By Marsha Blackburn
July 12, 2018
Kate Steinle was shot and killed on a San Francisco pier three years ago this month. Her death came at the hands of an illegal alien who had been previously deported five times and was a convicted felon. It also ignited a national discussion about sanctuary city policies that is still going. Unfortunately, Democrats’ new proposal to abolish the department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is moving the immigration debate in an unhealthy direction.
Sanctuary cities threaten public safety, cost taxpayers money and encourage more illegal immigration. However, the conversation has moved beyond cities, as states are now declaring themselves sanctuaries that will not comply with federal law. I was pleased that the Tennessee state legislature recently passed a bill that became law to ban sanctuary policies.
Encouraging legal immigration is fairer to those migrants who do follow our laws and it deters illegal entry if there is no false hope of amnesty. There was an average of over 490,000 apprehensions along our southwest border per year between FY2013 and FY2017 according to Customs and Border Patrol. We need more interior enforcement, not less.
Democrats’ recent proposal to abolish ICE is not a rational position by any objective standard. ICE’s mission “focuses on smart immigration enforcement, preventing terrorism and combatting the illegal movement of people and trade.” They form part of the “Thin Blue Line” that made over 4,800 gang related arrests in FY2017 while protecting Tennesseans from groups such as MS-13. ICE is also “one of the primary agencies responsible for combatting human trafficking,” which involves the exploitation of children under the age of 18.