Bush Should Strip Sanctuary Cities of Federal Funds

Posted: Jul 24, 2008 7:25 PM
Bush Should Strip Sanctuary Cities of Federal Funds

Three good men are dead thanks largely to San Francisco’s outrageous sanctuary-city policy, which forbids city authorities from notifying federal immigration authorities when they arrest illegal aliens for crimes they commit, and it’s time for President Bush to crack down on all the cities in the United States that follow this absurd policy.

On June 22, Anthony Bologna and his sons Michael and Matthew were shot to death by Edwin Ramos, 21, after a brief traffic incident when Anthony Bologna allegedly briefly blocked Ramos' car from making a left turn, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Ramos, an alleged member of the vicious the Mara Salvatrucha gang, known as MS-13, should never have been around to kill the three men, and wouldn’t have been -- were not for the city’s sanctuary-city policy. Ramos, an illegal immigrant, was found guilty of committing two felonies when he was 17 -- involving a gang-related assault of a Municipal Railway passenger and the attempted robbery of a pregnant woman -- yet was never surrendered by the city’s juvenile justice authorities to federal officials for possible deportation as required by federal law.

Ramos was taken to juvenile hall on charges of assault and participating in a street gang, and was later convicted in juvenile court and put in a shelter. Under federal law, he should have been referred to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) but the Juvenile Probation Department's policy for dealing with offenders stipulated that "probation officers shall not discriminate in any fashion against minors based on their immigration status."

On April 2, 2004, Ramos was released to the custody of his mother, despite the fact that he had already been flagged by federal authorities as an illegal immigrant. He was still considered a ward of the court and was on probation. Just four days later, records show, he committed another crime at 19th and Mission streets, two blocks from the site of the attack on the Muni passenger. He was released after city prosecutors declined to charge him in connection with an arrest in March on suspicion of weapons and gang violations.

There is a dispute revolving around the question of whether ICE was ever notified of the Ramos arrest, but the fact remains that for the last 10 years the city’s juvenile justice authorities have followed a policy of not turning over illegal-immigrant felons to the federal government, basing the practice on San Francisco's sanctuary-city status and state law barring local officials from surrendering them for deportation.

After a storm of protest following the slayings of the Bologna family men, San Francisco’s ultra-liberal Mayor Gavin Newsom belatedly rescinded that policy earlier this month following a report in the Chronicle that the city had flown a number of youths out of the country on its own, in possible violation of federal law, and then housed some in unlocked group homes from which they quickly escaped. His action came too late to save the lives of the Bologna men.

Those are the facts in this shocking case. They illustrate the lethal effects this idiotic and dangerous sanctuary-city policy can have on the safety of innocent Americans.

Sanctuary-city policies defy guidelines from the 9/11 Commission Report, which called on state and local authorities to help federal agencies crack down on illegal immigration. “There is a growing role for state and local law enforcement agencies [for the enforcement of immigration law],” the report stated. “They need more training and work with federal agencies so that they can cooperate more effectively with those federal authorities in identifying terrorist suspects.”

Instead, a host of cities across the United States classify themselves as havens for illegal aliens, despite the fact that such policies result in creating safe havens for illegal aliens who are criminals and potential terrorists. They allow criminal aliens to avoid deportation because they prevent local police from reporting them to ICE.

President Bush should issue an executive order denying any federal funds to those cities which either officially or unofficially provide sanctuaries enabling illegal aliens who commit crimes to escape deportation. They need to learn there is a price to be paid for exposing their citizens to criminal activities by aliens here illegally.

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