In fiscal year 2016, the San Diego Field Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement removed 23,729 people from the United States. More than 12,8oo of them had no criminal convictions at all.
At his State of the State speech last month, California Gov. Jerry Brown was emphatic that he would defend the state’s laws limiting what local law enforcement can do to accommodate federal immigration enforcement efforts.
And then Brown added a promise.
“Let me be clear, we will defend everyone. Every man, woman and child who has come here for a better life and has contributed to the well-being of our state,” he said, provoking a sustained standing ovation from many in the Capitol.
It’s a hollow promise, however, to the tens of thousands of unauthorized immigrants whom the federal government has removed over the past six years Brown has been governor. Many of those deported did not have criminal convictions and lived in what are being called “sanctuary cities.”
“Sanctuary” has a meaning – a place of refuge and safety – and it does not apply to immigrants without the proper papers in these cities. It’s rather evil, in fact, to call a city a sanctuary and communicate any kind of reassurance to those who are not permitted to be here.