JACK SIMPSON: Sanctuary debate puts law enforcement in the middle | Opinion


There’s no question about it. We are a nation of immigrants and through the years have welcomed those who enter the country legally.

Our problem is caused by those who ignore our laws, rules and regulations and push to the head of the line, displacing all who follow procedures. The illegals put stress on local and state governments, law enforcement, and other resources of the nation. Some of these people are hardened criminals, terrorists, people with medical problems, no skills, and instead of contributing to our society they look to it for benefits.

Does the National Sanctuary Movement mention that the people they seek to help are illegal not legal immigrants?

The Movement does say they supply support and solidarity to immigrant refugees, Muslims, and others whose status may threaten the Administration. The Movement says it upholds immigrant dignity and ensures due process. Movement members help keep illegals from arrest by certified ICE agents.

It sounds like the Movement has a noble cause. But, a recent report states that in Arizona alone more illegal immigrants than other residents commit serious crimes. Citizens there probably welcome the presence of ICE agents.

The Department of Justice frowns upon Sanctuary Cities, and such designated areas will lose access to certain law enforcement grants. In our area, Clayton and DeKalb counties have offered sanctuary.

Sanctuary Cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and others have chosen not to cooperate with ICE enforcement and immigration laws. These cities will lose federal grants but may feel that increasing voter rolls in favor of their political parties may be worth it. The dangers posed to public safety by illegals may not be of primary concern to some. Movement members feel enforcement means the United States is turning its back on its heritage as a safe haven for the world’s persecuted. Other nations will view our strong enforcement as a rejection of humanitarian programs.

Undocumented immigrants come to our cities and churches seeking sanctuary, and if they are granted a haven, our laws are ignored and our public safety is jeopardized.

Law enforcement faces a challenge. In Chicago recently, a federal judge ruled that President Trump cannot withhold public safety grants from Sanctuary Cities.

Police are expected to control the divisions in our society and enforce the laws on the books. It is an awesome challenge when laws are constantly questioned and some refuse to enforce some of them. Police are caught in the middle.

Jack Simpson is a former educator, a veteran, an author and a law enforcement officer. His column appears each weekend in this newspaper.

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