Friday, August 10, 2007

Stop Hitting Yourself

It's been a rough week in Newark, NJ.
In a city where gun violence has become an all too common part of daily life, these shootings were enough to chill even the most hardened residents: Four young friends shot execution-style in a schoolyard just days before they were to head to college.

Three were killed after being forced to kneel against a wall and then shot in the head at close range Saturday night, police said.

Talk about your effect on the community.
"Anyone who has children in the city is in panic mode," Donna Jackson, president of Take Back Our Streets, a community-based organization. "It takes something like this for people to open up their eyes and understand that not every person killed in Newark is a drug dealer."

But now, the plot thickens with the arrests of suspects.
Details about Carranza's background emerged Friday as police looked for three more suspects.

Carranza had been using a bogus Social Security number, Sheriff Armando Fontoura said. Carranza is an undocumented immigrant from Peru, his lawyer acknowledged in court.

Oh, but it gets better.
Carranza had been scheduled to appear in court Monday to answer two previous indictments. One accuses him of sexually assaulting and threatening to kill a 13-year-old, a girlfriend's child. Another charges him with an array of assault and weapons offenses.

Caveats, of course; Newark's police could be doing their roundup of usual suspects, and it seems quite obvious that they know this guy fairly well. Besides, why does it really matter?

Because Newark is a sanctuary city, in which its ordinances specifically prohibit law enforcement officers from asking about immigration status or cooperating with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Which is likely why this guy, despite having been indicted for numerous other crimes, was still walking the streets, free as a bird, versus being detained and deported, as US immigration law requires.

What I really don't get is why a police department like Newark, which is by all accounts overwhelmed in a city where crime is surging, is not using the fact that los Federales are more than willing to get these people, whose very presence is breaking the law in the first place, off the streets and out of the country. And it's not just about keeping "rich whites" safe; it would be the height of inanity to argue that people who would allegedly commit these sort of crimes outside their ethnic community are not doing the same or worse inside it.

After all, Colorado, for one, didn't waste any time passing a law explicitly blocking cities and other legal entities from passing laws or formulating policies to stop police officers from doing exactly that -- although, granted, that was after two police officers were killed by an illegal immigrant who, thanks to Denver's sanctuary policy, had been previously stopped for traffic violations multiple times without having his immigration status checked and who had worked under false documentation at a restaurant owned by the then-mayor of Denver.

But, until more people start speaking up, people will be in the amusing (or sickly ironic) situation like I am, stuck in a metropolis where the City Attorney and so-called "progressives" are trying to use all sorts of quasi-legal machinations to stop gang activities while ignoring the obvious -- that merely checking and acting upon immigration status for the ones the SFPD has already arrested would give him the means to instantly imprison and get rid of a large chunk of the worst offenders.

But then they'd lose votes, both from the community and the ones they purchase, and we can't have that now, can we?

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