The latest cause celebre for the Republican Party seems to be denouncing “Sanctuary Cities”. A number of police jurisdictions, particularly larger ones, do not report all undocumented immigrants to the U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); because, that would cut them off from the local Latino community, on which they rely heavily for information on potentially dangerous criminal activity.
Sanctuary Cities moved front-and-center in the current political arena after 32 year-old Kathryn Steinle was killed in a random shooting in a tourist area in San Francisco. Her alleged assailant, Francisco Sanchez, is a Mexican who had previously been deported five times, from three different states. Yes, this is a horrendous tragedy, and something that should be protected against at all costs. But, before just proposing a solution, let’s try to better understand what the real problem might be.
Its also important to consider the fact that there are 35 million residents of Mexican heritage living in the U. S. Additionally, there are approximately 11 million illegal immigrants, many of whom have been living here for decades. Both the Democratic and Republican Parties agree that our Immigration Laws need to be reformed. The only question: what can be done to solve the current situation, and when?
Anti-immigrant venom has been spewing from the Republican Presidential Primary process, and most of the contenders have jumped-in, with each one trying to out-do the others. But, is the reason that Ms. Steinle was killed really an immigration problem–or only that? Or might the lack of proper gun legislation have been the case? Besides the rights of gun owners, what about the rights of the rest of the citizenry to live in peace and safety?
There have been numerous senseless killings in America, by: unstable psychopaths; White Supremacists; criminals during armed burglaries and stray bullets from gang warfare; etc. Most law-abiding gun owners support tougher controls on the purchasing, licensing, background verification and carrying of firearms. Everyone–gun owners or not–would benefit from safer gun standards.
Ironically, many of the same politicians–both at the federal and state levels–who speak-out against Sanctuary Cities, do not give any consideration whatsoever to better gun legislation, or the long-overdue immigration reform. Tighter controls make for safer hunting grounds, firing ranges and neighborhoods. So, why not use a little common sense?
There are two apparent reasons why the GOP does not follow this line of reasoning. Both a greater control of especially our southern border and unfettered gun rights have considerable appeal to their “right”-wing political base. Secondly, the National Rifle Association (NRA), which acts somewhat as the mouthpiece for the weapons and ammunition industry, advocates unfettered weapons laws, and it is a large contributor to political campaigns.
So, until the Republican Party can explain how it can blame the cities and police forces for senseless killings, while it fails to enact proper weapons and immigration legislation for all, it cannot claim any high ground–perhaps on these or any other issues. In effect, maybe their entire agenda is mostly political.
NOTE: The GOP’s visceral focus on our southern border–rather than on all borders–might be an indication of racism. At the same time, diverting additional resources there is somewhat senseless. More illegal immigrants currently enter the U. S. on Visa, and fail to leave. In fact, more illegal immigrants are currently coming from China, rather than Mexico.