AUGUST 15, 2007
Dozens of cities across the nation have proudly become illegal immigrant sanctuaries, but officials in one municipality are pondering the status after a Peruvian man with a felony record massacred three college-bound students.
Had authorities in Newark New Jersey contacted federal immigration officials after illegal alien Jose Carranzaâ??s first felony indictment last year he would have been deported and therefore prevented from murdering three innocent youngsters in a schoolyard this month.
Instead Carranza was released on bail, despite being charged with raping a 5-year-old girl and aggravated assault and weapons violations. This week he was charged with the gruesome execution-style murders of three college-bound students, ages 18 to 20.
The shootings evidently pushed Newark authorities to violate their sanctuary policy and contact federal immigration officials who had not been previously informed about Carranzaâ??s crime spree. If they had, Carranza would have placed in removal proceedings after his first felony arrest in October 2006.
But like a growing number of municipalities across the nation, Newark is an official illegal immigrant â??Sanctuary Cityâ? in which police cannot ask a suspect about immigration status. Other sanctuary havens include Detroit, San Francisco, Seattle, Houston and New Haven.
Some states–such as Alaska, Oregon and New Jersey–actually have blanket sanctuary laws. In fact, New Jersey passed legislation in 2006 that bars law enforcement agencies throughout the Garden State from asking about immigration status.
After the measure blew up in their collective faces with this horrific case, lawmakers are reconsidering the consequences. Now a Newark city councilman wants to sponsor legislation urging local police to call immigration authorities upon arresting undocumented aliens because it â??helps law enforcement go after bad people in our community.â?
One newspaper editorial suggests that illegal immigrants charged with serious crimes such as rape and murder should not ever be release on bail. It also urges county prosecutors to notify federal immigration officials of adjudicated illegal aliens whether or not they get convicted.
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