Editorial

Houston is a sanctuary city no more?

Friday, May 12, 2017

Itís a pretty sad day when you have to pass a law to compel police officials to enforce the law, but thatís just what they did in Texas. At least one municipality in Texas has routinely thumbed its nose at federal law and federal authorities when it comes to criminal illegal aliens. Criminal illegals are persons who have committed criminal acts in the United States and for whom the feds have made an immigration detainer request. That means theyíve asked the local authorities to hold this criminal until ICE can pick them up.

One week in late January, Travis County, Texas, declined 142 requests to hold illegal immigrants. That was about 69 percent of all requests for that week. This included criminals accused of sexual offenses against children, domestic violence, and kidnapping. Travis County is primarily Austin. Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez has made quite a name for herself as a sanctuary sheriff.

Hernandez has the backing of activist judges like Sarah Eckhardt who believe in what Sheriff Hernandez is doing. Were the issue ever to appear before Eckhardt it would be struck down. Both are part of the problem.

Gov. Gregg Abbott signed SB4 into law. Not only does it fine law enforcement officials who donít cooperate with federal immigration detainer requests, it makes it a crime.

ďThis is racist and wrongheaded,Ē the ACLU predictably fired back. The ACLU is far more concerned about the criminals than the victims. Despite the protestations of DNC Chairman Tom Perez that no human is illegal, some actually are. That would include murderers, bank robbers, and rapists. It also includes anyone who breaks into our country.

Is that to say that all illegals are murderers, bank robbers, and rapists? Not at all. Itís merely a reminder that breaking into this country the first time is a misdemeanor. Second and subsequent times are felonies.

The opponents of this law are screaming that it allows police to randomly profile illegal aliens. Personally, I donít have a problem with that, but it does no such thing. Police can only inquire as to oneís immigration status if the person is either accused of a crime or a witness to one. In fact, otherwise profiling is prohibited by law.

The Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops strongly opposed this bill. They have a long history of supporting illegal immigration. You have to wonder whose side their on. Itís certainly not the side of law and order.

We have immigration laws for a reason. They are designed to keep people with disease, terrorist ties, or criminal histories out of the country. There is an orderly way to come into this country. Two-thirds of the people coming up from Mexico come the legal way. Makes you wonder what the excuse is for the other third.

If youíre saying it takes too long, thatís a cop-out. No one has a right to bust in line just because theyíre impatient. We need to be reminded that immigration isnít about the immigrant. Itís about the country theyíre immigrating to. What do they bring to the table? If your answer is cheap labor, thatís not a benefit to the millions of Americans who have seen their wages depressed because employers can pay illegals under the table.

I applaud Gov. Abbott and the Texas legislature. Theyíve taken a courageous stand against the forces that are eating away at the very fiber of our country. SB4 should be the pace car for the rest of the country.

Who wants to take bets on how quickly it takes an activist judge to shoot it down?