The successful move by Senate Democrats to block the “Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act” indicates how deeply the battle lines have been drawn on issues relating to illegal immigration.
Sen. David Vitter, (R-Louisiana) who sponsored the legislation, pointed to the extraordinary danger posed by criminal aliens. Taxpayers in those cities have complained also of the unmanageable costs of providing education and other basic services to illegals. Congressional legislation occurred in the wake of the nationally reported murder of a young woman, Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco, allegedly by an illegal who had already been deported five times. The bill would have made it unlawful for cities to refuse federal requests for notification before releasing illegals, and the stopping of federal funds to localities that violate the law.
According to the Center for Immigration Studies, “Across the U.S., there are 340 cities, counties, and states that are considered “sanctuary cities”. These jurisdictions protect criminal aliens from deportation by refusing to comply with ICE detainers or otherwise impede open communication and information exchanges between their employees or officers and federal immigration agents… This has resulted in the release by local authorities of approximately 1,000 criminal aliens per month. According to an updated report prepared by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for Congress, between January 1 and September 30, 2014, local sanctuaries released 9,295 alien offenders that ICE was seeking to deport. More than 600 people were released at least twice.
“Out of these, 5,947 of the criminal aliens (62 percent) had significant prior criminal histories or other public safety concerns even before the arrest that led to a detainer. Fifty-eight percent of those with a prior history of concern had prior felony charges or convictions; 37 percent had serious prior misdemeanor charges, and 5 percent had multiple prior misdemeanors. An alarming number — 2,320 — of the total number of released offenders were subsequently arrested within the time period studied for new crimes after they were released by the sanctuaries…Of the 6,460 criminal aliens who were still at large during the time period studied, 3,802 (58 percent) had prior felonies or violent misdemeanors.”
The Democrats position on the issue at first seems contrary to two core groups of their supporters. Many of the programs that Democrats favor are already short of funds. Adding additional residents who require help strains state and local resources to the limit. Illegals also harm job prospects for Americans at the lower end of the pay scale, particularly young blacks who have suffered extraordinary rates of unemployment.
What may seem, at first impression, to be a position counter to the Democrats own key interests comes into focus when seen through the prism of politics on a national scale.
Politico Notes that immigrants, “along with other noncitizens without the right to vote—may pick the 2016 presidential winner. Thanks to the unique math undergirding the Electoral College, the mere presence of 11-12 million illegal immigrants and other noncitizens here legally may enable them to swing the election from Republicans to Democrats.”
A National Review study concurs.
“President Obama’s recent executive orders granting provisional legal status to an estimated 5 million illegal aliens will likely allow an indeterminate number of them to cast ballots in elections across the United States — and it’s hard to see how it won’t affect the outcome of some number of close elections. Amnestied illegal aliens are now eligible to receive Social Security numbers and, in many cases, drivers’ licenses. Since the vast majority of states don’t require individuals to present proof of citizenship to either register or vote, and given the Obama administration’s zealous promotion of motor-voter registration and declared refusal to enforce Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act (ensuring that only eligible individuals vote), it’s certain that appreciable numbers of amnestied illegal aliens will be able to vote. Furthermore, testimony last week before the House Judiciary Committee revealed that under Obama’s amnesty some illegal aliens will receive advance-parole status — a glide path to citizenship and full voting rights, though not for some time. This should be of grave concern to lawmakers and all Americans who care about the rule of law and election integrity.”
Fox Latino reports that “More than 500K driver’s licenses [have been] issued to undocumented immigrants in California.” This presents an opportunity, under motor voter, for illegals to unlawfully register to vote.
The White House, through the Department of Justice, has attacked states that seek to address the challenge through voter ID laws. Opposition by Democrats to attempts by states to insure the accuracy of voter registration rolls has been substantial.