Flashback: ICE Director Recants Opposition To Sanctuary City Policies

Following the shooting death of a woman by a multiple …
AP Photo/Gregory Bull

Following the shooting death of a woman by a multiple deportee illegal immigrant at a San Francisco pier, the alleged murderer says he chose to live in San Francisco because it is a “sanctuary city.”

Months ago, fresh into her position as head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE Director Sarah Saldana embraced the idea of new laws dealing with sanctuary cities while testifying before Congress.

A day later, however, Saldana walked back her comments.

As the Washington Times reported at the time:

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Sarah Saldana, who has been on the job less than 90 days, told Congress she would welcome new laws to crack down on states and localities that refuse to cooperate with her agents who are trying to apprehend and deport illegal immigrants.

“Thank you, Amen,” she said Thursday when asked if she would support Congress passing a law insisting local officials cooperate.

Her remarks drew fire from immigrant-rights advocates, and on Friday she had to issue a new statement saying she does not, in fact, want to see Congress pass any new crackdown laws.

“Any effort at federal legislation now to mandate state and local law enforcement’s compliance with ICE detainers will, in our view, be a highly counterproductive step and lead to more resistance and less cooperation in our overall efforts to promote public safety,” she said in an effort to walk back her previous statement to Congress.

News reports reveal that the five-time deportee, seven-time convicted felon and now alleged murderer Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez chose San Francisco because of its sanctuary city policies.

ICE has highlighted out the case demonstrates the purpose of immigration detainers, to keep the public safe.

“ICE places detainers on aliens arrested on criminal charges to ensure dangerous criminals are not released from prisons or jails into our communities. The agency remains committed to working collaboratively with its law enforcement partners to ensure the public’s safety,” agency said in a statement.