August 22, 2007

"Sanctuary" cities

Today's News Journal features an AP article about the recent shootings of three Delaware State University students in Newark, NJ. Amazingly, the AP manages to not even mention once that some of the suspects are illegal aliens. Not only that, it fails to mention the controversy surrounding Newark's "sanctuary city" policy where local officials are not permitted to check into criminal suspects' citizenship status. Jose Carranza, an illegal immigrant from Peru, had THREE prior felony convictions before [allegedly] murdering the three DSU students, yet there was no query as to his citizenship status. Indeed, he was released on bail. Now, three young college are dead. Melvin Lovel, an illegal immigrant from Honduras, is also a suspect in the murders.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker was unrepentant about his city's policy. First, he blasted GOP prez candidate Tom Tancredo for coming to his city and criticizing his city's policy.

"These folks descend from out of town to protest in front of City Hall at this time; I find that troubling," he said. "Talking about anyone being complicit in such a heinous crime I find those words vulgar."

What is vulgar, Mr. Booker, is your defense of this blatant violation of federal law. It is also vulgar that the feds let you, and other mayors across the US, get away with it.

In addition, last night Booker further explained his rationale for Newark's policy in a clip featured on "The O'Reilly Factor." He claimed it would make people feel "uncomfortable" if they constantly had to worry about being inquired about their immigration status. In the NY Times,

Mr. Booker said he was frustrated that Mr. Carranza had been freed, but, responding to the debate surrounding the suspect's illegal status, has come out firmly against involving city police in immigration matters.

He said such a role would hurt relationships with what he called "the most marginalized and vulnerable people within our community."

"My Police Department does not play an I.N.S. function," Mr. Booker said. "We are not to be running around doing interrogations about whether someone is documented or not."

My emphasis. Newark's municipal council had adopted a [non-binding] resolution "that commits the city to being a 'sanctuary' for immigrants," but the New Jersey Star-Ledger's Tom Moran argues that there's apparently a loophole in it that permits law enforcement officials to inquire as to immigration status when investigating a crime. This seems to be in conflict with what municipal council member Ronald C. Rice has proposed since the shootings: "an ordinance that would require the police to contact federal authorities about illegal immigrants in custody."

Gee, y'think with all these conflicting matters it's any wonder why Newark police are unsure as to exactly what to do? And after all, if it's the mayor's own desire that no immigration inquiry take place, what policy do you think will prevail among local law enforcement?

In addition, can someone (a liberal) explain to me the difference whereby mayors such as Booker can blatantly and overtly disregard federal law, yet leftists are silent -- and even agree with Booker; yet, George Bush is definitely "circumventing the Constitution" and "breaking the law" when it comes to separation of powers/inherent powers interpretations?

UPDATE: The New Jersey Attorney General has seen the light apparently:

New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram yesterday ordered police officers to notify federal officials whenever an illegal immigrant is arrested for a serious offense.

Milgram said the recent slayings of three college students in Newark - by a group of suspects that included two undocumented immigrants out on bail facing other serious charges - dramatically highlighted the need for a uniform policy on how local, county and state law-enforcement officers work with federal immigration authorities.

She issued the guidelines yesterday, to go into effect immediately. The need for them, she said, had been known to law-enforcement officials before the sensational Aug. 4 killings in a Newark schoolyard, but was "brought home to us by the tragic events."

Under the new rules, when a person is arrested for a serious crime, including driving while intoxicated, local police "shall inquire about the person's citizenship, nationality and immigration status."

Posted by Hube at August 22, 2007 07:31 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Approach mule. Apply 2x4" to forehead. Having obtained its attention, ...

Posted by: Brian H at September 8, 2007 05:43 PM