Elizabeth Zwirz reports: Federal officials filed a new set of immigration and gun charges against Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, the illegal immigrant found not guilty last week in the murder of Kate Steinle.
“A federal grand jury indicted Jose Inez Garcia-Zarate today for being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, and for being an illegally present alien in possession of a firearm and ammunition,” according to a statement released by the Department of Justice.
If convicted of either charge, he could face a maximum of ten years in jail.
Zarate was acquitted of first and second degree murder and involuntary manslaughter on Thursday. He also was found not guilty by assault with a semi-automatic weapon. However, he was found guilty of possession of a firearm by a felon.
Steinle was walking with her father and a family friend on a pier in San Francisco in July 2015 when she was fatally shot, collapsing into her father’s arms.
The illegal immigrant had been released from a San Francisco jail about three months before the shooting, despite a request by federal immigration authorities to detain him for deportation. Read the rest of this entry »
Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been targeting so-called “sanctuary cities” with increased enforcement operations in an effort to pressure those jurisdictions to cooperate with federal immigration agents, a senior US immigration official with direct knowledge of ongoing ICE actions told CNN.
A sanctuary city is a broad term applied to states, cities and/or counties that have policies in place designed to limit cooperation or involvement in the enforcement of federal immigration operations. More than 100 US jurisdictions — among them New York, Los Angeles and Chicago — identify as such.
High-ranking ICE officials have discussed in internal meetings carrying out more raids on those locations, said the source.
This week, a federal judge in Texas seems to have confirmed that tactic. US Magistrate Judge Andrew Austin revealed during an immigration hearing Monday that a mid-February raid in the Austin metro area was done in retaliation for a local sheriff’s recent decision to limit her department’s cooperation with ICE.
“There’s been questions about whether Austin is being targeted. We had a briefing…. that we could expect a big operation, agents coming in from out of town. There was going to be a specific operation, and it was at least related to us in that meeting that it was a result of the sheriff’s new policy that this was going to happen,” Austin says in audio of the proceedings provided by the court.
The judge’s comments came as he questioned an ICE agent about a recent unrelated arrest.
Austin said that in a late January meeting, local ICE officials told him and another federal judge that an upcoming enforcement operation was being done in direct response to Sheriff Sally Hernandez’s adoption of a sanctuary policy in Travis County.
Earlier this year, Hernandez announced that beginning in February, her department would no longer honor ICE detainers unless the individual was arrested for murder, sexual assault or human trafficking, or a warrant had been issued. A detainer is a 48-hour hold request placed on suspected undocumented immigrants in local jails until federal agents can come in and take over the case.
A showdown in Travis County, Texas
It is a significant shift in the county’s immigration enforcement policy that has put the newly elected Democratic sheriff at odds with pro-enforcement local and state officials, including the Texas Senate, which recently passed a bill that withholds state dollars from sanctuary cities and Gov. Greg Abbott, who cut $1.5 million in funding to the county. Read the rest of this entry »
14-year-old Md. girl is gang-raped by two older teens, one of whom is an illegal immigrant, while Baltimore reels from 10 recent homicides. Tucker takes on a Baltimore councilman who wants to make law enforcement kinder and gentler during troubled times.
Ernest Luning reports: A Colorado Springs Republican wants victims of what he calls “sanctuary city policies” to be able to file lawsuits and lodge criminal complaints against the “lawless politicians” who put the policies in place.
State Rep. Dave Williams, R-Colorado Springs, is pictured before his election on July 1, 2016, at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver. (Photo by John Tomasic/The Colorado Statesman)
State Rep. Dave Williams said Monday he plans to introduce “The Colorado Politician Accountability Act” this week, legislation aimed at holding officials criminally liable for the “carnage” committed by some immigrants.
“If being a ‘sanctuary city’ means that we value taking care of one another and welcoming refugees and immigrants, then I welcome the title.”
“As the first Latino elected to Colorado House District 15,” said Williams, who was first elected to the heavily Republican district in November, in a statement, “I think it’s important that we do all we can to uphold the rule of law and ensure all communities, regardless of race or ethnicity, are protected from dangerous policies that are forced on us by radical, out-of-touch politicians who continually sell out to an unlawful agenda that increases the number of criminals, and needless deaths among our fellow citizens.”
“It’s beyond any reasonable thought as to why the Democrats, along with Mayor Hancock, would continue to not only act outside the law, which they swore to uphold but also enjoy immunity from their reckless decision to place Coloradans in danger because of the sanctuary city policies that they created and continue to implement.”
It sounds bureaucratic, but the shift in “enforcement priorities” could change life drastically for undocumented immigrants.
Danny Vinik writes: Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown could bring a dramatic change to street-level immigration enforcement, urging officials to deport broad categories of undocumented immigrants who haven’t been convicted of any crimes—a latitude that immigration officers haven’t enjoyed for nearly a decade.
Trump’s two executive orders, signed Wednesday, made headlines for other reasons—a wall along the southern border and the plan to cut off federal funds from sanctuary cities. But for the 11 million people living undocumented in the U.S., the sharp end of the stick is buried in a bureaucratic-sounding section titled “Enforcement Priorities.” The priorities give immigration agents a broad new rein to enforce immigration law, dictating who gets swept up into the system and how the department uses its limited resources.
The new enforcement priorities don’t just mark a sharp change from the more forgiving regimecreated under Barack Obama, starting in 2010; they represent a break from Trump’s previous commitment to only target undocumented immigrants with criminal convictions. Under the new ordersundocumented immigrants are considered a priority if they have been convicted of any crime; have been charged with a crime, even if it has not been resolved; “have committed acts that constitute a chargeable offense”; have engaged in fraud or willful misrepresentation before a government agency; “have abused” public benefits; have received a final order to leave the country but haven’t done so; or are judged by an immigration officer “pose a risk to public safety and national security.”
These could nethundreds of thousands of people without any convictions, experts said—specifically due to the prioritization of people who have received a final order to leave the country but have not done so.
“That’s going to sweep up a lot of families, a lot of folks who have children, a lot of folks who have been here a long time,” said John Sandweg, the former acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency under Obama.
Immigration hardliners welcomed the new orders as an overdue correction to the Obama-era enforcement priorities, which they said had narrowed to the point where too many undocumented immigrants could stay too easily. The new priorities, they say, simply enforce the existing law, a prerequisite to any type of broader immigration reform. Read the rest of this entry »
White House Press Briefing FULL 1/25/17 President Donald Trump‘s Press Secretary Sean Spicer White House Press Briefing FULL 1/25/17 President Donald Trump’s Press Secretary Sean Spicer President Donald Trump Wednesday moved to strip Chicago of federal funds, making good on a campaign promise to withhold aid from cities that protect undocumented immigrants from deportation.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel has repeatedly vowed to remain a sanctuary city despite Trump’s threat — which he said Nov. 16 that he did not expect the Republican politician to fulfill, expecting him to find “other priorities” once in the White House.
It is unclear what the move will mean for Chicago’s budget, or whether it would be approved by Congress.
In a Wednesday news conference, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the administration will “target illegal immigrants for removal” and “strip federal grant money from sanctuary states and cities that harbor illegal immigrants.” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer announced Wednesday that President Donald Trump will strip federal funding from so-called sanctuary cities like Philadelphia. Read the rest of this entry »
Charles Krauthammer identified the issue of sanctuary cities as a scandal even before Donald Trump took issue with them, and he said that Democrats would be foolish to defy federal authority to defend them.
Jessica Vaughan reports: Sanctuary jurisdictions remain a significant public safety problem throughout the country. About 300 jurisdictions have been identified by ICE as having a policy that is non-cooperative and obstructs immigration enforcement (as of September 2015). The number of cities has remained relatively unchanged since our last update in January 2016, as some new sanctuary jurisdictions have been added and few jurisdictions have reversed their sanctuary policies.
Over the 19-month period from January 1, 2014, to September 30, 2015, more than 17,000 detainers were rejected by these jurisdictions. Of these, about 11,800 detainers, or 68 percent, were issued for individuals with a prior criminal history.
According to ICE statistics, since the Obama administration implemented the new Priority Enforcement Program in July 2015 restricting ICE use of detainers, the number of rejected detainers has declined. However, the number of detainers issued by ICE also has declined in 2016, so it is not clear if the new policies are a factor. It is apparent that most of the sanctuary policies remain in place, raising concerns that the Priority Enforcement Program has failed as a response to the sanctuary problem, and has simply resulted in fewer criminal aliens being deported.
The Department of Justice’s Inspector General recently found that some of the sanctuary jurisdictions appear to be violating federal law, and may face debarment from certain federal funding or other consequences.
In this Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, photo, San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi answers questions during an interview in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Embattled San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi convincingly lost his bid for re-election Tuesday after spending months in the national spotlight as the face of his city’s controversial “sanctuary city” policy on illegal immigration.
Mirkarimi, 54, was defeated by Vicki Hennessy, a former sheriff’s official who had the endorsement of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and the sheriff deputies association. With 42 percent of precincts reporting, Henessy had received 63 percent of the vote to 31 percent for Mirkarimi.
Mirkarimi and his office received heavy criticism after Mexican illegal immigrant Francisco Sanchez allegedly shot and killed 32-year-old Kate Steinle on San Francisco’s waterfront July 1. Sanchez had been released from Mirkarimi’s jail in March even though federal immigration officials had requested that he be detained for possible deportation. Read the rest of this entry »
Across the U.S., there are 340 cities, counties, and states that are considered “sanctuary cities”. These jurisdiction protect criminal aliens from deportation by refusing to comply with ICE detainers or otherwise impede open communication and information exchanges between their employees or officers and federal immigration agents.
According to an updated report prepared by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for Congress, between January 1 and September 30, 2014, local sanctuaries released 9,295 alien offenders that ICE was seeking to deport. More than 600 people were released at least twice.
Out of these, 5,947 of the criminal aliens (62 percent) had significant prior criminal histories or other public safety concerns even before the arrest that led to a detainer. Fifty-eight percent of those with a prior history of concern had prior felony charges or convictions; 37 percent had serious prior misdemeanor charges, and 5 percent had multiple prior misdemeanors.
An alarming number — 2,320 — of the total number of released offenders were subsequently arrested within the time period studied for new crimes after they were released by the sanctuaries.
One of these is Victor Aureliano Hernandez Ramirez2 who, together with an accomplice, was arrested in July 2015 for raping and then bludgeoning 64-year-old Marilyn Pharis, of Santa Maria, Calif. She died eight days later. Ramirez had been arrested for battery in May 2014 and was in the custody of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff. ICE issued a detainer in order to begin the deportation process after the charges were resolved, but the sheriff did not comply, apparently in accordance with California’s state sanctuary law that went into effect on January 1, 2014.3
ICE was not able to re-apprehend most of the offenders released by the sanctuaries. As of last year, 6,460 (69 percent) were still at large. Of those still at large, 1,377 (20 percent) had another criminal arrest following the one that resulted in the ICE detainer.
One violent illegal alien offender who is now at large because of a local sanctuary policy is Francisco Javier Chavez. In August 2015, Chavez was arrested for brutally beating the two-year-old daughter of his girlfriend, breaking a leg and both of her arms.4 Chavez has a long rap sheet, including felony drug and drunk driving convictions and a prior deportation. ICE issued a detainer, but the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department released him anyway after he posted bail, even though California’s law would have permitted them to hold him.
Of the 6,460 criminal aliens who were who were still at large during the time period studied, 3,802 (58 percent) had prior felonies or violent misdemeanors.
New Sanctuary Listings
In July, the Center for Immigration Studies reported that ICE had identified 276 jurisdictions that, as of September 2014, had policies obstructing immigration enforcement, primarily policies to ignore ICE detainers.5 ICE updated this list in December 2014 to add another nine jurisdictions that adopted sanctuary policies. They are:
Lafayette Parish, La.
Rio Arriba, N.M.
Prince George’s County, Md.
Montgomery County, Md.
Douglas County, Neb.
All New Mexico counties
Chesterfield County, Va.
Clayton County, Ga.
These jurisdictions have been added to our map of sanctuaries.6 No jurisdictions were removed from the list by ICE. Read the rest of this entry »
The latest target is Uber, the app-based ride-sharing service that since its launch in San Francisco just five years ago has expanded to more than 300 cities across the globe.
William McGurn writes: It is an axiom of modern American life: Offer a new service that is wildly popular with the public, and sooner or later you will find yourself labeled an enemy of the people.
The latest target is Uber, the app-based ride-sharing service that since its launch in San Francisco just five years ago has expanded to more than 300 cities across the globe. Here in New York, Uber is now locked in combat with the city’s progressive mayor, Bill de Blasio. In a Sunday op-ed for the Daily News, Mr. de Blasio said he aims to freeze Uber’s expansion until his regulators can figure out how best to block any attempts to “skirt vital protections and oversight.”
“It is not surprising there is growing opposition to the Mayor’s bill because try as they might, Mayor de Blasio can’t pretend protecting taxi owners is progressive,” said the spokesperson. “The odds have been stacked against us by rushing the bill through the council, but it’s getting harder and harder for the Mayor to explain why he’s against creating 10,000 jobs and protecting reliable rides in communities outside Manhattan.” …(more)
The mayor’s call to arms comes only days after Hillary Clinton used her big speech on economics to sound a similarly dismal note. Though she didn’t mention Uber by name, the Democratic Party’s leading contender for the 2016 presidential nomination fretted that while the “gig economy” may be “exciting” and “unleashing innovation,” “it is also raising hard questions about workplace protections and what a good job will look like in the future.”
Hard questions that Mrs. Clinton no doubt intends the government to answer, even if those answers end up making Uber and others like it less exciting and less innovative.
Republican presidential candidates are having fun with all this. Marco Rubio, who last year sided with Uber over regulators in Miami, accused Mrs. Clinton of trying to “regulate 21st-century industries with 20th-century ideas.” Jeb Bush pointedly traveled by Uber for his visit to Thumbtack, a Silicon Valley startup. Meanwhile, Rand Paul says he would like our government to adopt the Uber model—more information and customer ratings—while Ted Cruz says his campaign will be as disruptive of politics-as-usual as Uber is of old business models. Read the rest of this entry »
The report, titled ‘Ignoring Detainers, Endangering Communities State/local agencies release criminals rather than obey law,’ provided to Secrets, is expected to fuel U.S. anger over sanctuary cities and the murder of Kathryn Steinle.
Paul Bedard reports: Some 276 “sanctuary cities,” nearly 50 percent more than previously revealed, released over 8,000 illegal immigrants with criminal records or facing charges free despite federal requests that they be turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation, according to an explosive new report.
“The Obama administration has given sanctuaries free rein to ignore detainers by ending the successful Secure Communities program and replacing it with the Priority Enforcement Program. This new program explicitly allows local agencies to disregard ICE notifications of deportable aliens in their custody by replacing detainers with ‘requests for notification.’
— Jessica M. Vaughan, director of policy Studies for the Center for Immigration Studies
The Center for Immigration Studies, revealing new numbers it received under the Freedom of Information Act, said that those releases from cities that ignored federal demands came over just eight months and are just part of an even larger release of 17,000 illegals with criminal records..
Francisco Sanchez, right, is lead into the courtroom for his arraignment in the shooting death of 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle. (Michael Macor/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, Pool)
“The only truly effective and lasting solution is for Congress to spell out in federal law that local law enforcement agencies must cooperate with ICE by complying with all detainers or face sanctions in the form of disqualification from certain kinds of federal funding.”
— Jessica M. Vaughan
Kathryn Steinle (left), 32, was shot to death, apparently at random, by alleged shooter Francisco Sanchez (right) while walking with her father and a friend along a popular pedestrian pier on the San Francisco waterfront in broad daylight
Author Jessica M. Vaughan, director of policy Studies for the center, also reported that many of those illegals have been rearrested after their release and charged with nearly 7,500 new charges, including child sex abuse.
The report, titled “Ignoring Detainers, Endangering Communities State/local agencies release criminals rather than obey law,” provided to Secrets, is expected to fuel U.S. anger over sanctuary cities and the murder by one freed illegal of a San Francisco woman earlier this month. Read the rest of this entry »
Paul Bedard writes: There are over 200 “sanctuary cities” in 32 states that give safe harbor to illegal immigrants, even violent ones with felony records like the man accused of killing a San Francisco woman last week, according to a new analysis.
“More than 200 cities, counties and states across the United States are considered sanctuary cities. These state and local jurisdictions have policies, laws, executive orders, or regulations allowing them to avoid cooperating with federal immigration law enforcement authorities. Read the rest of this entry »