Sanctuary Cities and the Philippines

Grind for February 17th
“Treasure your relationships, not your possessions.”

– Anthony J. D’Angelo

Getting Serious

The Headline

Justice Department announces “significant escalation” in the fight against sanctuary cities

The Grind

Speaking to an annual gathering of sheriffs in Washington on Monday, Attorney General Bill Barr announced a series of lawsuits against jurisdictions that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

The Department of Justice is suing the state of New Jersey based on a 2018 directive which requires police to give detained illegals a heads-up if ICE files a detainer request for them and prevents police from sharing information about inmates’ immigration status with ICE.

The DOJ is suing King County, Washington for a policy that prevents the DHS from using the county’s international airport to deport illegal immigrants and is suing the state of California over a new law that blocks the use of for-profit detention facilities – which are commonly used by federal agencies to house illegal immigrants.

The Details

The DOJ will also be conducting an unprecedented review of district attorneys for actions that protect illegals, such as charging an individual with a smaller crime in order to avoid the federal repercussions of a larger crime.

“We will consider taking action against any jurisdiction that, or any politician who, unlawfully obstructs the federal enforcement of immigration law,” promised Barr.

“Let us state the reality upfront and as clearly as possible. When we are talking about sanctuary cities, we are talking about policies that are designed to allow criminal aliens to escape. These policies are not about people who came to our country illegally but have otherwise been peaceful and productive members of society. Their express purpose is to shelter aliens whom local law enforcement has already arrested for other crimes. This is neither lawful nor sensible.”

During his speech, Barr cited several instances in which illegal immigrants committed violent crimes after they were protected by sanctuary policies.

Last month in New York City, a 92-year-old woman was raped and killed by an illegal immigrant who had been released from custody despite ICE’s detainer request. The man was initially arrested for assaulting his father.

In Washington State, an illegal immigrant convicted with four prior removals was released from prison even after fighting with jail staff. He was arrested for murder and dismemberment in January 2018.

“Enforcing a country’s immigration laws is an essential function of the national government,” said Barr. “And no national government can enforce those laws properly if state and local governments are getting in the way. While federal law does not require that ‘sanctuary jurisdictions’ actively assist with federal immigration enforcement; it does prohibit them from interfering with our enforcement efforts.”

Locked Out

The Headline

Filipino President ends military agreement with US

The Grind

At the behest of President Rodrigo Duterte, the Filipino government this week announced the termination of a security agreement allowing US forces to train there.

The 1999 Visiting Forces Agreement allowed US military personnel to participate in joint exercises and trainings in the Philippines without passport and visa regulations.

Last month, Duterte threatened to end the VFA after the Trump Administration revoked the US visa belonging to Ronald dela Rosa, a Filipino lawmaker who enforced Duterte’s violent war on drugs.

“It’s about time we rely on ourselves,” said Salvador Panelo, a spokesman for Duterte. “We will strengthen our own defenses and not rely on any other country.”

The Details

It is unclear how Duterte’s decision will affect Manila’s fight against terrorist group Abu Sayyaf in Mindanao or if it will lead to the termination of Manila’s Mutual Defense Treaty with the United States.

The US has provided roughly $550 million in military assistance to the Philippines each year since 2016 and has kept up to 100 troops in Mindanao to help fight terrorists there.

“Terminating the VFA will negatively impact the Philippine security and defense arrangements, as well as the overall bilateral relations of the Philippines with the US, and perhaps even on the sub-regional level,” argues Filipino politician Teddy Locsin. “Our contribution to regional defense is anchored on our military alliance with the world’s last superpower.”

Did you know… The first coast-to-coast telephone line was established in 1914.