Delaware could become the nation’s first “sanctuary state” — endangering all of its legal citizens and effectively crippling both state and local law enforcement. That’s if Senate Bill 60 passes.
The bill facilitates the Delaware driving privilege card, regardless of immigration status.
“Essentially what SB 60 does is makes us a sanctuary state,” Brian Pettyjohn, a Republican state senator who opposes the bill, said. “Using the terms outlined in the bill, it uses state tools to limit what law enforcement can do throughout the state in terms of detaining illegal immigrants. This bill basically gives them a free pass.”
The bill’s primary sponsor, Sen. Brian Townsend (D), said of the measure, “There is a very important consideration that would support the passage of SB 60. A real concern within communities of undocumented Delawareans is that undocumented individuals may hesitate to report crimes for fear of police detaining them simply for being undocumented. This means that victims of domestic abuse might not come forward, and witnesses of child abuse might not come forward.” His comments appeared on delawarepolitics.net.
Townsend had previously indicated that he would not run the bill, but so far he hasn’t stricken it either — so it can still move forward, according to multiple sources. (Update: Townsend withdrew the legislation late Thursday, May 12.)
The bill also facilitates the Delaware driving privilege card, regardless of immigration status.
LifeZette reached out to Townsend but did not hear back.
Many immigrants are in Delaware illegally. In a state of about one million people, at least 50,000 are illegal, said Pettyjohn, yet a smokescreen of misdirection has been effective in swaying legislators and an undiscerning public away from the original crime. Illegal immigration takes a back seat to what should rightfully be a secondary concern — a heavily-promoted and ironic “lack of trust” between illegals and law enforcement that may prevent those breaking our laws from reporting other crimes.
Delaware is currently dealing with a dangerous border jumper named Richard Diaz-Garcia, who has been deported back to the Dominican Republic at least four times since 2000, according to The News Journal. He was sent back to the Dominican Republic after each arrest, and was again arrested in February, according to a recently released FBI document.
Diaz-Garcia had $5,000 in a black bag upon his detainment — more than most Americans have in their bank accounts. He also had almost $400 dollars in cash in his pockets.
“We know this wasn’t just a hardworking guy trying to make a living. He was caught with drugs and cash in our state,” said Pettyjohn. “This is really indicative of the systemic problem that we have with the current immigration system in the U.S. I’m glad we caught him and deported him — but hopefully he’s not already back again.”
Diaz-Garcia has been taking advantage of Delaware for almost two decades. In 1999 he was arrested on drug charges for cocaine — on an intent to distribute charge — as well as resisting arrest, The Journal reported. He was deported. In October 2002, he re-surfaced in New Castle County, Delaware, and was again detained and arrested after resisting officers.
Lucky for Diaz-Garcia, and unlucky for Delawareans, his prior intent to distribute charge was bumped down to a possession of cocaine charge at that time. He was again deported.
Between 2004 and 2007, he was again detained in Delaware and again deported, ping-ponging between the Dominican Republic and the small Eastern Seaboard state. In January 2007, Diaz-Garcia pled guilty to a charge of re-entry by an aggravated felon, and was sentenced to time served by Chief District Judge Gregory M. Sleet. That meant approximately six months, The Journal noted.
“How is it that a repeated felon keeps getting back into Delaware after being deported, not once — but four times?” Nicole Theis, president of the Delaware Family Policy Council, asked. “This man represents a broken and strained system and our government’s response is to give more benefits? Delaware lawmakers should be advocating for policies that allow families and neighborhoods to be protected and to flourish. In this case, it isn’t happening.”
Across the nation in the sanctuary city of San Francisco, that city is trying to bulk up its sanctuary laws — even after 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle’s 2015 murder at the hands of Mexican illegal immigrant Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez. He had been detained on five previous occasions.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors was scheduled to vote this Tuesday on a proposal that directs law officers to notify Immigration and Customs Enforcement only if the illegal immigrant detained is charged with a violent crime and has been convicted within the last seven years, according to ktar.com.
The proposal would prohibit local law enforcement from responding, except in very limited cases, to requests from federal immigration officials for an inmate’s personal information or release date, KQED Radio noted. Supporters of the proposal deem this necessary, following findings earlier this year that police violated the current sanctuary city law by releasing San Francisco resident Pedro Figueroa-Zarceno to federal immigration agents.
“We have a broken system — and certain states, cities, and jurisdictions want to turn a blind eye and not use law enforcement capabilities to correct this.”
So, in essence — cooperation between U.S. law enforcement agencies is not as important as the rights of criminals.
Tuesday’s vote was postponed. Supervisor John Avalos said he did not want the Board of Supervisors to decide the sanctuary city question without support from Sheriff Vicki Hennessy, dailypress.net reported.
Also in San Francisco, El Salvador native Figueroa-Zarceno is now going through deportation proceedings after he went to San Francisco police last year to report that his car was missing. He was in custody for two months.
“What happened to me was an injustice,” he said through an interpreter on Monday, said ABC News. “They unjustly deprived me of my liberties for two months.”
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A little further east, illegal immigrant Sergio Amador-Olive was arrested last week in Salt Lake City, Utah, by federal authorities, after failing to register as a sex offender. Amador-Olive was first convicted in March 2003 on two counts of unlawful sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl. He was a priority for immigration enforcement, according to a press release from ICE.
Some hard truths about who may be coming across the border are right in front of us: Amador-Olive assaulted and impregnated a teen, changing her life forever. Diaz-Garcia was caught with drugs and cash, and was originally charged with an intent to sell cocaine. Lopez-Sanchez murdered Kate Steinle while “shooting at sea lions” in the Pacific Ocean, according to his statement to officials upon his arrest.
Far from the picture liberals seek to portray of all immigrants being hardworking and seeking greater opportunities on our shores, these three repeat criminals are the stuff of our worst nightmares.
In Delaware, Pettyjohn and others are keeping the laws of the land and the rights of the American citizenry firmly in mind.
“First and foremost in the minds of my constituents is their safety, and that of their family. I am all for legal immigration,” he said. “But we do have a broken system — and certain states, cities, and jurisdictions want to turn a blind eye and not use their law enforcement capabilities in helping to correct this brokenness.”