Jeh Johnson Criticizes Sanctuary Cities, but DHS is the Biggest Sanctuary Provider of All, Charges FAIR
Johnson and the president he serves have turned the entire country into one big sanctuary for illegal aliens, including criminal aliens. The first thing Johnson must do is terminate federal policies that shield an estimated 87 percent of illegal aliens from removal.
- Dan Stein, President of FAIR
(September 16, 2015 — Washington, D.C.) - Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson criticized sanctuary policies that bar local law enforcement from honoring Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer requests, calling them counterproductive and unacceptable. Johnson made these remarks Tuesday in San Francisco, addressing local policies that resulted in Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, a seven-time convicted illegal alien felon being released from custody instead of turned over to ICE for removal. Lopez-Sanchez subsequently killed 32-year-old Kate Steinle on July 1.
“Secretary Johnson is absolutely correct that sanctuary policies pose a threat to public safety, but his criticism of San Francisco and other jurisdictions that refuse to honor ICE detainer requests is wholly disingenuous,” charged Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). “Policies that Johnson himself crafted are responsible for thousands of criminal aliens being returned to the streets of communities all across the country. These criminals, released as a result of Obama administration policies, have gone on to commit countless crimes including murders.”
Last November, Johnson issued a series of policy memos including one that narrowly limits the type of criminal aliens ICE would seek custody of from local police. These Obama administration policies, in addition to local sanctuary policies, were directly responsible for a series of brutal crimes that took place over the summer.
Among the recent victims of the policies formulated by Johnson was Marilyn Pharis, a 64-year-old Air Force veteran who was brutally murdered in July in Santa Maria, California, by an illegal alien who had been arrested six times over the previous 15 months. However, according to a statement from ICE, the agency refused to take custody of him “based on the agency’s enforcement priorities after a thorough review of his case history showed he had no prior deportations or felony criminal convictions.” Also in July, Margaret Kostelnik, a 60-year-old woman in Lake County, Ohio, was murdered by an illegal alien criminal who had been previously arrested, but was released because he too did not meet ICE’s removal priorities.
FAIR has published a comprehensive list of violent crimes committed by criminal aliens – since the Steinle murder – who were put back on the street as a result of local or Obama administration sanctuary policies.
“Johnson and the president he serves have turned the entire country into one big sanctuary for illegal aliens, including criminal aliens. The first thing Johnson must do is terminate federal policies that shield an estimated 87 percent of illegal aliens from removal,” said Stein.
“Johnson’s words must also be backed up with concrete steps to penalize local governments that impede immigration enforcement. In nearly seven years, the Obama administration has failed to take action against a single sanctuary jurisdiction, even as it has sued other jurisdictions that attempt to enforce federal immigration laws,” Stein continued. “More immediately, the president must instruct Senate Democrats to allow legislation that withholds federal law enforcement grants from sanctuary jurisdictions, and sign the bill when it reaches his desk.
“Harsh words from the secretary about the dangers of sanctuary cities are not enough. As the chief of police of Santa Maria, California, said, there is a ‘trail of blood’ that leads directly to the policies this administration has implemented. Until the Obama administration’s policies change public safety will continue to be put at risk,” Stein concluded.