Sanctuary cities? Remove government immunity

How many more times must it happen? How many more women must be battered or killed? The localities of lawlessness have claimed another victim. Local officials in Sonoma County decided to put the life of a woman at risk and let a criminal illegal alien loose for political reasons. When will local officials be held accountable?

Nery Israel Estrada-Margos, an illegal immigrant, was arrested earlier this month on August 3 for assaulting his wife on July 31. Estrada-Margos was charged with felony domestic battery. Upon being booked, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued a detainer for the suspect. This should be the end of the story.

However, local officials have chosen to be a sanctuary city for criminal illegal aliens. Estrada-Margos was able to post the $30,000 bond and was allowed to return to the woman he battered. That’s right, an illegal alien that assaulted a woman was allowed to return to the woman, despite having an ICE detainer issued against him.

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department disputes the claim, and technically it is right. The department notified ICE a whopping 16 minutes before releasing the suspect. This would be OK if ICE was located next door to the jail, but ICE was over 60 miles away. A normal drive between the two points takes between 80 and 90 minutes. Apparently, the sheriff’s department wanted ICE to speed over 200 mph to pick up the suspect.

This isn’t the first time this has happened in Sonoma County. It is a regular occurrence, according to ICE spokesman James Schwab, noting that Sonoma County, “failed to provide sufficient advance notification to pick up these criminals.”

The blatant disregard for public safety is borderline criminal. If a private entity was as irresponsible as the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office, the local district attorney would be considering accessory to murder charges. Who is supposed to keep law enforcement accountable?

Americans for Limited Government Rick Manning responded, “Any local officials who authorized the release of criminal aliens rather than turning them over to the federal government should be legally liable for any crimes that are subsequently committed. When you put your social policy above the safety of the community you have failed at your most basic responsibility and should be compelled to compensate those who are victimized.”

Denver, Colorado has recently joined the madness and wants to join Illinois and California as a locality of lawlessness. On Monday, the Denver city council passed an ordinance that makes the city a sanctuary city. The city council issued an edict declaring that local law enforcement shall ignore ICE detainer requests.

The net effect of the city council’s decision is that they would prefer to put their own citizens at risk by releasing an illegal alien who is a murder or rapist than to subject the criminal to federal deportation proceedings.

This concept of justice where the community becomes willing victims to show contempt for President Trump is Orwellian at best and extremely dangerous at worst. Each city council person should be compelled to meet with victims of their social justice policy as they will be as culpable as the criminal themselves.

To ensure the local officials feel the pain they are causing the citizens it is time for the U.S. Congress to act. Kate’s Law and No Sanctuary for Criminals Act were good starts, but they do not go far enough. The politicians making the decisions do not feel the pain.

The best way to make the local officials feel the pain is to make them culpable. A pair of State Senators (Vicki Marble and Tim Neville) and a pair of State Representatives (Phil Covarrubias and Dave Williams) from Colorado have introduced SB17-281, the Hold Colorado Government Accountable Sanctuary Jurisdictions bill. The bill waives governmental immunity against a jurisdiction and its public employees for personal injuries caused to crime victims because a jurisdiction is a sanctuary jurisdiction.

The legislation is a good idea at the state level, but it would be more effective at the national level. Any politician that knowingly ignores federal law and the result of that willful disregard is a crime being committed, should be held culpable. The only way to hold a politician accountable is to withdraw immunity and hit them in the pocketbook. To get a politician’s attention it takes a money, either putting money in their pocket or taking money out of their pocket.

Printus LeBlanc is a contributing reporter for Americans for Limited Government

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