Posted on December 24, 2020

Sanctuary Nation?

Dave Seminara, City Journal, December 22, 2020

The powers that be in California’s Santa Clara County have forbidden contact sports—including San Francisco 49ers games, which will be held in Arizona—for the remainder of the season, due to rising Covid-19 cases. Such overreach in California’s sixth-largest county, justified by claims to enhance public safety, is ironic, given Santa Clara’s lax sanctuary policies, which have recently resulted in tragic deaths.

Last month, a thrice-deported illegal immigrant with a long history of violent crime stabbed five people, killing two, John Paulson, 45, and Kimberly Susan Fial, 55, at the Grace Baptist Church in San Jose. The suspect, Fernando De Jesus Lopez-Garcia, has been in and out of prison, but Santa Clara County’s sanctuary policies prohibit any cooperation between local officials and federal immigration authorities. ICE has issued multiple requests for his detention, including one last summer, when he was sentenced to 327 days in prison for inflicting corporal injury on his spouse. Though Lopez-Garcia has a criminal record that also includes convictions for assault with a deadly weapon, battery of an officer, and vandalism, local officials were barred from letting ICE know when he was in custody.

{snip} Last year, Carlos Eduardo Arevalo Carranza, a previously deported gang member and illegal alien from El Salvador, beat and stabbed Bambi Larson to death in her home. Carranza had convictions for possession of methamphetamine, false imprisonment, and burglary at the time of the murder.

Releasing to the streets gang members eligible for deportation is nothing new in Santa Clara County. ICE published a report in 2018 detailing that 142 gang members whom the agency was seeking to deport during a nine-month period in 2017 were released by local law enforcement rather than being transferred to federal custody; Santa Clara County led the nation, releasing 22 gang members. A 2015 report found that the Santa Clara County jail housed the most criminal aliens whom ICE was seeking to deport of any correctional facility in the country.


Joe Biden and other Democrats have spent the last four years repeating the mantra “no one is above the law.” Yet Biden has advocated policies that would, as the San Francisco Chronicle recently noted, effectively make the United States a sanctuary country. A little-noticed bullet point in his platform calls for the reversal of Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which allows for cooperation between local law enforcement and ICE.