The arrest of an illegal alien by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in Durham, NC, after he left the fictitious “sanctuary” of a church to pursue a legal petition for deferred deportation is being trumpeted by the usual voices as some kind of egregious human rights violation. It’s a situation ICE could have avoided had it refused to play the patently bogus “sanctuary” game in the first place. Leftist activists are weaponizing decent Americans’ basic respect for religious institutions to pursue a loaded agenda, and they should not be allowed to get away with it.Samuel Oliver-Bruno
Samuel Oliver-Bruno is a Mexican national who has no right to be in this country. Instead of respecting the laws of this nation, Oliver-Bruno chose to flout our immigration statutes and then scurry into a church to avoid the consequences of his criminal act. As part of his attempts to avoid deportation, he petitioned U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for deferred deportation. When that agency asked him to provide fingerprints for his petition, Oliver-Bruno left the church, The News & Observer reports. ICE agents were then able to arrest him.
Not surprisingly, leftists are painting this perfectly appropriate enforcement action as the blood-curdling brutality of a modern-day Gestapo. Rep. David Price (D-NC) and Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), who are charged with representing U.S. citizens, instead chose to use their official positions to serve a criminal alien. “Mr. Oliver-Bruno has lived in the United States for more than two decades and has spent the last year living in sanctuary in Durham,” the congressmen said in a statement written under official government letterhead. “Samuel’s sudden and inappropriate arrest in the middle of the Thanksgiving season reflects the callous and cruel approach we’ve come to expect from the Trump administration,” the tearful pronouncement went on to read.
An ICE statement sent to local television station CBS 17 shed a more informative light on Oliver-Bruno’s situation:
“Mr. Oliver-Bruno was initially arrested by the U.S. Border Patrol in El Paso, TX, in May 2014 while attempting to illegally enter the U.S. using fraudulent identity documents. He was paroled into the country solely for federal criminal prosecution and convicted in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in May 2014. ICE subsequently encountered Mr. Oliver-Bruno in June 2014, and his case has been subject to extensive appeals, which ultimately concluded Mr. Oliver-Bruno has no legal basis to remain in the U.S.”
Phony ID, sneaking over the border, and extensive appeals. There’s nothing “sudden” about this process at all, congressmen.
Progressive activists have hijacked mainstream Christian denominations…
It is infuriating that this ridiculous persecution narrative came about only because ICE is far too respectful of the fraudulent use of houses of worship as safe houses for criminals on the lam. Churches who partake in this bit of leftist theater have to walk a fine line. They cannot officially offer sanctuary to illegals, as that has legal consequences, so they must make it clear that they are offering only “hospitality.”
ICE has every right to go in and arrest these fugitives from justice but refrains for public relations reasons. Churches are generally considered “sensitive locations” that ICE of its own volition chooses not to enter.
False Whiff of Sanctity
But there is no religious significance to the churches’ hollow gestures. “This Middle Ages notion of the church sanctuary knocker went out the window a long, long time ago,” Dennis Kearney, a former prosecutor who advises religious organizations on the legal repercussions of hiring and housing illegal aliens, told NJ.com.
The sanctuary knocker is a throwback to medieval England. According to legend, one had to merely touch the knocker to fall under the protection of the church. But even then sanctuary was no picnic. It reportedly was reserved for serious crimes such as rape or murder, and the asylum seeker usually was forced to leave the country after being given 40 days or so to settle his affairs.
Since churches are not offering expressly any kind of official religious protection to fugitives under this current “sanctuary” charade, ICE agents should simply walk in and arrest these wanted criminals.
After all, NJ.com notes, the FBI entered synagogues in New York and New Jersey in 2009 and arrested rabbis charged with partaking in a money-laundering scheme involving crooked politicians. No one is asserting that the houses of worship involved were forever desecrated by the acts.
Progressive activists have hijacked mainstream Christian denominations in the 50-odd years since the social upheavals of the 1960s led society away from traditional Christian mores. These activists in religious garb are using the inherent respect law-abiding Americans have for religious institutions to advance a leftist social agenda.
Illegal immigration is part of that agenda. Claiming a Christian compulsion to shelter criminals seeking to avoid the consequences of their crimes is a weak theological plank to stand on. There is no moral reason for patriotic Christians to accede to this twisted theology. And there is no legal reason for our immigration enforcement officials to shirk their duty to protect the American people by adhering to a meaningless show of respect for cultural Marxist grandstanding on religious property.
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