The Obama administration rewards sanctuary states, counties and cities that shield violent illegal immigrants from deportation with hundreds of millions of dollars in federal grants and one of the biggest recipients recently made headlines for protecting a serial criminal who murdered a young woman. The money flows through the Department of Justice (DOJ), the agency responsible for enforcing the law and defending the interests of the United States. The DOJ is also charged with providing federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime, according to its mission statement, and seeking just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior.
Apparently this doesn’t apply to local governments that support the president’s broad open borders policies, even when they violate federal law. The DOJ doled out $342,168,401 to 10 sanctuary states and cities that proudly reject federal claims for criminal illegal aliens earmarked for removal, according to the agency’s independent watchdog. Among them is Connecticut, a trailblazer in the sanctuary movement that received more than $69 million in grants from the DOJ. Connecticut has long protected illegal immigrants with sanctuary policies and even offers them special drivers’ licenses, known as Drive Only. The state also gives illegal aliens discounted tuition at public colleges and universities and authorities work hard to restrict the feds from deporting illegal immigrants. Last year an illegal immigrant who had spent 17 years in prison for attempted murder stabbed a 25-year-old woman to death in Norwich, a city of about 40,000 residents. The murderer had been earmarked for deportation at least three times.
California, also a renowned sanctuary state that offers illegal immigrants a number of taxpayer-funded perks, topped the list with $132,409,635 in DOJ grants. Judicial Watch has investigated the state’s illegal sanctuary policies for years and back in 2008 launched a California public records request with the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department to obtain the arrest and booking information on Edwin Ramos, an illegal alien from El Salvador who murdered three innocent American citizens. Ramos was a member of a renowned violent street gang and had been convicted of two felonies as a juvenile (a gang-related assault on a bus passenger and the attempted robbery of a pregnant woman) yet he was allowed to remain in the country. Last year Judicial Watch obtained records showing that violent crime—including murder and rape—in the Bay area has skyrocketed since the San Francisco Sheriff and City Council expanded illegal alien sanctuary policies in 2013.
Under the ordinance San Francisco law enforcement agencies are required to ignore most U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers. Judicial Watch is also investigating whether the city violated the law again with its sanctuary policy that led to the release of Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, an illegal immigrant deported five times who gunned down Kate Steinle at one of the most popular tourist spots in San Francisco.
Two cities—New York and Chicago—got $60,091,942 and $28,523,222 respectively from the DOJ and Philadelphia followed with $16,505,312. South Florida’s Miami-Dade County received $10,778,815, Milwaukee, Wisconsin got $7,539,572, Cook County, Illinois $6,018,544, Clark County, Nevada $6,257,9851 and Orleans Parish, Louisiana $4,737,964. In some cases elected officials in these municipalities brag about defying federal immigration laws. One, the mayor of Chicago, is mentioned in the DOJ Inspector General report for publicly stating: “We are not going to turn people over to ICE, and we are not going to check their immigration status.” The city also prohibits employees from cooperating with federal immigration authorities, the report says.
Other recipients of our taxpayer dollars do the same with no consequences. The Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office has an “ICE Procedures” policy that states the agency shall not initiate any immigration status investigation into individuals in their custody or provide the feds with information on an inmate’s release date or address.
Philadelphia’s mayor issued an executive order stating that the pending release of the subject of an ICE immigration detainer shall not be provided to the agency unless the person has been convicted of a felony and New York enacted a law years ago restricting jail personnel from communicating with ICE regarding an inmate’s release date, incarceration status or court dates. The law resulted in ICE closing its office on Riker’s Island and ceasing operations on any other NYC Department of Corrections property, the report reveals. It’s beyond comprehension that these law-breaking local governments are being rewarded with federal funds distributed by the agency responsible for enforcing the law.