Jeh Johnson laid into sanctuary city policies that actively hinder the efforts of immigration officials to enforce U.S. law in the wake of the July shooting death of Kate Steinle in San Francisco.
“It is counterproductive to public safety to have this level of resistance to working with our immigration enforcement personnel,” said Johnson, who is Secretary of Homeland Security, at a Tuesday event in San Francisco, according to the Associated Press.
Five-times deportee, seven-time convicted felon Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez stands charged for the July 1 killing of Steinle.
Despite a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) hold lodged regarding Lopez-Sanchez in March, sanctuary city policies prompted the Sheriff’s Department to refrain from notifying ICE when Lopez-Sanchez was released back into the U.S. in March.
San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi has stated that no ICE detainer request will be automatically honored, and that a court order is required to detain an illegal alien in his city.
“It is simply in my judgment not acceptable to have no policy of cooperation with immigration enforcement. We’re all interested in getting criminals off the streets,” Johnson said Tuesday.
The issue is far from new, as estimates indicate 5,000 Americans a year are victimized in crimes committed by illegal aliens. Breitbart News has reported on families who have lost loved ones under such circumstances.
Sanctuary city policies may prevent city authorities from holding an individual for an extended period of time; however, that generally does not prevent authorities from notifying immigration officials that a illegal alien felon has been detained according to the AP.
Lopez-Sanchez confessed to firing the gun that killed Steinle, but has pleaded not guilty. Lopez-Sanchez has said that he previously chose San Francisco for its lax immigration enforcement policies.
Sheriff Mirkarimi has argued that sanctuary city policies “make us safer.”
Breitbart News reported last week on figures from Judicial Watch showing that during the period between 2011 and 2015 in San Francisco, as sanctuary city policies expanded, arrests for murder jumped 55 per cent.
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana