By BETHANY BLANKLEY
THE CENTER SQUARE CONTRIBUTOR
(The Center Square) – As Texas Gov. Greg Abbott continues to bus foreign nationals who’ve entered the U.S. illegally to New York City, a new report reveals that the Big Apple is the most dangerous so-called “Sanctuary Community” in America.
According to data compiled by the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), the 10 most dangerous Sanctuary Communities are New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Seattle, Wake County, North Carolina, Middlesex County, New Jersey, and Portland.
“These communities have earned their places on this list because of incredibly poor leadership at the city, county and state levels,” Dale Wilcox, IRLI’s executive director and general counsel, said. “Data overwhelmingly shows that sanctuary policies lead to more crime, fear and death. The leaders of these communities should not escape accountability for the damage they have caused. Their residents deserve much more.”
Sanctuary Communities refer to those where government policies discourage law enforcement officials from complying with federal immigration law, according to the Franklin County Law Library, located in Columbus, Ohio, which has implemented sanctuary city policies. Such communities generally refuse to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to detain and remove aliens.
But these policies “only provide sanctuary to criminals, not to immigrant communities,” Tom Homan, IRLI senior fellow and former acting director of ICE said. “Immigrant communities don’t want criminals in their neighborhoods either. Victims and witnesses of crime don’t want the offender back in their communities to seek revenge. All communities deserve protection from criminals but sanctuary policies put immigrant communities at greater risk of crime.”
According to the report, New York City ranks as the most dangerous city because of its policies. It cites numerous examples, including city officials not complying with ICE subpoenas related to criminal aliens in New York City; city officials releasing more than 7,500 people onto the streets with murder and sex abuse convictions; and prohibiting residents from using the term, “illegal alien,” threatening them with fines up to $250,000.
Second most dangerous is Los Angeles, which has “become a safe haven for criminals of all stripes since District Attorney George Gascon was sworn into office in late 2020,” the report states. It points to county officials voting in 2020 “to pay $14 million to illegal aliens who had previously been held in detention,” and to Mayor Eric Garcetti pledging to defy federal immigration authorities.
It also points to a report that found that in fiscal 2019, ICE sought “to arrest 11,000 illegal aliens in Los Angeles, but only 5 percent were turned over;” and “84.2 percent of illegal aliens ICE sought to remove from California were allowed to stay.”
Chicago, the third most dangerous according to the report, “has become a lawless hellscape” under Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who’s “maintained its commitment to be a haven for criminal aliens seeking to avoid accountability from federal immigration laws,” the report states.
In 2020, Mayor Lightfoot signed an executive order making “illegal aliens eligible for all city benefits,” and a city ordinance prohibiting city officials “from cooperating with ICE to detain illegal aliens, even if the alien is in the city’s gang database or is facing criminal charges.” In 2019, Cook County District Attorney Kimberly Foxx also hired an advisor to shield criminal aliens from deportation.
Requests for comment from the mayor’s offices in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago were not immediately returned.
Fifth-worst San Francisco dropped from its 2019 most dangerous city ranking, not because it improved, the report notes, but because “the cities above it have become comparatively worse.”
Prior to California becoming a “Sanctuary State” after the passing of SB 54, the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department refused to honor more than 530 federal immigration hold requests, the report notes. Among them, 345 were classified as threat level 1 and 2 offenses, including espionage, terrorist threats, arson/incendiary devices, bombing offenses, homicide, kidnapping, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, sale and possession of drugs, money laundering, burglary, fraud and forgery.
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is from San Francisco, has previously pushed back against ICE deportations, asking, “In terms of interior enforcement, what is the purpose? What is the point?”
The point is national security, Gov. Abbott argues. More than 80 terrorists on the FBI’s Terrorist Watchlist “have been encountered along our southern border since President [Joe] Biden took office,” Gov. Abbott said. The watchlist is a federal database that compiles all known or suspected terrorists, most of whom aren’t U.S. citizens.
President Biden’s “refusal to secure the border is a direct threat to our national security,” Gov. Abbott said. “Texas is stepping up to protect Americans from these dangerous criminals.”
Since Gov. Abbott launched Texas’ border security effort, Operation Lone Star, law enforcement officials have apprehended more than 297,200 people who’ve illegally entered Texas, made more than 19,000 criminal arrests, more than 16,400 felony charges and seized more than 335.5 million lethal doses of fentanyl.
Texas has also bused nearly 10,000 people from the southern border to the sanctuary cities of New York City (1,500) and Washington, D.C. (7,400).