State and local officials who frustrate immigration enforcement through “sanctuary” policies should be prosecuted, the founder of an advocacy organization for the victims of illegal immigrant crime said Thursday.
Maria Espinoza, national director of The Remembrance Project, said on “The Laura Ingraham Show” that sanctuary policies violate the alien-smuggling statute.
“Americans are finally, really need to be, fed up, and reach out to legislators and tell them that they want these elected officials prosecuted … Those municipalities, individuals, need to be prosecuted and placed behind a jail cell so that they will no longer be able to implement these, you know, anti-American [policies] and lawlessness,” she told guest host Paul Viollis.
Espinoza adds her name to a growing list of people who are urging the Department of Justice (DOJ) to take that radical step. Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Thomas Homan said last month that it should at least be considered.
Espinoza founded The Remembrance Project after watching a news report in her hometown of Houston about an illegal immigrant who killed a police officer. She said the report referenced a different police officer who died at the hands of an illegal immigrant as well.
Espinoza said she soon realized there was an “epidemic of killings of Americans all across the United States, not just Texas.”
“That is the rude awakening that people need to pay attention to.”
She said that when cities and counties — and now some states — shield illegal immigrant criminals from ICE — it makes it more likely that Americans will be victimized.
“It’s very disturbing, Paul, And you’re absolutely right,” she said. “The more that we did the research and dove into this problem ourselves, we found how the statistics that we really should have at our fingertips, every American taxpayer should have their fingertips, but the statistics [were] kept from us.”
Espinoza said sanctuary policies are a symptom of a larger problem — the tendency of politicians to champion illegal immigrants over citizens.
“That is the rude awakening that people need to pay attention to,” she said.
The consequences, Espinoza added, literally are life and death.
“Every killing and crime perpetrated upon an American citizen was 100 percent preventable,” she said.
Espinoza said that when she started The Remembrance Project, she had no idea it would become the protracted struggle it has turned into: “I never thought that we would find ourselves here. I thought maybe two or three years, max, to raise awareness and that we would be OK because we would educate the elected officials, and they would do their job.”
“You know, I liked my other life, Paul. This isn’t fun, you know, waking up every morning and listening to, you know, the news and yet another innocent American being killed, you know — and all senseless.”