The city’s Board of Supervisors met on Tuesday to sort out whether the current coddling of illegal aliens should be changed following the shocking death of Kate Steinle last July at the hands of a five-times-deported criminal. Unsurprisingly, the supes only clarified the enormous extent to which illegal aliens, including convicted criminals, are protected in San Francisco: the supervisors specified that only defendants charged with a violent crime and convicted of a violent crime within the past seven years can be referred to ICE for deportation. That is a rather limited category, one that protects foreign criminals rather than public safety.
Fox New reported on the San Francisco supervisors’ decision:
MARTHA MCCALLUM: San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously voting to uphold their so-called sanctuary city policy despite coming under fire this past year when 32-year-old Kate Steinle was shot and killed by a convicted felon who was living in the United States illegally, her accused killer protected by that controversial policy. Adam Housley, live in San Francisco where it seems like nothing is going to change because of all that. Good morning, Adam.
ADAM HOUSLEY: Yeah Martha, nothing’s going to change in that unanimously approved legislation which upholds the sanctuary city law. Remember the backlash, you touched on it, with Kate Steinle who was killed here last year. The man who she was killed by was wanted by ICE and was not turned over because of the sanctuary city law in San Francisco. Now what this measure does basically is it clarifies the protections available to illegal immigrants here, the measure calling for law enforcement officers to notify Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE only if a defendant is charged with a violent crime and has been convicted of a violent crime within the last seven years. That would be the only time city workers, including police officers, could disclose immigration status. Supervisor John Avalos sponsored the legislation.
JOHN AVALOS: What it would do is make sure that we’re very clear about who is responsible for any part of the workaround detaining people and notifying people, notifying ICE.
HOUSLEY: The San Francisco sheriff is resisting the limitation, says she wanted more say in the whole situation. She was elected here, of course, and would not necessarily have to follow this new city rule.
MCCALLUM: It’s got to make people think twice about the safety of that city, given what’s happened.
In addition, a Maryland sheriff made a convincing case that Obama’s disappearing enforcement has left the nation considerably more endangered by illegal alien criminals.
Sheriff Charles A. Jenkins of Frederick County warned that “Open border policies and failure to enforce our immigration laws have greatly impacted public safety in every community in America and cities are becoming war zones. Every single day, more Americans are becoming victims of avoidable crimes.”
Jenkins noted that his office has partnered with federal authorities on the 287(g) program since 2008 and it has been effective in identifying and removing illegal aliens criminals to better protect Americans in his jurisdiction. But clearly the extent of the administration’s border anarchy has made it hard for local law enforcement to keep up.
The sheriff further explained, “The criminal alien gang numbers are growing across the nation, and the serious crimes are increasing. There is also a direct nexus between the action on unaccompanied minors of two years ago and the increases we are seeing in gang crimes.”
What a surprise. Some were just pretending to be kids for all the easy freebies and others had existing gang affiliations. Plus there are no jobs for unskilled non-English-speaking kids (sometimes preliterate), making them perfect recruits for gangs. The care and feeding of Centrals was estimated to be in the billions of dollars, and that was without their being criminals. America is importing violent criminals and taxpayers are forced to pay for it.
Below, some of the hundreds of thousands of illegal alien Centrals who have been allowed to enter the United States.
You can read Sheriff Jenkins’ full statement to the committee here and watch the hearing at this link.
Chairman Trey Gowdy noted in his opening statement, “Surely we can all agree that protecting the public from violence and lawlessness is the pre-eminent function of government.” (If only the authorities followed that simple principle.)
Congressman Bob Goodlatte is Chair of the full Judiciary Committee and used his opening statement to review some facts about worsening illegal alien crime in America because of the administration’s permissive policies:
BOB GOODLATTE: I also want to express my deepest sympathy to the family members of Sarah Root and Joshua Wilkerson who were tragically killed by criminal aliens illegally present in the United States. Their mothers Michelle Root and Laura Wilkerson are here to share their stories under heartbreaking circumstances that no parent could be prepared for or should have to bear. Sarah Root was killed by an unlawful alien drunk driver less than three months ago. Only hours before her death she graduated from college with a 4.0 average and a degree in investigations. Tragically the Department of Homeland Security did not consider her killer an enforcement priority and did not issue a detainer for his arrest. As a result he posted a state bail bond and fled.
Joshua Wilkerson was tortured and murdered in 2010 by an alien who had overstayed his visa for eight years. The killer was arrested on a harassment charge only months before, but ICE did not seek to take custody. The district attorney who prosecuted the murder case couldn’t explain why ICE did not have an interest in him, despite the fact that ICE regularly reviewed the county jail roster,
Though these two young victims had unique life stories, their tragic deaths are linked by a common thread: they are two of the many innocent victims of the irresponsible policies of the Obama administration that promote the presence of dangerous criminal aliens in American communities. The American public has been misled by the enforcement priorities — deferred action and executive action — policies of this administration which categorize only certain quote unquote serious criminal aliens as worthy of immigration enforcement. However this administration’s actions demonstrate that it finds it acceptable to permit even serious criminal aliens to prey on our communities. The fact remains that illegal immigration has consequences. It is not a victimless crime, and for the families and friends of victims killed, maimed or otherwise hurt by aliens especially those who are illegally present, the consequences can be devastating. Continue reading this article
The parents of Kate Steinle appeared with their lawyer in a Tuesday news conference in front of San Francisco City Hall to announce a suit against the city and government agencies for failing to follow immigration law, negligence which led to the death of their daughter.
Below, the late Kate Steinle (left) and her parents Jim Steinle and Liz Sullivan (right) with accused killer Francisco Sanchez (inset).
Here’s a few clips of the presser from AP:
Bill O’Reilly dedicated his opening segment to the Steinle case. He has proposed “Kate’s Law” to end such preventable crimes by severely increasing the punishment of deported felons who return to this country.
Liberal values in San Francisco are so extreme that elites believe it’s better to award special privileges to illegal aliens (because they are seen as victims) rather than protect public safety. SF libs think they are superior to the rest of us because they are on the side of the diverse downtrodden masses, even when they are criminals.
It’s good to see Jaxon Van Derbeken still writing on illegal aliens in San Francisco. In 2009 he won the Katz Award from the Center for Immigration Studies for his excellence in reporting the Bologna murders and the whole swamp of crazy sanctuary policy.
The parents of a San Francisco woman shot to death in July by an immigrant who was facing possible deportation filed legal claims Tuesday against the city and federal governments, saying their negligence led to her killing.
The chain of events that ended in Kathryn Steinle’s death began when a federal Bureau of Land Management agent left his gun in a backpack that someone stole out of the backseat of his car in San Francisco, said the claim filed on behalf of her parents, Jim Steinle and Liz Sullivan of Livermore.
Within four days, the gun came into the hands of 45-year-old Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez — a Mexican immigrant who would probably have been deported, Steinle’s parents say, had San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi not released him from jail without alerting federal officials.
Steinle’s killing brought national attention to San Francisco’s sanctuary-city policies that, in many cases, discourage cooperation with the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. It also focused attention on whether law enforcement officials are doing enough to safeguard their guns from thieves — the Steinle case was one of three recently in the Bay Area in which unattended firearms were stolen from authorities’ cars.
Now, her slaying could result in lawsuits against the city, the Bureau of Land Management and ICE if, as is typically the case, officials reject the legal claims. The claims do not specify what damages the family is seeking. Continue reading this article
Jason Riley, a writer for the Wall Street Journal, is a big time amnesty enthusiast. But his recent piece pointed out a strong impetus for cities adopting sanctuary policies, namely the threat of an expensive lawsuit from leftist monsters like the ACLU. Some cities have been sued for cooperating with the feds to deport criminals because the ACLU says it is unlawful.
Riley appeared with Stuart Varney on Wednesday to explain.
Here is the part of Riley’s article that pertains to the ACLU lawsuits aimed at releasing dangerous alien criminals onto American streets:
If San Francisco had been more cooperative with federal authorities, Kate Steinle might still be alive.
[. . .]
This month the administration watered down Secure Communities, renamed it the Priority Enforcement Program, and promised local jurisdictions that the DHS would only issue detainers for felons or other perceived threats to public safety. This may help stem the growth of sanctuary cities and improve federal-local cooperation, but it’s no guarantee. Cities are also under pressure from groups like the American Civil Liberties Union which maintain that cooperating with the federal government on immigration enforcement is illegal.
Court rulings in Oregon and Pennsylvania last year went against local authorities who had detained arrestees for an additional period at the request of the DHS. In Oregon, a federal judge ruled that Clackamas County officials violated the rights of a woman arrested for ignoring a restraining order when they turned her over to DHS officials. The county settled the case by paying the woman $30,000 and picking up her court costs. In a Pennsylvania case involving a man arrested on drug charges, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that local authorities are not required to honor federal detainers. The man sued and was awarded $145,000 in damages and legal fees.
Other cities are taking note, said Mr. Rosenblum. “This local jurisdiction fear of lawsuits, there’s something to that. It’s a big issue, especially in the Ninth Circuit, where the Oregon case was. After that, you saw a big wave of California, Oregon and Washington state counties opting out.” [. . .]
The term “sanctuary city” has become a rallying cry for conservative Republicans seeking stiffer immigration laws. They characterize such places as havens where those in the country illegally are protected from immigration authorities.
The reality behind the phrase is that while some cities actively thumb their noses at federal immigration policies, many refuse to enforce them not because of any moral obligation to immigrants; they fear lawsuits.
Since the fatal shooting of Kathryn Steinle on a San Francisco pier allegedly by an immigrant who was released from jail even though U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement sought to deport him for a sixth time, the debate over how to handle cities and counties that refuse to cooperate with immigration authorities has reached a feverish pitch.
On Thursday, House Republicans passed a bill aimed at punishing cities that refuse to share information with federal immigration authorities, which the White House threatened to veto. While the bill doesn’t specifically address the release of immigrants sought by federal authorities for deportation, the Republicans are pitching other legislation to do so.
The vote came after presidential hopeful Donald Trump attacked illegal immigration on the campaign trail.
While notably liberal San Francisco has openly declared itself a haven for all immigrants regardless of their legal status, some of the cities and counties that have stopped detaining immigrants for ICE are politically conservative and are not trying to shield residents from deportation. Continue reading this article
On Monday I traveled to San Francisco to join with a couple dozen other friends of public safety to protest the preventable crimes of illegal aliens. Those crimes are assisted by the policy of Sanctuary Cities, which actively protects illegal alien criminals and allow them to harm and even kill Americans. That government program was responsible for the murder of Kate Steinle who was shot dead by a five-times-deported Mexican felon on July 1.
Kate Steinle has become the symbol of how little the government cares about protecting its law-abiding citizens. As Congressman Trey Gowdy recently remarked, “Those of us who have daughters, saw our daughters in Kate Steinle.” She was walking with her father on a San Francisco pier popular with both locals and tourists, a place known to many Americans. But she wasn’t safe there, because liberal San Francisco stubbornly clings to its extreme sanctuary policy.
SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The Pier 14 shooting death of Kate Steinle is a crime that touched a nerve and is sparking a debate in the Bay Area and across the nation about sanctuary cities–and shielding undocumented immigrants.
KRON 4’s Vicki Liviakis shows the protest. The flowers at this make shift memorial are dry, but emotions are still raw.
“She was on this pier with her dad, and the last thing she said to her dad as she died here was help dad,” one protester said. “Now, we look to government to help us but government isn’t helping us when it comes to sanctuary cities.”
A group called Citizens for Safe Cities wants to overturn san francisco’s sanctuary city policy – which they say shielded a known criminal.
Wilfredo Reyes was in the car from which Edwin Ramos shot and killed the three members of the Bologna family, whom he mistook for rival gangsters. Reyes was arrested in North Carolina in July 2012.
Danielle Bologna, who was made a widow by the preventable crime, has been in witness protection for seven years for fear of other diverse gangsters and made an emotional statement to the court that justice cannot be served in this lifetime for the loss of her husband and sons.
She also urged officials to prioritize public safety: “Violent criminals, convicted felons and gang members illegally in the United States should not be shielded by any law enforcement agency. I am begging community leaders to put public safety first so another preventable tragedy for another family is avoided.”
Unlike his gangster pal Ramos, Reyes is not an illegal alien and cannot be deported after serving his prison term. America now has generations of criminal diversity preying upon us.
In a matter of minutes, seven years of wrenching uncertainty ended for a onetime San Francisco family shattered by tragedy.
Wilfredo “Flaco” Reyes, a suspected leader of the MS-13 gang, was sentenced Friday to 10 years in state prison for his role in the mistaken-identity murders of a father and two sons, closing the final chapter of one of the city’s most notorious crimes.
Tony Bologna, 48, and his sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16, were driving just a few blocks from their home in the Excelsior neighborhood in June 2008 when their car was riddled with bullets. A third son, Andrew, survived the attack.
Prosecutors do not believe that Reyes was the shooter but that he was in the car.
“This is for my husband, Tony, my son Michael and my son Matthew Bologna,” Danielle Bologna, who supported Reyes’ plea deal, said through tears in San Francisco Superior Court. “It’s been a long seven years for justice, and we are finally here.
“You have taken so much away from us,” she said to Reyes. “I had a whole family and on the day of June 22, 2008, you destroyed it.”
Investigators determined that the Bolognas were killed in a mistaken gang shooting by Edwin Ramos, another alleged member of MS-13. He was convicted of their murders in 2012 and sentenced to three consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.
Ramos admitted driving the other car, but testified that Reyes had leaned over from the passenger seat and fired the shots, in revenge for the shootings of two MS-13 members earlier that day. Prosecutors believe Ramos was lying about who pulled the trigger.
The case drew controversy when it was revealed that Ramos had, before the killings, been shielded from deportation twice after he committed gang-related crimes as a minor by city juvenile justice officials relying on San Francisco’s sanctuary city law.
That law has been expanded since and, this week, has come under intense scrutiny after a man who was released from County Jail — despite a federal request that he be turned over for deportation — allegedly shot and killed a woman on the Embarcadero. Continue reading this article
The appearance was a typical show of arrogance on the part of the Catholic church, which is arguably as culpable as all the city officials who created and maintained the sanctuary policy of protecting foreign criminals. The church has a history of supporting open borders, even to the point of rejecting pro-safety policies — like the successful Secure Communities program — in order to protect the millions of illegal aliens who reside in this country and steal American jobs.
But Catholic elites campaign against American interests to promote their own issue of preserving and expanding the church via demographic conquest. They are willing to sacrifice public safety to further their own power.
The top Catholics have tried to destroy Secure Communities for years because it was successful in deporting illegal aliens. ICE describes the program as an “information-sharing partnership between ICE and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that helps to identify criminal aliens“ so it provided a vital connection between feds and local police that is absolutely necessary for enforcement to happen away from the border.
In 2012, the San Francisco Archbishop opposed Secure Communities in a rally held in a major cathedral attended by 2,000, because happy job thieves and criminals are a top priority of the church. “We cannot rest until the laws of our country reflect the laws of God,” opined the Archbishop.
Actually, Jesus said, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s” (Matthew 22:21), which means to obey the laws of the land. Jesus never said to rob Paul to pay Pedro.
The timing for the anti-enforcement rally was rather insensitive, to say the least. The catholic church was appalling in its arrogant disregard toward crime victims of illegal aliens then, as it is today toward the Steinle family.
Senator Jeff Sessions has a fine publishing operation in his office, demonstrated by his occasional fact sheets of well researched points regarding the failure of Washington to stem immigration anarchy.
Now Senator Sessions has presented the mother of all lists, scary in its length, that enumerates the instances of President Obama dismantling America’s immigration enforcement system. It was posted on Breitbart on Feb 16:
Timeline: How the Obama Administration Bypassed Congress to Dismantle Immigration Enforcement
In September 2011, President Obama said, “We live in a democracy. You have to pass bills through the legislature, and then I can sign it.” Yet, since that time, and indeed before then, he has systematically voided existing laws and unilaterally created new measures that Congress has refused to adopt under either Democratic or Republican control.
Most recently, the President announced he would do what he once said only an “emperor” could do – grant unilateral amnesty, work permits, and access to government benefits to more than five million illegal immigrants. This unprecedented action, combined with new “enforcement priorities” for Department of Homeland Security personnel that exempt the vast majority of illegal immigrants from the threat of removal, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals directive, the “Morton” memos, and numerous other lesser-reported but far-reaching Executive actions, has threatened not only our constitutional system, but our national sovereignty. Indeed, the idea of national, sovereign borders is being daily eviscerated by the President’s determination to write his own immigration rules in defiance of Congress and the American people.
Below is a detailed timeline of how the Obama Administration systematically dismantled immigration enforcement, undermining the very rule of law upon which our nation was founded and upon which its greatness depends.
January 2009: Obama Administration Ends Worksite Enforcement Actions
In early 2009, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) executes a raid (initiated and planned under the Bush Administration) on an engine machine shop in Bellingham, Washington, detaining 28 illegal immigrants who were using fake Social Security numbers and identity documents. Shortly thereafter, pro-amnesty groups criticized the Administration for enforcing the law. An unnamed DHS official is quoted in the Washington Times as saying, “the Secretary is not happy about it and this is not her policy.” Instead of enforcing the law, the Secretary investigates the ICE agents for simply doing their duty. Esther Olavarria, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security, says on a call with employers and pro-amnesty groups that “we’re not doing raids or audits under this administration.”
January 29, 2009: Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano Delays E-Verify Deadline
Former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano delays the original deadlines for federal contractors to use the E-Verify system, from January 15, 2009, and February 20, 2009, to May 21, 2009. Continue reading this article
“The one [a president] can confer no privileges whatever; the other [the king] can make denizens of aliens, noblemen of commoners; can erect corporations with all the rights incident to corporate bodies.”
– Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 69
Lie #1: Every President has Taken Executive Action on Immigration: No other president has ever issued an amnesty of anywhere near this scope, created it out of thin air, or built it upon a prior executive action instead of a statute. And in the case of President Eisenhower, his executive action was to deport 80,000 illegal immigrants.
Lie #2: Illegal Immigrant Crossings are Down: Actually, this is the third straight year that border crossings have gone up, not to mention the entirely new wave from Central America.
Lie #3: It does not grant citizenship or the right to stay here permanently: Under the royal edict, the work permits can be renewed every three years, and most likely, they will be renewed at the same 99.5% acceptance rate as DACA applications. And once they get Social Security cards, they are going nowhere. So yes, this is permanent. And yes, they will be able to get green cards, which puts them on an automatic path to citizenship: “we are reducing the time that families are separated while obtaining their green cards. Undocumented immigrants who are immediate relatives of lawful permanent residents or sons or daughters of US citizens can apply to get a waiver if a visa is available.”
Lie #4: Only 5 Million: Make no mistake about it. Obama’s illegal amnesty will not just apply to 5 million individuals. It will apply by default to all 12-20 million illegals in the country as well as the millions more who will now come here to enjoy the permanent cessation of borders and sovereignty. Given the numerous options for people to become eligible for amnesty, ICE and CPB will be restricted from enforcing the law against anyone because each individual has to be afforded the opportunity to present themselves and apply for status. There is no way those who were here for less than 5 years will be deported and there’s no way the new people rushing the border and overstaying their visas will be repatriated.
Lie #5: Deport Felons: Obama claims he is going to focus on deporting felons. Yet, he has done the opposite. 36,000 convicted criminal aliens were released last year, 80,000 criminal aliens encountered by ICE weren’t even placed into deportation proceedings, 167,000 criminal aliens who were ordered deported are still at large, 341,000 criminal aliens released by ICE without deportation orders are known to be free and at large in the US. Again, this is cessation of deportations for everyone. They are leaving no illegal behind.
Lie #6: Don’t deport families: Obama is playing the family card. It works like this: people are encouraged to come here illegally, Obama grants them amnesty, then their relatives all get to come, even though they would otherwise be ineligible under public charge laws. Yet, at the same time, because the bureaucracy will be flooded with applications of illegals, and those are the applications that will be prioritized, those families who came here legally will have to wait longer to be united. There is no longer an incentive to enter the legal immigration process.
Lie #7: They have to pay taxes to stay: Aside from the absurd notion that they would turn someone away for not paying taxes, almost every one of these illegal immigrants lacks a high enough income to incur a net positive tax liability. Hence, by paying taxes, he actually means they will collect refundable tax credits!
Lie #8: Background Checks: Just the thought of a criminal background check of people coming from the third world on a lawless program is a joke. But the reality is that Obama has already done this with DACA, and 99.5% of applications were approved, including those of criminals.
Lie #9: Cracking Down on Illegal Immigration at the Border: Obama promises to beef up resources at the border. But as we’ve seen over the past few years, what good are more agents if they are explicitly intimidated into turning a blind eye. Moreover, there is no promise to build a fence or implement a visa tracking system, so any talk of enforcement is an insult to our intelligence. Moreover, he is unilaterally abolishing the Secure Communities program, the only successful interior enforcement program left after he abolished 287g state-federal cooperation in 2012. At a time when we are facing threats from Islamic terror and deadly diseases, this invitation to the world will present a security nightmare.
Lie #10: Scripture tells us, we shall not oppress a stranger: It’s great to see him quoting the Bible for once, but nice try. There are different variations of this verse throughout the Bible, but each one uses the Hebrew word “Ger” to describe what Obama translates as “stranger.” A Ger is a convert to Judaism. The commandment was not referring to people who illegally migrate to a nation state. And more importantly, it is downright offensive to Americans to insinuate that not granting them benefits is tantamount to oppression, especially given the fact that they have been the biggest recipients of our generous legal system. Moreover, if there is oppression taking place it is to the American taxpayer and worker and those who suffer from gangs like MS-13.
Daniel Horowitz is Senior Editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on twitter @RMConservative.
The feds are particularly silent about the whereabouts of tens of thousands of illegal alien children it has redistributed all around the country, she has learned. The little lawbreakers have privacy rights, the bureaucrats argue.
Nobody cares about their individual identity, but taxpayers have a right to the facts about where the foreigners are being housed, educated and at what cost. Parents need to know whether they need to move their kids to private school if the public classrooms become too academically compromised by diversity.
Plus, there’s no guarantee that the dumped kids will be properly immunized against communicable disease by the time they appear in America’s classrooms. If the kids don’t get immediate first-class school services, then La Raza and the usual suspects will start complaining about anti-hispanic racism. Public health will be a lesser concern compared with jamming foreign kids into classrooms ASAP.
In the video below, amnesty hucksters claim that kiddies will be endangered by hateful racist Americans if shelter locations are revealed. In fact, citizen safety is far more imperiled by the so-called children, most of whom are teenaged (and older) males, some with gang tattoos.
WASHINGTON (WJLA) – Hundreds of demonstrators marched outside the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency on Thursday, demanding Congressional action on immigration reform. Many were arrested.
This comes as some states continue to struggle with what to do with the influx of unaccompanied children coming across the border.
The government has abruptly shut down operations at Fort Sill in Oklahoma and two other military bases that sheltered more than 7,700 minors the government refers to as “unaccompanied alien children.”
Thousands have been transferred to 150 shelters around the country, mostly group homes run by nonprofits. But try to find out exactly where and the government won’t answer—not the public or reporters, not even members of Congress. Continue reading this article
How stupid are judges to take the word of a stone-cold gangster that he has renounced a life of crime, particularly when the criminal gets a big payoff for the lie, er statement? But that’s what happened in a recent appeals court decision which could set a dangerous precedent.
Besides, if a gangster fears his MS-13 buddies, many of them reside in this country, so there would be no greater safety here than in the alien’s homeland.
KRIS KOBACH: “Once one case like this emerges, where an illegal alien is able to avoid deportation, particularly a criminal one like this guy, then the word spreads in the jails and in the prisons that to avoid being sent home you just have to renounce your gang membership like he did. I fear we’re going to see a lot of gang members all across the United States, illegal alien gang members, and these are very deadly gangs, doing what this guy did now and saying ‘you can’t deport me now.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte and Congressman Randy Forbes (R-Va.) today sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking what the Department of Justice plans to do in light of a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit that could endanger our communities by allowing criminal gang members to receive asylum in the United States or withholding of removal by simply claiming that they have renounced their membership in the gang. In the case of Martinez v. Holder, the court ruled that Julio Martinez, an unlawful immigrant from El Salvador, could stay in the United States because he renounced his membership in the notoriously deadly MS-13 gang and returning to El Salvador could jeopardize his safety. This decision encourages fraud and creates a new loophole where gang members can simply claim that they are no longer a member of a gang in order to game the immigration system. This undermines the federal government’s ability to enforce our immigration laws and promote public safety.
Below are excerpts of the letter. To view the full letter, click here.
“We are concerned that based on this decision [by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit], gang members will be able to receive asylum or withholding in the U.S., simply by telling immigration authorities that they have renounced their membership in the gang. In the Martinez case, an MS-13 gang member did just that. Surely it is likely that when gang members are placed in removal proceedings, they will claim that they are no longer a member of a gang and have renounced gang membership in an attempt to circumvent removal. Even aliens who have in fact left gangs were members of criminal organizations and do not deserve the protections of asylum or withholding.
“We are deeply troubled by this decision as it interferes with the Federal Government’s ability to effectively enforce our immigration laws. Decisions such as this are serious impediments to both the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) and the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) ability to promote public safety through the removal of deportable aliens who may be involved with organized criminal activity.
“It is no secret that criminal gangs are a continuing national problem … Current and former gang members should not be shielded by our asylum or withholding system. Indeed, the Committee has already marked up legislation, HR. 2278 – the SAFE Act, which clarifies that anyone who is or has been a member of a gang may not receive asylum or withholding on any grounds … While the Committee has done its part, we would like to know what DOJ plans to do to address this problem.”
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