While the Democrats are busy opposing the Trump administration’s efforts to protect America’s borders, sanctuary cities are making it easier for illegal alien criminals to victimize U.S. citizens. Over the past year, progressive agitators have called for the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and urged local law enforcement agencies to disassociate themselves from the federal agency.
To put it bluntly, these progressives are pushing an agenda that is getting law-abiding citizens and legal residents killed.
A recent story from northern California provides a clear picture of the type of tragedy that can occur when federal immigration agencies are kept from fulfilling their mandate.
Earlier in December, one person was tragically killed and four others injured after Gustavo Garcia, an illegal alien residing in Visalia, CA, went on a violent rampage. The 36-year-old criminal had an extensive rap sheet and had previously been deported twice.
A Bloody Rampage
“We have one man that essentially has been on a personal reign of terror,” said Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux. He added that Garcia’s actions were “random” and were “targeting anyone who got in the way.”
At 1:30 am on the day of the violent spree, Garcia opened fire at a Shell gas station. Not finished, he then traveled to an Arco station where he shot and killed a man named Rocky Paul Jones.
Garcia also shot at a Motel 6 guest as she walked to her car in the parking lot. Interim Police Chief Matt Machado told reporters: “She had made eye contact with the subject and he had followed her to her parking spot, where he got out of the car and for an unbeknownst reason began firing at her vehicle.”
Later, Garcia stole a car at gunpoint and led officers on a car chase in which he repeatedly attempted to hit other cars. The chase ended when he crashed into four other cars, leaving the drivers with injuries.
The suspect’s criminal record dates back to 2002 and includes charges for illegal possession of firearms and methamphetamines.
Sanctuary Laws to Blame
As the facts of Garcia’s case came to light, it became clear that his brutal actions could have been prevented if the authorities had been allowed to enforce immigration laws. Sheriff Boudreaux told reporters that the gunman had been in police custody only days before he carried out his shooting spree; California’s sanctuary laws prevented local police agencies from handing Garcia over to ICE, who could have deported him.
“We are very frustrated with the fact that the way the laws are set up currently that law enforcement hands are tied,” Boudreaux said. Indeed, other local law enforcement leaders have argued that sanctuary laws put the police at a tremendous disadvantage when it comes to tracking down and arresting violent criminals who reside in the country illegally.
California’s leadership is still unwilling to protect the lives of the people.
California State Assemblyman Jim Patterson (R-Fresno) has proposed changing the California Values Act, also known as Senate Bill 54 – the state’s sanctuary law – so that it would empower local police agencies to comply with detainer requests from ICE. “When those who say [Bill] 54 makes accommodations for that, they’re really not saying it like it is,” Patterson told reporters. “It’s conflicting, it’s confusing and it essentially says you can’t talk to ICE on those misdemeanors.”
Patterson added, “This could be fixed but it has to take a will and I don’t know if the ruling party has that will.”
As the battle over illegal immigration rages at the federal level, it is everyday citizens who are being threatened. At the local and state levels, sanctuary cities are actively endangering the lives of residents, and it does not appear that those supposedly elected to serve and protect the people are willing to compromise on the issue. To them, it appears that sacrificing innocent American lives is a worthy cause if it means protecting criminals.
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