February 23, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Time For A Sane Sanctuary City Compromise

Despite heavy pressure and some almost casual financial threats from President Trump, there is no need as yet for abandonment of the humane aspects in immigration “sanctuary” laws now on the books in 276 American cities, counties and states. But almost two years after the seemingly random killing of a 32-year-old woman on San Francisco’s touristy Pier 14, not far from the landmark Ferry Building, there is surely a need for some compromise.

While it’s true there has been no similar slaying since then by an undocumented immigrant protected by sanctuary regulations, it is entirely possible that other seven-time felons like Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez lurk in some sanctuary locales, ready to kill another innocent like Kathryn Steinle, who died when a bullet from a stolen gun ricocheted off concrete pavement.

But this is an unproven assumption, not evidence enough by itself to change everything humane about sanctuary city policing.

Just now, Trump has officials of almost every sanctuary city, campus and other place stiff-backed, ready to resist all change.

And yet, today’s policies are far from perfect. In fact, a letter written by Democratic U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein just after the Steinle killing ought to be getting attention today. Feinstein, as mayor of San Francisco for most of the 1980s, accepted her city’s charitably-intended sanctuary law. Now she seems to be, as she often has been, one of the very few adults in the room.

Her letter reminded that the intent of sanctuary laws is not to protect repeat criminals like Lopez-Sanchez, but to prevent splitting families via deportations and to allow otherwise law-abiding undocumented immigrants to live without much fear.

“I strongly believe that an undocumented individual convicted of multiple felonies and with a detainer request from ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) should not have been released,” Feinstein wrote to Mayor Ed Lee, her successor four times removed. “The tragic death…could have been avoided if the Sheriff’s Department had notified ICE prior to the release of (Lopez-Sanchez), which would have allowed ICE to remove him from the country.”

Had that happened, of course, there is every likelihood Lopez-Sanchez would have returned to this country, and quickly. He did that after five prior deportations. Even so, Steinle would be alive today.

Feinstein’s eminently sane solution: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Ana and other sanctuary cities like Miami; Austin, Tex.; New York City; Boston and Baltimore should join the Department of Homeland Security’s Priority Enforcement Program, set up in 2014 via an executive order from then-President Barack Obama, an action Trump shows little inclination to reverse.

Doing that, Feinstein said, would have sanctuary cities notify ICE before releasing illegals with long criminal records. She noted that Los Angeles County supervisors in 2015 asked their sheriff to join that program.

This makes eminent sense. For in all the arguments at the time cities passed their sanctuary laws, no one seriously contended foreign felons should be allowed the freedom of American streets.

But San Francisco and other cities have been slow to join. It’s really up to politicians like city councilmen, country supervisors and mayors to instruct their top cops to act.

They often don’t make this move because of a naïve belief that doing so would in effect make them immigration agents. They don’t want ordinary cops questioning mine-run suspects on their immigration status.

But Lopez-Sanchez was not a mere suspect. His prior crimes were known; he still has not performed a discernible constructive act in this country. The sane thing is for jailers to contact federal officials when folks like him are nearly ready for release so immigration officers can take them beyond the border.

Would that be inhumane? Or have repeat felons given up any right to stay in this country?

So the sane move now is for sanctuary jurisdictions still doing it to stop refusing ICE detainers.

Keep up that practice and there may be more murders like Steinle’s, which would not only be senseless, but also provide an excuse for Trump to intensify pressure on sanctuary jurisdictions.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

in News
Related Posts

(Video) Baltaire’s DJ Brunch is Ready to Make Your Weekend Fabulous

February 23, 2024

February 23, 2024

Baltaire is America’s Favorite Neighborhood Steakhouse. A Contemporary Restaurant in Brentwood With Classic Genes, Baltaire Is Where to Enjoy Brunch...

During Lean Times for the City, Certain Staff Members Slated to Get Hefty Raises

February 23, 2024

February 23, 2024

Proposed Equity Adjustments Raise Questions Amid Budgetary Concerns The next Santa Monica City Council Meeting will be held on Tuesday,...

Blue Bus Seeks Input on How to Improve Service

February 22, 2024

February 22, 2024

Through Brighter Blue, Big Blue Bus Aims to Develop a Strategic Plan for Implementing System Enhancements Over Five Years Santa...

Amid Delays, House of Pies Sets New Opening Date for Venice Spot

February 22, 2024

February 22, 2024

For About a Year, the Development’s Construction Has Seemingly Been Inactive By Zach Armstrong House of Pies, a popular L.A....

(Video) Russian River’s Pliny the Younger 2024 at Father’s Office in Culver City

February 22, 2024

February 22, 2024

Russian River’s Pliny the Younger 2024  at Father’s Office in Culver City. The ticket got you two pours of the...

Culinary Bliss Awaits: Los Angeles Wine & Food Festival Debuts in Santa Monica

February 21, 2024

February 21, 2024

Santa Monica Pier Welcomes the Inaugural Los Angeles Wine & Food Festival Santa Monica is set to become the birthplace...

Indulge Your Cookie Cravings and Support Local Scouts: Girl Scout Cookie® Sales Now Open

February 21, 2024

February 21, 2024

Multiple Ways to Purchase Iconic Cookies and Make a Difference You can satisfy your Girl Scout Cookie® cravings this season...

Popular Coffee & Tea Franchise Opens Another Santa Monica Spot

February 21, 2024

February 21, 2024

The News Comes Four Months After the Announcement of Its Third Santa Monica Outpost By Zach Armstrong Coffee Bean &...

Bruce Lurie Gallery Unveils “Give Us Our Flowers” Exhibition

February 21, 2024

February 21, 2024

Philoche’s painting style incorporates vintage subjects to convey a tribute to the resilience of human spirit.  Bruce Lurie Gallery presents...

Portraiture Masterclass with Renowned Photographer Coming to Venice Beach

February 21, 2024

February 21, 2024

Participants will explore the boardwalk alongside Alan, honing their creativity and engaging with the local community. Renowned photographer Alan Shapiro...

“Women in Jazz” Event at the Moss Theater to Benefit College Scholarship Program

February 20, 2024

February 20, 2024

The Scholarship Trains Students to be Ambassadors for Antiracist Learning and Teaching Los Angeles-based jazz vocalist Amber Weekes, an alumna...

Countdown to the 30th Annual SAG Awards: Celebrating Excellence in Film and TV

February 20, 2024

February 20, 2024

SAG Awards Ceremony Set for Feb. 24, 2024, to be Globally Streamed on Netflix The anticipation for the 30th Annual...

“20’s/20s” Exhibit at ARCANE to Showcase Emerging Artists’ Work

February 20, 2024

February 20, 2024

The Featured Artists Were All in Their Twenties During the 2020s ARCANE Space is set to host an exhibition showcasing...

(Video) If Not Now Los Angeles Protest at Vice President Kamala Harris’ Home in Brentwood

February 20, 2024

February 20, 2024

The group held a Shiva or Jewish mourning ceremony as a protest. @smmirrornews If Not Now Los Angeles Protest at...

Atmospheric River Update for Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Malibu for February 19

February 19, 2024

February 19, 2024

Road Closures, Mudslides, and Heaviest Rainfall of This Storm Still on the Way The City of Los Angeles intensified its...