San Francisco is known as one of the United States’ top “sanctuary cities”. Sanctuary cities are areas throughout the United States that label themselves as a safe havens for undocumented immigrants. The municipal governments in these areas refuse to work with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement in the detainment and deportation of illegal aliens.
Sanctuary policies differ by area, but overall, they allow undocumented illegals access to the same basic services and protection as citizens; such as: emergency services, health care, library privileges, education, food banks, emergency shelters, and public recreation facilities.
Some consider these cities to be hideouts for illegal criminals and a threat to national security, while others believe it to be an accepting way to allow these vibrant arrivals to become contributors of the community. The recent murder of Katherine Steinle has created much debate over these sanctuaries.
Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, a 45-year old illegal alien, has confessed to the murder of Ms. Steinle and admitted that he was under the influence when she was killed. Mr. Sanchez has used over 30 aliases and has a criminal record that dates back almost 25 years. He has served three federal prison sentences for felony illegal re-entry into the United States after having been deported.
Ms. Steinle’s murder has not only caused an uproar in regards to undocumented illegals in sanctuary cities like San Francisco, but it has unveiled a serious issue with illegal re-entry.
San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee emphasized that their city’s “sanctuary policy” was “not intended to protect repeat, serious and/or violent felons” however, Sanchez was released by local authorities in April even though Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has placed a detainer request on him. The sheriff’s department ignored the ICE detainer because sanctuary cities overlook federal immigration laws.
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