by Printus LeBlanc
Anyone that paid attention to the 2016 election knows the issue of illegal immigration was one of the core issues that drove President Trump to victory. For good reason, the American people were tired of open borders and criminal illegal immigrants roaming freely through their streets. President Trump is keeping his promise to deport criminal illegal immigrants, but many local politicians care more about convicted criminals than they do their own citizens.
Since President Trump took office, ICE has increased arrests by 40 percent, a far cry from the Obama administration that had a habit of releasing criminal illegal immigrants into the community. The Obama administration was so inept, or corrupt, at security it released over 19,000 criminal illegal immigrants into U.S. communities. The 19,000 had over 64,000 convictions, including hundreds of guilty of murder, kidnapping, and sexual assault. For some reason, the Obama administration didn’t believe in deporting violent criminals; the administration felt it was more appropriate to let them roam streets.
Last week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) launched a series of raids across Northern California targeting hundreds of criminal illegal immigrants. It is important to note; these are illegal immigrants that have committed crimes in addition to being here illegally. Illegal immigrants convicted of assault, child sex crimes, and weapons charges were just a small sampling of the people targeted for removal. However, the Mayor of Oakland had different plans.
Shortly before the raids were to begin, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf (D) sent out a tweet warning criminal illegal immigrants of the impending raids. The warning gave the criminals time to relocate and hide. ICE still carried out the raids, but only captured 180 illegal immigrants that were either convicted criminals, had been issued a final order of removal and failed to depart the United States, or had been previously removed.
Federal immigration officials believe as many as 800 criminals were able to avoid arrest thanks to the tip-off from the Mayor. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement chief Thomas Homan stated that Schaaf’s actions were, “no better than a gang lookout yelling ‘police’ when a police cruiser comes in the neighborhood.” It brings up the obvious question, did the mayor break the law?
There seem to be at least three apparent violations of the law by the mayor:
(1) 18 U.S. Code 2(a) Aiding and Abetting – “Whoever commits an offense against the United States or aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures its commission, is punishable as a principal.” In layman’s terms, it means assisting in someone else’s commission of a crime.
(2) 18 U.S. Code 3 Accessory after the fact – “Whoever, knowing that an offense against the United States has been committed, receives, relieves, comforts or assists the offender in order to hinder or prevent his apprehension, trial or punishment, is an accessory after the fact.”
(3) 18 U.S. Code 1503 Obstruction of Justice – “Whoever corruptly by any threatening letter or communication, influences, obstructs, or impedes, or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede, the due administration of justice, shall be punished.”
Not only should criminal charges be brought against the mayor, but Congress must also act to make sure this does not happen again, and the best way to do that is to hit them in the pocketbook. Not the city, county, or state’s pocketbook but the official’s personal pocketbook. A piece of legislation introduced in Colorado is the best way to achieve that goal.
State Senators (Vicki Marble and Tim Neville) and a pair of State Representatives (Phil Covarrubias and Dave Williams) from introduced SB17-281, the Hold Colorado Government Accountable Sanctuary Jurisdictions bill. The bill waives governmental immunity against a jurisdiction and its public employees for personal injuries caused to crime victims because a jurisdiction is a sanctuary jurisdiction. If a local official knew they could be held financially liable for the crimes committed by illegal immigrants they let go, it is doubtful sanctuary city policies would continue.
Americans for Limited Government President Ric Manning stated, “Any private citizen who engaged in the same activity as Mayor Schaaf would have been locked up and already facing charges. There is no excuse for putting law enforcement and Oakland residents in danger due to misguided loyalties. Not only should she be locked up, but all federal law enforcement funds should be frozen.”
Every drop of blood spilled by the criminal illegal immigrants the mayor warned is on her hands. She chose to put the feelings of convicted criminals over Oakland residents. The Justice Department must act, or every sanctuary city will follow the Oakland example and warn offenders of impending raids.
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Printus LeBlanc is a contributing editor at Americans for Limited Government.