded area, beat her with a baseball bat, and stabbed her to death with a machete. Why were these monsters allowed in the country at all, let alone shielded from deportation?
A common denominator can be found in IRLI’s sanctuary list of shame. Most of the communities on the list are represented in Washington by passionate critics of immigration enforcement who demand amnesty, no border walls and the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). They include Speaker Pelosi’s San Francisco, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s New York, and Rep. Ilhan Omar’s Minneapolis.
Instead of finding real solutions to stop the carnage in their home districts, these politicians virtue signal and seek to increase the flow of unvetted illegal aliens into the country. This will only serve to victimize nonviolent aliens already here and make our communities even more dangerous.
Adding insult to injury is the smug and evasive reaction to these tragedies by the leaders who advocate for sanctuary laws. Maryland’s Montgomery County made national news recently for the arrests of illegal aliens in a spree of ten sexual assaults, most of them against underage girls, since the county began sanctuary policies over the summer. The response of the county leaders was to release a statement that associated critics of the policy—including police officers, members of the media, and federal immigration officials—with neo-Nazi sympathizers.
One popular defense of sanctuary policies is that they offer protection to illegal aliens who may be afraid to contact police for fear of deportation. But this is an intentional deception about how our immigration laws actually work. Those here illegally who report a crime against them not only are not deported, they can also get special protective status.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offers a U visa as a set aside for victims of certain crimes who have suffered abuse and then are helpful to law enforcement in an investigation. Sanctuary laws are unnecessary to protect victims of crime, and instead serve the purpose of protecting those who commit crimes.
Another shameful explanation for sanctuary laws is that they protect Latino illegal aliens from allegedly racist immigration enforcement policies. Again, the opposite is true. Criminal aliens tend to live in communities with other immigrants, both legal and illegal. When these criminal aliens are arrested and protected by sanctuary laws, the victims of their violent crimes most often are fellow illegal aliens or legal residents from Latin American countries. The only people sanctuary laws actually protect are violent criminals.
That these policies are advanced in the name of “tolerance” would be laughable if innocent people weren’t being raped and murdered as a result of them. Politicians who push for sanctuary laws should not be tolerated when they obfuscate and smear those who disagree. Instead they should be held to account for the violence and misery that come from their faux compassion.
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Brian Lonergan is director of communications at the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.
Photo “Minneapolis Protests” by Fibonacci Blue. CC BY 2.0.