The Left’s War on the Poor: Sanctuary City Edition

Declaring Richmond a sanctuary city would protect criminal elements of the illegal alien population from deportation

Declaring Richmond a sanctuary city would protect criminal elements of the illegal alien population from deportation. Data source: Richmond Times-Dispatch

In February a debate erupted over the City of Richmond’s approach to dealing with illegal immigrants. Mayor Levar Stoney issued a directive reiterating a city policy prohibiting police from asking people about their immigration status in the normal course of business.

But that wasn’t good enough for protesters who called for the city to declare itself a sanctuary for illegal immigrants, members of the LGBTQ community, Muslims and African Americans. Under state law, Richmond authorities are supposed to send the immigration status of jail inmates to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Protesters demanded that the city deny ICE officials access to the jail unless they have a warrant from a judge.

It’s not clear how LGBTQs, Muslims and African Americans would benefit from sanctuary-city status, but let’s not let this ritualistic invocation of other victim groups detain us here. And let us not get dragged into a discussion of President Trump’s polarizing rhetoric regarding illegal immigrants or the wisdom (or lack of it) of building a big, beautiful wall. Let us turn our attention to the very people the protesters profess to be concerned about — immigrants.

In an excellent piece published over the weekend, Mark Bowes with the Richmond Times-Dispatch provided detailed data on the number of illegals held in Virginia jails. Since 2008, local and regional facilities with the ten largest illegal-immigrant populations have held nearly 13,800 illegal immigrants, of whom 4,700 were set for deportation. These numbers do not include inmates whose immigration status could not be determined,

Bowes interviewed Juan Vega, a naturalized citizen who was born in Nicaragua and came to the United States with his family as a young boy. As a Spanish-speaking Chesterfield County prosecutor, Vega interacts daily with the county’s growing Hispanic community that included more than 27,000 legal and illegal residents in 2005.

“Many politicians and other people in the community throughout the nation are really going out on a limb for these violent individuals, to keep them here, and I thought, this is kind of disturbing where I am coming from, with what I see here in the courtroom every week,” the prosecutor said.

He feels a responsibility to speak out, Vega said, because a non-Latino would be labeled a racist.

Academics can argue back and forth over whether illegal immigrants are more or less violent than native-born Americans — there is evidence cutting both ways — but there is no denying that some illegal immigrants are violent. And when Hispanic illegals come to Virginia, they live amidst other Hispanics. Said Vega: “They go to those Latino communities where there are a lot of legal Latinos, who they prey upon.”

In the article, Bowes highlighted several high-profile Chesterfield County crimes involving illegal immigrants. Broadly speaking, these crimes fall into two categories. One consists of drunk driving, in which victims appear to be random members of the community. The other consists of robbing, stabbing, raping, shooting and general criminal mayhem, in which the victims are usually known to the perpetrators — in other words, the victims are usually other Latinos.

For example, in 2011 Melecio Hernandez, an illegal Mexican immigrant, was convicted of crawling through the window of a female neighbor and sexually assaulting her. In 2012 Felix Carillo-Fuentes, an illegal immigrant from El Salvador, cut his pregnant fiancee and stabbed 16 times a man he believed to be a romantic rival. In 2015, a mob led by an illegal immigrant from Mexico attacked Salvador Garcia-Cruz, a legal immigrant, outside a nightclub, punching him, kicking him and stabbing him above the eye.

“Every single victim of mine — whether they’re here illegally, or are citizens or have work permits — has said it’s a good idea to deport other violent illegal immigrants,” Vega said. “They’re scared there’s going to be some kind of retribution (after the felons) serve their time and leave prison.”

Bacon’s bottom line: It is a core belief of the Left that America is a hopelessly racist, misogynist, homophobic society. The Left is always on the lookout for victims who fit that narrative. Thus, we see black high school students who disrupt the educational experience of their classmates elevated to victim status on the grounds that they are suspended at disproportionate rates compared to other races. Similarly, we see illegal-immigrant criminals elevated to victim status on the grounds that… frankly, I’m not sure what grounds… Because racism. Because Trump. It makes no sense to me.

Whatever the logic or illogic in spinning these narratives, lefties ignore the invisible victims, be they black students who find themselves in classrooms where no one can learn or legal Latino immigrants who are preyed upon by the criminals in their midst.

Thus the real racists — racist in the leftist sense of propounding policies that have disproportionate impact on minority groups — are the leftists themselves. In the case of Richmond as sanctuary city, those who would keep illegal-immigrant criminals here in Virginia are allowing them to continue abusing law-abiding Latinos (whether here legally or illegally). If the goal is to help the poor and downtrodden, Richmond should not only reject sanctuary city status, it should do precisely the opposite — declare its intention to cooperate fully with the ICE and deport the bad actors.

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10 responses to “The Left’s War on the Poor: Sanctuary City Edition

  1. Huh?

    Latinos attacking Latinos is reason for a nationwide crackdown? And the “Left” is to blame?

    • I’m not sure what mental leap you’re making here, Peter, but deporting convicted illegal aliens after they’ve served their sentences, rather than releasing them back into the community, does not constitute a “nationwide crackdown.”

  2. My understanding is that if a warrant is obtained that that the violent criminal, the felon is turned over.

    The argument is over turning over everyone regardless of the seriousness of the crime.

    the whole narrative is far right wing “gotcha”demagoguery in my view.

    a “war” on the undocumented regardless of “crime”.

  3. Why would anyone want to allow an illegal immigrant or a visa “over-stayer” who has been convicted of a crime – felony or misdemeanor – to remain in the United States? There are good arguments for a merciful plan that would allow long-time residents (say 10 years or more) who have otherwise followed the rules and paid taxes to remain in the United States. I would support an approach that would be merciful in this instance. I also have compassion for those brought here illegally by their parents as young children. But bottom line, neither those who overstayed their visa or snuck over the boarder illegally have any right to remain in the United States.

    What arguments can be made in favor of allowing those here illegally convicted of crimes to stay?

    We need to make E-Verify mandatory (fine the crap out of violators and disqualify them from any federal contract for five years); deport all those who have been convicted of either a felony or a misdemeanor; deport all those subject to an existing or future deportation order. Then we need to look at who is left and, hopefully, treat them with mercy.

  4. Interesting article.

  5. re: ” What arguments can be made in favor of allowing those here illegally convicted of crimes to stay?”

    you’re going to deport someone who got a traffic ticket?

    I’m all for getting the ones in prison or up on charges for a violent felony and I totally support a REAL E-verify but you cannot have a system that has weak E-verify – on purpose for cheap labor.. use that labor for years -then deport the person doing the work while the employer just keeps on hiring illegals.

    If you want to change that system – do it – for everyone – and if you are going to grandfather the employers who hired illegals and not the illegals is that right?

  6. Larry – strike three you’re out.

    I specifically wrote felony or misdemeanor. A traffic citation, even for speeding that is not reckless driving, is simply an infraction. I never said and don’t support deporting people for infractions. A misdemeanor is punishable by a sentence of up to one year, and felonies are punishable by sentences that exceed one year. You focus on violence. How about burglary or identity theft? Identify theft is one of the worst things that can happen to an individual. That’s why the crime is a felony. How about embezzlement? Several years ago, an office manager embezzled money from the place I was working. She and her husband, who was involved, are serving time in the penitentiary. Felonies and misdemeanors are serious matters. Yet your argument seems to be, it’s OK to allow illegal immigrants a free pass unless they are violent. Bad result.

    And E-Verify applies to new hires. It doesn’t apply to existing employees. No existing employee will lose a job when his/her employer uses E-Verify. So a person who is here illegally and gainfully employed will not be affected by mandatory use of E-Verify.

    The feds can get rid of most criminals, as I defined them; work the back-log of people with deportation orders (who already had a day in court); enforce E-Verify; and then come up with a way most others can stay in the United States.

    • TMT – I’d go for most of the crimes you cite …

      as far as E-verify is concerned – it should apply to ALL employees regardless of when hired.

      If we are going to prosecute those who are here illegally , we should also prosecute those who hire them – no exceptions and the burden is on the employer.

      what we have right now is a war on people who have been abused by employers who take advantage of their undocumented status to pay them less and abuse them as employees. Those employers should also be prosecuted.

      In fact, if we actually focus on the employers- we’d not have an undocumented problem in the first place. This is exactly the way that Canada does it – the onus is on the employer – who can be prosecuted .. and they have almost zero problems -unlike us.

      In this country – we instead focus on people who have been victimized by employers while ignoring the employers.

      • I agree that employer-targeted enforcement is important. Perhaps there is room to give the 5-person startup or lawn maintenance company a little room, but every other business, including nonprofits and governments, should be required to use E-Verify. Businesses and nonprofits can be fined and/or disqualified from federal contracts or grants. State and local government can forfeit federal money in the affected area.

  7. WJLA reports on the system working as it should. There are no reasons why these convicted felons should be permitted to be in the United States.

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