The sheriff, last I knew, please correct me if this changed, has a standing order that under no circumstances, not even for the worst of the worst, is ICE to be contacted — not for a hold, and not to notify ICE of a release. My sources have told me that, our local politicians have told us that.
The case of Ms. Martha Casillas shows just how blatant and offensive the lies coming from the elected officials of Santa Clara County really are on this issue over the past few days. There are other cases around the country being pointed out by various news media over the past few days, this problem doesn’t belong to us, but to all local governments choosing to favor violent, illegal immigrants over everyone else, regardless of immigrant status.
The ordinance passed by the county is case enough to show the status of this county’s immigration position…
“…the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors…reject[ed] a proposal to turn over jailed illegal immigrants with a history of serious or violent crime to federal agents for possible deportation.”
David Cortese — it’s not MY fault, it’s ICE who failed — who voted to continue extremely lenient law enforcement, offered up his latest statements to the media that violent criminals are offered up to ICE, but ICE doesn’t show up: “…[Santa Clara] county complies with ICE requests for information when someone is getting out, but said it’s been his experience that the feds rarely do anything about it when told… they literally have a huge problem showing up.”
A claim disputed by ICE with common sense information that makes Cortese’s claims look ridiculous. Cortese’s claim was met with a derisive snort by my source, “We don’t call ICE, not for a hold, not to notify of a release.” Reality is, Mr. Cortese, any one would have a huge problem showing when they are literally not notified that there is a reason to show up.
Shortly after his controversial vote just 2 years ago, Cortese made comments brushing off the concern that violent criminals posed a risk, calling it “spin” as you can see in the first Merc article linked, completely ignoring incidents that had already occurred right in his back yard.
Chavez would have you believe that the Ms. Casillas of the world would not trust a policy that would have deported the man who held a gun to her 7 year-old’s head if that’s what it took to keep her family safe, even if that law promised to not contact ICE for someone for non-violent misdemeanors or civil violations. That removing violent criminals from our midst would have a “chilling effect” on the relationship between the community and law enforcement. Because I’m sure the vehement and sometimes vicious attacks on the largely peaceful and hard-working immigrant community right now is surely building trust, right.
San Francisco Councilwoman Susan Wengraf would have you believe that the death of Kate Steinle is “one extraordinary event”. Because events like this usually manage to not make it to the news around here. There wasn’t a whole lot of coverage about Martha Casillas, of course it happened in her home vs. a tourist spot in the midst of San Francisco, and she was one of those “immigrants” we protected by not calling ICE. Not to forget, why would we promote fear that we’re letting violent criminals out on our streets when we really don’t have to?
I’ve seen two chilling effects, 1) the silenced outcry of the immigrant community in the following maelström; would you speak up now? and 2) the increased outcry against immigration, refusing to fix our system in favor of a wall, and providing the “proof” for the Donald Trump affect — labeling most immigrants as murderers and rapists who are all destroying our nation in one way or another. Yes, people like Cindy Chavez are giving people like Trump what they consider viable argument to present to those with poor critical thinking skills or simply looking for a platform to gain attention from. Sadly we have no shortage of xenophobia in this nation, this just feeds it.
These elected officials would have us believe that the immigrant community doesn’t mind being the curtain that hides these violent people, or that they favor enduring the increased racist and ignorant attacks on immigrants every time a sanctuary fails someone like they did Kate Steinle and her family.
The only spin I see, Mr. Cortese, is a bunch of politicians spinning as fast as they can to cover their collective ass… and a sheriff still pretending she doesn’t support the policy while strongly enforcing it in her jails — something she never really had to do. She was charged by the voters to protect our community and she chose not to do so. No one would have touched her if she sent Martha Casillas murder back to his native country — and Ms. Casillas’ children would very possibly still have a mother.
You made a mistake. That’s fine, I’m sure the intent was well-meant. But now it’s time to recognized that we can take an extra step, within the law, to address violent criminals who also have come here through illegal means and that we SHOULD do so. We can be a sanctuary county for those that deserve sanctuary. We do not have to turn our backs on the safety of immigrants from those that would kill simply because they are immigrants.
You don’t have to like the immigration laws. I certainly don’t. You just have to recognize, if tomorrow we fixed our system to accept immigrants on a much more fair visa distribution we still would deport people like Francisco Sanchez and Mario Chavez. No SANE immigration system would allow him back on our streets.
And of course, it’s just as stunning that the Mercury News managed to miss these diametrically opposed statements made by public officials about their own county ordinance published in their own paper. I loath news outlets that believe “freedom of the press” means they should help the very foxes they’re supposed to protect the hen house from.