Criminals take advantage of 'sanctuary' cities, legal pro says
Making Naperville a so-called "sanctuary" city sends a message to criminals that they can hide there, a legal expert told the DuPage Policy Journal recently.
"It is great to welcome legal immigrants, but why they think it is a good idea to welcome people who are here illegally I simply don’t understand,” Hans von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation's Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, said.
Naperville Council member Becky Anderson has been working on a resolution that would make Naperville one of the cities opposing national immigration law enforcement, at least to a point.
However, von Spakovsky said such policies actually protect criminals rather than simply being "welcoming."
“Just because they think that makes it sound better, but the end result is the same: They are creating sanctuaries for criminal aliens," he said. “What most sanctuary cities do is two things. One, they forbid local officials from passing on any information about illegal aliens they arrest. The other is put in a policy that says that they will not honor any federal detainer warrants on an illegal alien.”
He pointed to the case of Kathryn Steinle, who was shot in 2015 in San Francisco.
“The illegal alien that killed her was actually in custody in San Francisco on drug charges,” von Spakovsky said, adding that the shooter was released without prosecution. “Because of their sanctuary policy, they refused to accommodate that detainer and turn him over to the federal government, which is why he was on the street and in a position to kill Miss Steinle.
Von Spakovsky argued that a city that welcomes all, regardless of past actions, is a breeding ground for crime.
“The essence of putting in a sanctuary policy or a welcoming policy – whatever you want to call it – the city is saying that when we release individuals from jail who have served their sentences for whatever local crimes they have committed, burglary, sexual assault, etc., we would rather they be re-released into our community as opposed to notifying the federal government so that person can be picked up and deported," he said.
He urged residents opposed to the policy to take their arguments to the City Council.