Saturday, September 14, 2019

Sanctuary Cities

Sanctuary cities. They've been with us since the being of civilization. In the bible, there are six such cities, all under the control of the priestly Levites. These six cities, Bosor, Ramoth and Golan west of the Jordan River and Kedesh, Hebron, and Sheham to its east, were places where individuals accused of crime could escape to in order find sanctuary until the crimes they were accused of could be adjudicated by the either the priestly court or local ruler.

 Even the main temple in Jerusalem could be used as a temporary shelter. The ancient Sumerians, Babylonians, and Assyrians also provided cities or temples where the accused could find a brief respite. The ancient Greeks too had cities of refuge, including various temples until such time as the accused could prove their innocence.

Fast forward to the modern era and we find the concept of the cities of refuge being played out in the form of sanctuary cities. In most cases this applies to immigrants trying to get away from war, famine, or disease, however, it's also come to include economic migrants which are individuals seeking better economic opportunities. This is especially the case in Europe which has adopted basically an open door policy toward these individuals. However, that has proven to be disastrous.

In numerous cases, cities and towns have been overrun. Crime has become rampant, partly as a result of a clash of cultures and refusal of the immigrants to adapt to their host country's laws, customs, language, or values. As a result, the immigrants have attempted to transplant their laws, customs, and values onto their new homeland and completely rejected the very notion of assimilation.

The governments throughout Western Europe and the UK have proven to be woefully unprepared for what they willingly invited into their country. As a result, these governments have unleashed nothing less than an invasion which will ultimately result in a complete or nearly complete replacement of the native population, along with their traditions, religions, customs, and culture.

To make matters worse, the governments have largely responded by cracking down on its own citizens, including the victims of the crime caused by these migrants (especially the victims of gang rapes which are often blamed on the victims!). These governments have gone as far as dictating to its native populations what to wear, when to go out and under what circumstances, removing traditional items (such as pork or liquor) from menus for instance; all in the name of "tolerance". 

They've even allow foreign laws to be applied on their own soil (laws which are, by their very nature, in direct conflict of existing laws and customs), and the enforcement of "no go" zones, thus sanctioning de facto occupation zones within their own country.

Finally, while officially there as "economic migrants", the majority of these immigrants have opted not to work. Instead, they've managed to imbed themselves into the very generous economic and social safety nets provided by these countries, and thus, the native population ends up supporting these "invaders" with their tax dollars while being forced into a form of submission to foreign laws and culture. The result has been bringing the once highly successful countries to their knees. As an aside, neither the United Nations or Amnesty International regard economic migrants as justification for any sort of amnesty.

Once, these countries were quite successful and prosperous; where individuals shared a similar work ethic and believed in similar values. Crime was hardly more than a blimp on the radar. Both the quality of life and life expediency were ranked in the top ten in the world for decades. Europe's cities and towns were known for not just being generally safe, but also for being pristine. There was a sense of pride in keeping these communities clean, especially in Germany, the Lowlands, and Scandinavia. However, the migrant crisis, triggered by criminally naive politicians and poorly prepared government infrastructures has all but destroyed what wars and earlier invaders could not.

America has fared better, but not by much. America has always been a nation which has welcomed immigrants. We are, in fact, a nation created by immigrants. Practically every nation, ethnic group, and religion can be found in the America. However, things have greatly changed. Once upon a time, America was viewed as a "melting pot", where individuals came and added their cultures and experiences to the rest. They quickly assimilated into society; adopting its language, customs, and values to create a unique culture all our own. An American Culture.

Naturally, immigrants tended to seek out others who were from the same country, similar religions or cultures. This resulted in the creation of small enclaves, mostly in cities and large towns. However, it didn't change the hope of those individuals of becoming totally immersed in the American experience. Many of these immigrants changed their names, religions and any other links to their past.

They tried to learn what they could about their new homeland long before immigrating. They did their best to learn English, which was a source of deep personal pride (in some cases, English language classes were held onboard the passenger ships). America was seen as a place to start over. Nothing mattered more than to become "Americans".

Most of these immigrants were individuals coming to seek a new life; a chance to start over. Later, immigrants were actively brought to this country by the federal government for humanitarian reasons. Typically this included individuals being persecuted for political, ethnic, or religious reasons. It also included individuals affected by natural and manmade disasters, particularly wars. However, all who sought to come here were expected to do so in accordance to our immigration laws, which, while strict, were viewed the world over as being more liberal and open than most.

However, that started to change in the late 1960's. Individuals who came to this country were encouraged not to assimilate. They were told they didn't need to learn English; we would "ease" their transition into this new society so they could take as long as they needed, if indeed, they even desired to integrate at all. Some never bothered to learn the language or understand the laws and culture of their adopted homeland; many saw America simply as a place to work and send money back home. The result was the creation of a subclass of immigrants which never became a part of the American mosaic; creating pockets of their native countries, transplanted on a new soil. This was "multiculturalism".

The result was a slow but steady increase in individuals who came here illegally with no intent in either assimilating or becoming citizens. In the beginning, most did so to join family and friends who had come to this country legally, however, for whatever reason, they decided to do so illegally. Generally these individuals had a criminal record, lacked adequate skills to find employment or had health issues (which included "anchor babies"). 

What had originally been a trickle had become a flood by the middle 1980's. The situation became so bad that in 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed into law a bill granting the estimated six million illegal immigrants amnesty (excluding those with criminal records). The idea was that the costs of rounding up and deporting these individuals was simply too time consuming and expensive.

Today, various towns, cities, and even states have gone a step further and declared themselves "sanctuaries". By that they mean that those in this country illegally are welcome. The local police departments and other taxpayer funded government entities are instructed not to cooperate in any way with federal authorities in the capture and deportation of these individuals. 

At present there are nine states and well over 100 counties, cities, and towns are have proclaimed themselves "open" to illegal immigrants in defiance to federal laws. Yet, at the same time, these same locales continue to receive federal money. Some have actually had the audacity to ask Washington for more federal dollars to cope with the increased costs of supporting these individuals!

Illegal immigration is ultimately the result of a demand for cheap labor. Employers want to avoid certain OSHA requirements such as safe and healthy work environments, wage laws, and taxes. Unions favor it because it increases their membership and puts dues in the bank. Religious institutions and churches, looking to increase their membership and influence, provide aid by encouraging illegals to enter the country through a system of safe houses, providing temporary shelter (often on church property), jobs, permanent housing, and instruct them on ways to circumvent various laws in order to gain access to taxpayer based services as well as medical care (the cost of which are passed on to consumers and taxpayers).

Unfortunately, it appears this situation will not be resolved until the President and Congress muster the backbone to enforce current laws regarding aiding and abetting criminals. The federal government must first cut off all federal money to states, cities, towns, and communities who provide "sanctuary" to illegal immigrants. Secondly, the Department of Justice needs to bring charges against all those who refuse compliance with federal immigration laws, be they governors, mayors, city councils, or whomever.

States which issue driver's licenses or permit voter registration of illegal immigrants should be voided. That is, a driver's license issued by the State of California or Colorado should not been held as valid outside that state without proper legal identification such as a birth certificate and/or cross checked with a expanded E-Verify. Voter registration should be accompanied by a photo ID and also cross checked with E-Verify. Meanwhile, state legislatures must take whatever steps necessary to make illegal any sanctuary status by the state, as well as counties, cities, and other communities along with a zero tolerance for anyone aiding or employing illegal immigrants.

That being said, the federal government needs to take more aggressive steps to stop the demand. Any employer found employing an illegal worker should have their business license suspended for 90 days for the first offense and face a minimum fine of $10,000 per illegal employee. In addition, corporate officers must be held responsible and should face 90 days jail time. Finally, they must be placed on a permanent watch list. This includes not just the business, but the officers as well.

A second offense should result in a six month suspension of their business license, 180 days in jail, and $25,000 fine per individual. A third offense should result in a permanent suspension of their business license, one year jail time, and $50,000 per individual. Needless to say, any federal contracts should be suspended with the first conviction and permanently after that. Any company with federal contracts who employs an officer guilty of the third offense in a managerial, supervisory, or consultant role must forfeit those federal contracts.

As for non-profits, particularly churches and religious organizations, should face equal consequences for aiding and abetting illegal immigrants. This includes loss of their tax exempt status for the same period as their business license. As the 70's TV detective "Beretta" used to say, "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time". In addition, no one should have access to taxpayer funded services unless they are able to verify they are in this country legally.

Illegal immigration currently cost taxpayers in the multi-billions of dollars on an annual basis. Given the ever widening income gap, increasing food and healthcare costs, not to mention the ever rising tax and utility rates plus the deepening debt many local and states governments are finding themselves, taxpayers can't afford to support those who intentionally defy our laws and then expect us to support them. The majority of us are having trouble just supporting ourselves.

On a related issue, America has a long and well established tradition of religious tolerance, as well as keeping religion out of politics. I doubt many in this country has a problem with Islam or any other religion. However, we will not tolerate attempts to replace or substitute our laws with their religious oriented laws for any reason. We will not allow what has happened to Europe and the UK to happen to this country, and we have no problem with defying politicians unlike our cousins across the pond.

Sanctuary cities of the past were created to provide a place where the accused could go and gain time to prepare a defense against their alleged crime. Today they've become a place where individuals are not accused criminals, but acknowledged criminals can go to avoid punishment. We cannot allow either states or elected individuals to pick and choose what laws they will enforce any more than we can allow churches or employers to ignore existing laws. Until those laws are changed legally, they remain laws and must be enforced.

Center for Immigration Studies-Map: Sanctuary Cities, Counties and States

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