It was three years ago this week that a beautiful, brilliant young woman named Clarisse Grimes was killed in St. Paul by an illegal immigrant who had already been deported, but returned to the U.S. illegally. I wrote about Clarisse and her tragic end here.
So it was "deja vu all over again" last week when another beautiful young woman, Kate Steinle, was shot to death by an illegal immigrant on the San Francisco waterfront. The killer, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, has several felony convictions on his rap sheet, and had been deported five times, but continued to illegally enter the U.S.
All of this was known at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which recently had custody of Lopez-Sanchez, but turned him over to San Francisco authorities so they could prosecute him on a drug charge. ICE also filed a "detainer," instructing San Francisco authorities to turn Lopez-Sanchez when they were through with him. Here's where the outrage begins.
San Francisco ignored the detainer, and let Lopez-Sanchez walk free. Why? Because San Francisco is a "sanctuary city," where officials have decided they will ignore requests from immigration so that illegal immigrants are free to move about their city. Lopez-Sanchez has reportedly admitted that he returned to San Francisco specifically because he knew of the sanctuary city status, and knew he wouldn't be hassled about being in the country illegally.
Oh, but that's just loopy, crazy, San Francisco you might think. Surely no other big city is dumb enough to hang out a "Welcome" sign for criminals from other countries.
Wrong. There are more than 200 "sanctuary cities" in the United States, including - here in Minnesota - both Minneapolis and St. Paul. That's why the guy who killed Clarisse Grimes was on the street: He had been arrested for driving without a license just a short while before killing Clarisse, but St. Paul's sanctuary city policy let him go.
Imagine that: The same government that expects you to pay your taxes, obey the speed limit, shovel your sidewalk, etc., etc., etc., suddenly decides that the law doesn't apply to them if an illegal immigrant is involved.
I'm undecided as to whom to support for President next year, but the first candidate who pledges to withhold all federal funding from sanctuary cities has my vote.