"Sanctuary Cities" tend to be a very controversial topic as you may well imagine. After all, it's topic which deals with human lives and our treatment of fellow human beings, the notion of "just" versus "unjust" laws, and economics, which of course, impact everybody in one fashion or another. Many will argue that use of "Sanctuary Cities" is little more than an attempt to usurp Federal authority over immigration laws; laws which some feel are unjust in that it denies individuals the freedom of movement and opportunity to seek self-betterment through economic means. In short, "Sanctuary Cities" revalidate the notion of being an American, such as the pursuit of happiness and individual sovereignty. Opponents , on the other hand, see sanctuary cities and other communities as nothing more than an attempt to circumvent Federal laws by aiding and abetting criminals.
As proof, some point to the unspoken policy of the liberal media to downplay the seriousness of the crime and refer to these individuals as "undocumented" or "unauthorized" immigrants rather than as illegal immigrants, and certainly never as criminals even though technically, although that would be their correct designation. The media also attempts to portray these individuals as simply being hardworking individuals holding down regular jobs trapped by an unjust system and hounded by inbred uneducated genetic throwbacks (a characterization that opponents of illegal immigration would strongly object to).
In addition, some would argue that the use of "Sanctuary Cities" is little more than an attempt to increase Federal aid money, which is based on population counts, as well as to fill low paying and hard to fill jobs. Just another attempt expand the "Nanny State" on the backs of taxpayers. At present, there are some 300 so-called sanctuary cities and towns in the United States with Louisville Kentucky, a mid-size city on the Ohio River, becoming the latest to join its ranks. Best estimated put the number of illegal immigrants currently living in the U.S. at 11.3 million. The majority of these individuals live in California, Nevada, New York, Florida, New Jersey, and Illinois, while other states, including Louisiana, Alabama, Kansas, Georgia, and South Carolina have seen a significant rise in population.
Prior to 2015, the majority of illegal immigrants were from Latin America, with a majority of those being from Mexico. However, an April 2017 Pew Survey indicates that may be changing. Pew's report shows that the number of illegal Mexicans has dropped from a high of 6.4 million in 2009 to 5.6 million as of 2016. So, who is making of the difference? According to the poll, most of the new arrivals are from Asia, Haiti, and Central America. Nevertheless, there hasn't been a significant drop in the overall population of illegal immigration despite the drop of Mexicans crossing the border illegally. This is mainly due to efforts to bringing extended family members into the country to join those already here.
As for employment, Pew's poll indicates that illegal immigrants account for 8 million individuals; mostly employed in low paying positions such as hotel/motel housekeeping, the construction industry, childcare and custodial. The poll also notes that, for the first time, the majority of illegals living in the U.S. have been here for at least a decade, which brings us back to "Sanctuary Cities". It should come as no surprise that the population of illegal immigrants entering "Sanctuary Cities" has increased, and continues to do so. Sanctuary cities and towns tend to provide a wide array of services which helps them find jobs, medical care, housing, educational for themselves or children, and perhaps most important of all, ways to evade law enforcement and circumvent government red tape. However, with the influx of illegal immigrants, also comes the criminal element. As with the turn of the 20th Century, immigrants arriving from mostly poor and patricidal countries such as Italy, Poland, and Russia eventually brought with them the criminal gangs from the Old World, which would adapt and reorganized for the same reasons as before----power, money, and prestige.
Crime in Sanctuary cities usually go unreported. Most of the crimes are petty act of vandalism, panhandling, drunk and disorderly conduct, harassment, and general low level crimes. In most cases, the police let the individual off with a warning (assuming they can be found and identified), while other are briefly held and released. ICE (short for Immigration and Customs Enforcement), the federal agency charged with arresting and deporting those here illegally, are not notified as per the overarching policy of being a Sanctuary City.
Take this case in point. San Francisco has long been a Sanctuary City, and with it a policy of not reporting the arrest or detention of illegal immigrants and of not cooperating with ICE agents. In July of 2015 Kathryn Steinle, a 32 years old, was walking along the city's famous Pier 39, near Fisherman's Wharf with her father, when she was attacked and murdered by Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, an illegal immigrant with a long rap sheet of mostly petty crimes. However, of note, Mr. Lopez had been deported five times previously until finding "sanctuary" from authorities in San Francisco. Just a few months previous, Mr. Lopez was arrested on drug charges. The charges were (inexplicably) dropped, and despite ICE having learned of his arrest and making a formal request to be turned over to them, Mr. Lopez was released just prior to the arrival of ICE agents. The reason? San Francisco's policy of non-cooperation with federal authorities due to their "sanctuary" status. Had they cooperated, Ms. Steinle would likely still be alive. According to the Center for immigration Studies, of the estimated 8,100 illegal aliens arrest for a crime and subsequently released, 1900 were rearrested within a 9 month period on charges totaling 7500 charges according to a 2014 study.
The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Sentencing Commission reported that as of 2014, that illegal immigrants were convicted and sentenced for committing over 13% of all crime in the U.S. The Justice Department reports that for the same period, 19% or 12,000 criminal cases filed by prosecutors were for violent crimes committed by illegal aliens. 22% or 13,300 were for felony drug charges. The U.S. Sentencing Commission found that 75% of all criminal defendants who were convicted and sentenced for federal drug violations were illegal immigrants. Want more? How about this. The FBI reported that from 2005 to 2008 there were 67,642 murders committed in the U.S., and from 2003 until 2009 there were 115,717 murders. The General Accounting Office indicates that 25,064 of these were committed by an illegal immigrant.
In California alone, which has a prison population of 130,000, 2400 of the inmates are illegal immigrates who had been convicted of murder. Additionally, for every 100,000 illegal immigrants, 92 are imprisoned for a violent crime. Does that sound like a low number to you? Compare it to this. For every 100,000 legal immigrant and citizen, only 74 are convicted for any crime. In Arizona, this number is 64 per 100,000 compared to 54 citizen and legal immigrant. In New York, the number is three times higher. For every 100,000, 169 illegal immigrants are imprisoned compared to 48 legal immigrant and citizen. The numbers are similar across the board and show that despite comprising just 3.8% of the overall population, illegal immigrants are responsible for the majority of violent and drug related crimes regardless of the "sanctuary" status where the crime was committed.
But this isn't the worse it. Not by a long shot. As I stated above, illegal activity by gangs typically follows the migration patterns of their identifying group (ethnic, religious, tribal, etc). During the turn of the 20th Century, and especially during Prohibition, criminal gangs became headline news. Previously relegated to the back page local newspapers, the likes of Al Capone and "The Outfit", "Dutch" Schultz, the Purple Gang, Dion O'Banion and his North Side Gang, "Legs" Diamond. Owney Madden, the Harlem Gang, Murder Incorporated, "Bugsy" Siegel and Frank Costello captivated the public's imagination. The majority of these criminal groups were mostly ethnic, Sicilian/Italian, Jewish, Irish, Black, or German. The gangs today are no different. Some of Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, Columbian, black, or Bosnian. Today's gangs however, are far more ruthless. While the gangs of the past seem to have a moral compass, at least when it came to "civilians", today's gangs have little regard for human life, and even less of personal property.
The top ranked gangs are often far above the capabilities of local law enforcement. In many cases, they nearly exceed government forces in places like Mexico or Latin America. Here in the U.S. it usually takes the training and resources of federal agencies to gain an handle on the situation, which presents a problem for sanctuary towns and cities who, on one hand, thumb their noses are federal laws, and on the other hand hold it wide open for federal money needed to equip or train police officers or pay for the formation of special units and any overtime. Quite the pickle should Washington opt to play the same game as cock-sure mayors or other local officials, not to mention the inevitable backlash from citizens.
So, who are these gangs? According to federal law enforcement agencies, the most lethal is MS 13, which has about 10,000 members currently in the U.S.; possibly more. MS 13 was found in Salvadorian community in Los Angeles in the 1980s and operate out 40 cities (and yes, most of those are sanctuary cities). Barrio 18 (aka The 18th Street Gang or M 18) is another highly dangerous gang. According to the FBI, M 18 has "tens of thousands" members operating throughout the U.S. which, as with MS 13, includes sanctuary cities. They are active in prostitution, drug trafficking of all types, murder for hire, kidnapping, and extortion.
Barrio Azteca has several thousand member who operate primarily in the South, but also is believed to have operations in Pennsylvania, Texas, Massachusetts, and along the Eastern Seaboard. This gang is affiliated with the powerful Juarez Drug Cartel out of Mexico. They are involved with trafficking cocaine in its various forms as well as murder for hire, especially within the federal prison system and so-called "high profile" killings. The Trinitarios originated in New York City back in the late 1980s. The gang is mostly make up of individuals from the Dominican Republic. In addition to NYC, they gang operates in New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and North Carolina. In addition to specializing in murder for hire, the gang is highly involved in oxycodone, crack cocaine, marijuana, and cocaine.
Chicago has its small mini-gangs (sometimes referred to "splinter" gangs which broke off larger, more powerful gangs like Gangster Disciples and the Hit Squad in the 1980s). These gangs do it all, from drug trafficking, petty crime, murder, prostitution, extortion; you name it. These gangs, which are made up mostly of juveniles (their average age is 14) are responsible for Chicago's massive murder count. An interesting aside, most of these gangs operate out of Al Capone's old South Side. Two other, more recognizable, gangs are the Crips and Bloods. The Crips were originally formed and operate out Los Angeles. This gang is a little different from the other mentioned. They are involved in bank robberies, armored car heists, store robberies, carjacking, armed assault, burglaries and rapes. Their arch rival, the Bloods, started back in the late 1960s and is one of the oldest gangs listed. The Bloods are involved in pretty every form of crime from drugs to murder and armed robbery. Like many of the other gangs, the Bloods and Crips have chapters scattered across the U.S. It should be pointed out that as much as the Crips and Blood dislike each other, they have something else in common besides their criminal activity. Both gangs are utterly despised by the Hispanic gangs already mentioned.
So, this is another plus being a sanctuary city will bring its residents, increased crime and violence, along with turf wars which have no regard life. City governments find themselves constantly trying to play catch-up with the addition costs illegal immigration brings to so-called "sanctuary" cities, just in terms of basic services. The result, thanks to higher taxes, is often local residents moving out as illegal immigrants move in. Local police, no matter how tough they think they are, struggle daily in matching the firepower of these gangs which follow the migration of immigrants, both legal and especially illegal. Meanwhile crime of all sorts increase as the gangs move in. These same gangs have no qualms about shooting cops. We'll cover more of the "bonuses" of being a sanctuary city in later issue.
5 facts about illegal immigration in the U.S.
Map Showing How Many 'Sanctuary Cities' Are Sheltering Illegal Immigrants in the US---And Where They Are
The Truth About crime, illegal immigrants, and sanctuary cities
USDJ: History of Street Gangs in the United States
10 Of The Most Lethal Gangs In America
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