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Who Killed Kate Steinle? Sanctuary Cities - And It's Time for the Media to Admit it

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

The trial for Kate Steinle’s alleged illegal alien murderer began on Monday, two years after her tragic, unnecessary demise. The Sacramento Bee editorial board argues that sanctuary cities are not to blame, but rather San Francisco’s lack of social services for homeless transients. I am surprised that the editorial board didn’t demand more gun control.

Steinle’s unthinkable murder forced destructive sanctuary city policies to the forefront of the national debate on immigration. However, in typical liberal fashion, the editorial snidely disputes this argument, even disdaining “conservative” opinion on illegal immigration. First there’s the mocking “cue the chant ‘Build the Wall’” phrase, trying to turn the demand for border security into a mindless, meaningless mantra. For decades, Americans have demanded a barrier along the Southern border. Even moderate conservative Charles Krauthammer advocates for “the wall”— and he is no fan of President Trump. The editorial then takes a subtle jab at Bill O’Reilly—"when he still had a job at Fox News”—because he demanded the arrest of all elected officials complicit in sanctuary city policies. Actually, it is a federal crime to aid and abet illegal aliens.

More to the point, the editorial references one Breitbart article which exposed the sketchy statistics relating to illegal alien crimes, written by then editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro: Media Cover Up Illegal Immigrant Criminality. Shapiro focused on the media’s obsessions with political correctness in reference to illegal aliens—“undocumented immigrant,” “immigrant without legal status,” etc. He outlined the media’s determination to remove mention of an assailant’s unlawful status in the country. The Democratic Party and the left-wing open borders phalanx of Big Business, Big Labor, and Big La Raza also downplay this factor in illegal alien murders committed on American soil, citing that “all murders are bad.” Sure, but illegal alien criminals in our country should have never been here, and if our immigration laws had been enforced, those deaths would have never occurred. This part escapes most reporters and editors.

I was stunned by this complaisant editorial defending sanctuary cities. I contacted the editorial page editor. My first question dealt with the seemingly snide aside toward conservatives at the end of the editorial: “The Steinle family deserves the facts –not the echo chamber that is the court of conservative public opinion.” He advised not to read too much into that statement. Rather than calling Zarate’s presence on San Francisco streets “a crime,” he cited it as an example of negligent “dumping.” It is true that city officials and hospitals have engaged in unlawful dumping of mentally and physically ill transients, but that outrage should focus on citizens not getting basic services from our elected officials.

Besides, Zarate was a not mentally ill transient. This illegal alien deliberately fled to San Francisco. He had another felony warrant against him in Texas. He knew that immigration officials would not seek him out in “Sanctuary City” Francisco. He stole the firearm that he discharged to kill Steinle from a federal official. Both actions prove malice aforethought and calculation, and both require a sound mind and body.

I asked for the editor’s views about sanctuary city policies. He contended that the term is misused. “Police should be allowed to do their jobs. ICE should be allowed to their jobs.” Not satisfied, I asked: “Should cities comply with ICE detainers?” He was evasive: “I think that cities should follow the law.” Really?! I tried to pin him down: “Well, the law is greatly in dispute at this time.” No, it isn’t. One Oregon federal district court struck down the detainers, but ICE has since then updated them to assure municipal compliance.

Here we find how deep the liberal bias distorts the news and these troublesome trends. A number of times, Morain said “You will probably not agree with me.” Yes, that’s clear, but I am interested in why the press is so determined to push the sob stories. When it comes to violent crimes committed by illegals, the media downplays the lawlessness, pities the illegal alien criminal, and ignores the grieving parents. However in one sense, Morain is right about “dumping.” San Francisco refused to comply with the ICE detainer for Jose Zarate, and the city “dumped” the illegal on city streets.

The press largely dismisses the dark side of illegal immigration. They shed compassion on the illegals, often refusing to call them “illegal.” They want to promote open border policies and denigrate the government for not giving enough of taxpayer-subsidized benefits, even though sanctuary cities have ignored their primary role of protecting the rights and safety of the citizens.

Why such complaisance from the media?

I submit it largely goes back to the progressive worldview, one which posits that a large, providential government creating a better environment for all people would ensure that the basic goodness of man would emerge. The Rousseau world-view of the goodness of man, a one-world utopia where borders don’t matter and national identity phases away still drives the vantage point of these liberals. These illegal aliens are just victims of the global disturbances and distortions. It’s not their fault they become bad actors in a city. These illegals are not even criminals, but rather misguided souls who should have received the proper help from the government.

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