Byko: On sanctuary cities, Democrats coddle lawbreakers

Mayor Kenney seems to prefer protecting foreign felons by continuing Philadelphia's designation as a sanctuary city, says Byko.

OUR GOVERNMENT has failed us again.

Although a majority of the Senate voted (53-44, along party lines) Wednesday to strip some federal funding from sanctuary cities, such as Philadelphia, the measure needed 60 votes to pass.

Add this to other things a majority of Americans want and can't get: national background checks for guns, a solvent Social Security fund, affordable higher education, equal justice, etc.

The related Kate's Law, aimed at stopping violent crimes by illegal immigrants, was shot down by Democrats in a 55-42 procedural vote.

In a 2015 poll, Rasmussen Reports found that Americans opposed sanctuary cities by an overwhelming 2-1 vote.

Please remember what enablers of the "undocumented" want to obscure: There are legal immigrants, who follow the rules, and there are illegal immigrants, who overstay their visas or cross a border without permission. They disrespect our laws and take jobs from Americans and soak up social services - from education to hospital services - to which they are not entitled.

Those here illegally are welcomed by some politicians, such as Mayor Kenney, who has promised that through his dangerous sanctuary city policy he will "protect" them. From whom? Our federal government, headed by Barack Obama, who is not the leader of the zombie apocalypse.

The Big Issue is simple: Right versus Wrong, following the rule of law.

The federal government got its shorts in a bunch in 2010 when Arizona started enforcing immigration law. "Stop it!" the Department of Justice told Arizona, it's a federal responsibility. The courts agreed, even though Arizona complained that it had acted because the feds had not.

Now, in about 340 municipalities, officials are creating their own immigration laws by refusing to cooperate with the government, which is required under the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, signed by President Bill Clinton.

It's not just old "bigot" Bykofsky, and two thirds of the American people, who oppose sanctuary cities. The draft Democratic Party platform says, "People should come to the United States with visas and not through smugglers." President Clinton signed the law requiring cooperation with ICE, President Obama has chastised sanctuary cities, former Gov. Ed Rendell has criticized them - you know, all the other "haters."

Did Wednesday's vote have a political dimension? Does the bread always fall jelly side down?

To justify his "nay" vote against punishing sanctuary cities, Democratic Sen. Bob Casey generated the smoke and Windexed the mirrors, saying it would force local police to concentrate on "enforcing federal immigration laws."

Not true. It requires local cops to notify ICE after they have arrested some undocumented person for committing a crime such as drunken driving, drug dealing, counterfeiting, rape, assault, etc.

Republican Sen. Pat Toomey is riding this issue out of personal belief and a sense that it is a winning wedge issue statewide. He may be right. Democrat Katie McGinty, running against Toomey, is showing some daylight between herself and Kenney. McGinty said she wasn't "rejecting" Kenney's unlawful policy, but she has "asked for reconsideration" of it and for communication between the feds and the city.

Too late.

Department of Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson came to Philly in May and asked Kenney for cooperation and was dismissed by Kenney, a lawmaker turned lawbreaker. DHS's job is to protect you. Kenney prefers to protect foreign felons. That's what it amounts to.

In a statement on the failed Senate bill, Kenney said the city does cooperate "when the individual has been charged with a felony crime and when the individual in question has committed violent first- or second-degree felonies." (Italics added.)

Analysis: The city will not turn over to the feds anyone convicted of a first- or second-degree felony unless it involved violence. Heaving a sigh of relief are the foreign burglars, car thieves, drug dealers and bad-check writers. Kenney will protect them from deportation. (Because we don't have enough home-grown criminals in Philly?)

Toomey put it this way: "Sanctuary cities are Orwellian in their logic - they give extra protection to dangerous criminals, just because they happen to be in the country illegally."

ICE is not hunting the garden-variety interlopers, it wants those who are already felons.

Those are people who are protected by Kenney. Can I make it any more clear? Philadelphia is shielding previously convicted foreign felons.

 

No one - except dummkopf Donald Trump - is calling for a roundup. In 2015, Pew Research said 70 percent of Americans want some legal way for the undocumented to remain, but they don't want sanctuary cities.

On Wednesday, the vast majority of Americans were failed by the Senate, almost entirely the Democrats.

Past presidents, and the current one, say that we live under the rule of law and that illegal immigration and sanctuary cities are wrong. You either believe in following the law, or not.

As a Democrat, it pains me to say, in this case my party does not.

stubyko@phillynews.com

215-854-5977 @StuBykofsky

Blog: ph.ly/Byko

Columns: ph.ly/StuBykofsky