February 18, 2022
By Brian Lonergan
Many politicians today desperately want to hitch themselves to the “next big thing.” They seek to be at the forefront of whatever movement is currently fashionable within their party, and to be seen supporting it more zealously than their colleagues. This can be seen in the way many on the Left today extol the virtues of socialism, a position that would have been career suicide just a few decades ago.
While such positions may win adoration from Twitter’s bluecheck mob, there is a significant downside. They consistently fail to achieve their stated goals, and innocent people get killed as a result. Immigration policy may be the clearest example.
Ideas like sanctuary cities and catch-and-release were once relegated to the most deranged professors in the faculty lounge. Today they are mainstream progressive agenda items. Taken on substance and at first, these policies were dismissed as absurd and counterproductive. This was remedied by injecting race into the discussion at every opportunity. Advocates can claim to be on the side of the angels, while opponents with legitimate, sensible criticisms are dismissed as purveyors of hate and relegated to the fringe of society.
That kind of demagoguery finds a welcome audience in corporate media, but the results cannot be denied.
In Wake County, N.C., last month, a motorist allegedly killed a legal immigrant mother of two as a result of a drunk driving incident. The driver, Aldair Leon-Olluas, is an illegal alien from Mexico who drove away from the scene of the accident and was later arrested in Atlanta.
Why might an illegal alien with a habit of driving drunk be drawn to Wake County? Gerald Baker was elected sheriff of the county in 2018 with support from the ACLU and on a pledge to end the county’s 287(g) agreement, which calls for local law enforcement to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for the purpose of transferring criminal aliens to ICE custody for possible deportation. The move essentially made Wake a sanctuary jurisdiction, where illegal aliens arrested for crimes are shielded from deportation by federal immigration authorities.
An investigation by the Immigration Reform Law Institute found that in the year after Baker terminated 287(g), the number of aliens transferred to ICE dropped by more than 99 percent and overall crime rose. In North Carolina’s Mecklenburg County, another newly elected sheriff who terminated 287(g) oversaw an increase in every violent crime category the following year.
The connection between anti-borders policies and preventable deaths can be seen throughout the country. Former Mayor Bill de Blasio led New York City from being one of the safer big cities to one awash in violent crime. One of the most horrific moments in de Blasio’s mayoralty came when Reeaz Khan, an illegal alien from Guyana, was arrested in Queens in 2020 and charged with the brutal sexual assault and murder of Maria Fuentes, 92, a beloved member of her community and an immigrant from the Dominican Republic.
Khan was arrested in New York the previous year for assaulting his father as well as criminal possession of a weapon. When ICE agents filed a request to detain Khan so they could take him into their custody for possible deportation, the New York Police Department followed the city’s sanctuary policy and denied the request. Khan was instead released into the general public, where he remained until his arrest for murder.
Under fire for the shocking crime, de Blasio, an ardent supporter of sanctuary policies, deflected responsibility by attacking ICE, tweeting, “The morally bankrupt organization that tears families apart and puts innocent children in cages has ZERO right to tell us how to keep our city safe.” It was a shameless smear against ICE, which focuses on interior law enforcement.
One of the great underreported stories in America today is the death toll that comes from anti-borders policies in cities, counties and states. While politicians like Baker and de Blasio bask in the approval of woke audiences for their support of sanctuary policies, the undeniable truth is that their agendas make their jurisdictions more dangerous for the people who live there.
People are dying who should not be dying. That is simply an unacceptable price to pay for politicians consumed with vainglory.
Brian Lonergan is director of communications at the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.
Also published at: Brian Lonergan, Trendy Leftist Policies Cause Premature Death, American Greatness, February 18, 2022.
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