The Consequences of Sanctuary Policies and What You Can Do about It

By Dave Gibson
Volume 23, Number 2 (Winter 2013)
Issue theme: "Moving forward"

In 2010, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli issued a legal opinion that police officers across the state of Virginia could inquire into the immigration status of anyone they encounter during the course of an investigation.

Virginia Beach Sheriff Ken Stolle took issue with that opinion, telling the Virginian-Pilot: “Why would a police officer be asking that? And what does he do if they refuse to answer?”

“It’s really a ridiculous issue,” Stolle added.

Of course, for Virginia Beach law enforcement, immigration enforcement is quite a touchy issue.

The city’s de facto “sanctuary policy” came to light in 2007, when two teenaged girls were killed by a drunk-driving illegal alien with a long arrest record.

On March 30, 2007, a Mexican national named Alfredo Ramos slammed into the rear of a vehicle in which Allison Kuhnhardt and Tessa Tranchant were stopped while waiting at a traffic light.

Ramos, 22, was traveling at a high rate of speed and was drunk at the time (he blew a .14 BAC). The two high school students had to be cut from their crumpled car and both died a short time after being transported to the hospital. Ramos suffered only a busted lip.

Though an illegal alien, Ramos had been living in Virginia Beach for quite a while and worked at a local Mexican restaurant known as Mi Casita. Ramos had also been previously convicted of three separate charges of public intoxication, identity theft, and even a DUI, but continued to live in the area. He speaks only Spanish and required an interpreter at all of his court proceedings.

The girls whom Ramos killed were ages 16 and 17. Tessa’s brother, Dylan, was tasked with identifying his little sister’s body.

Dylan, a Marine, had only been home from Iraq for two weeks, when his sister was killed.

The case gained national fame thanks to the reporting of Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, who helped expose Virginia Beach as a haven for illegal aliens.

O’Reilly placed the spotlight on that city’s Mayor Meyra Obendorf and Police Chief Jake Jacocks, and accurately characterized the resort town as a place where drunken Mexican invaders are allowed to roam freely.

Immediately after the case was reported, Chief Jake Jacocks went on the offensive and claimed that O’Reilly was wrong in focusing on the fact that Ramos was an illegal alien. He accused the Fox News commentator of turning the girls’ deaths into a “political issue.”

However, local ABC affiliate WVEC showed that the police chief was at least somewhat culpable in the tragedy, as they reported that “Chief Jacocks says the policy of not reporting illegals until after three DUI charges was his idea. He hoped it would let illegal immigrants feel comfortable if they were involved in an accident.”

Mayor Obendorf told reporters: “I never want anyone to miss the fact that someone who was drunk caused the death of two innocent young women, and it had nothing to do with nationality or anyone doing anything inappropriate as far as the government is concerned.”

While the leadership of Virginia Beach has never formally declared the city to be a “sanctuary” for illegal aliens, the way the leadership of Chicago or Tucson have done, it is every bit the haven to invaders that those two cities provide. Virginia Beach is dominated by hotels, restaurants, and housing developers, all of which hire tremendous numbers of illegal aliens.

Hotel owners often declare that they could simply not operate without the influx of Mexican and Central American nationals, who can frequently be seen passed out drunk on the beach during the summer. The city has also seen thousands of over-priced cookie cutter homes built in the last several years, most of which have been constructed by illegal Mexican labor.

The building boom turned local convenience and home improvement store parking lots into gathering spots for groups of often drunken Latino men.

While the city is very happy to rake in huge profits in increased real estate taxes, they pass precious little of that revenue on to the citizens. While having a population of 450,000 residents, Virginia Beach still heavily relies on volunteer rescue squads for medical emergencies.

Though city leaders bristled at his accusations, Bill O’Reilly got it right, as anyone who lives in or near Virginia Beach can attest to the unlawful transformation of this once beautiful city.

In December 2009, two illegal aliens (Alberto Fuertes Loredo and Isidor Loredo Amaya) were charged with murder. When this reporter initially called the Virginia Beach Correctional Facility and asked a deputy about the immigration status of Loredo and Amaya, I was put on hold for quite some time. When the young man came back on the line, he directed me to another deputy. When I called that number and received no answer, I started the process over again.

I was then told that whether or not ICE had placed a hold on the two was “privileged information” and he could not tell me. In fact, until I pressed him, he would not even tell me whether or not the Mexican nationals had been formally charged.

Despite the deputy’s insistence, the suspects’ immigration status is public information, but it was obvious he was only following orders from his superiors.

The rise in crime in Virginia Beach that can be attributed to illegal aliens is no doubt embarrassing to city officials. However, unless the city begins to take seriously the threat posed by the illegal aliens which they have welcomed, they will continue to be asked uncomfortable questions as that city’s death toll rises.

I would invite Sheriff Stolle to tell Tessa’s parents, Ray and Collette Tranchant, that he thinks enforcing immigration laws is “ridiculous.”

Of course, “sanctuary policies” have very deadly consequences for this nation’s police officers as well.

In June 2011, the illegal alien accused of killing Houston police officer Kevin Will, was in court for his formal arraignment.

Prosecutors told District Judge Mike Anderson that Johoan Rodriguez, 26, is a member of a notoriously violent Salvadoran street gang.

“He’s an admitted member of MS-13,” said Assistant Harris County District Attorney Catherine Evans.

It was also revealed that the Mexican national has been twice deported.

On May 29, 2011, Houston police arrested Rodriguez, after he allegedly drove his car past a road block on the 610 North Loop, striking and killing Officer Will.

Will was investigating a hit-and-run accident when he was struck by Rodriguez’ Volkswagen Bug. Though the officer could not get out of the way in time, he did manage to warn a citizen of the speeding vehicle.

The officer’s body was dragged for some distance along the highway at estimated speeds of 80 mph.

According to police, the illegal alien had .3 grams of cocaine in his pocket at the time of his arrest. He also had a blood alcohol level of .238.

The illegal alien is charged with intoxication manslaughter, evading arrest, and drug possession.

The young officer, 38-year-old Officer Kevin Will, left behind a wife and two children, ages 6 and 10. His wife was six months pregnant at the time of his death.

Officer Will was only the latest Houston police officer to be killed in the line of duty by an illegal alien.

What follows is a list of those fallen officers:

• Officer Gary Gryder

On June 29, 2008, Officer Gryder was working traffic control when drunken Vietnamese national Hung Truong crashed through a construction barrier and ran him over. Officer Gryder was taken to the hospital, where he later died of his injuries.

Several witnesses claimed that Turong was seen laughing as he was taken into custody.

At his arraignment, Harris County Assistant District Attorney Denise Bradley said: “The officers reported bizarre behavior on the part of the defendant at the scene while they were conducting their investigation. He appeared to be incoherent. He was laughing uncontrollably. There were times he’d sit on the pavement. We don’t have a clear indicator of what caused the behavior.”

Truong was charged with manslaughter, but has yet to be tried pending a final mental health evaluation.

Officer Gryder was a 23-year veteran of the Houston Police Dept., and left behind a wife and three children.

• Officer Rodney Johnson

On September 21, 2006, Officer Rodney Johnson, 40, was shot and killed while making a routine traffic stop. The man that murdered him had been deported back to Mexico seven years earlier. However, due to the federal government’s refusal to defend the Mexican border, this human predator easily re-entered the United States, eventually killing a brave police officer.

Officer Johnson stopped a commercial vehicle traveling 20 miles over the posted speed limit. The truck was driven by Mexican national Juan Leonardo Quintero. A co-worker and Quintero’s two step-daughters were also in the vehicle.

When Quintero was unable to provide any form of identification, Johnson handcuffed him and placed him in the back seat of his patrol car. Once the officer was seated behind the wheel again, Quintero, though handcuffed, removed the 9mm handgun concealed in his waistband and began firing at Johnson through the plastic shield separating the front and back seats. Johnson was shot in the head five times. He was pronounced dead shortly after being taken to a local hospital.

Officer Johnson was a 12-year veteran of the Houston Police Department and a U.S. Army veteran. While serving on the HPD, he received two Lifesaving Awards, and left behind his wife Joslyn (also a police officer) and five children.

In 2006, Clara Rodriguez, who lived in the neighborhood where Johnson patroled, had this to say about the murdered officer: “He was just so very nice. He was not ever mean. It just breaks my heart. I feel so very bad for his wife. He got up and went to work this morning, and this is what happened. This is what happened to one of the people who protects us, who truly took care of us.”

Juan Leonardo Quintero had prior arrests in Houston. He is a convicted child molester and DWI offender, and was deported to Mexico by U.S. immigration officials in 1999. He had been working for a Houston area landscaping company and, despite a previous DUI conviction, Quintero was driving a company vehicle at the time Ofc. Johnson stopped him.

On May 20, 2008, a Houston jury sentenced Quintero to spend the rest of his life in prison.

Before sentencing Johnson´s sister was allowed to make a statement; she said: “Juan Quintero is not remorseful, and he is not insane. Losing a loved one the way that we did, and we have is enough to drive someone insane. None of us have displayed such disgraceful and despicable behavior towards him as he has shown this family.”

Shortly before the decision was read, news cameras inside the courtroom caught Quintero smiling and laughing with his defense attorney.

• Officer Henry Canales

On June 23, 2009, Officer Canales was shot to death by a Mexican national while assigned to an undercover operation targeting a group of individuals trafficking in stolen merchandise.

The illegal alien, Roberto Carrillo, was then shot to death by other officers.

Carrillo was deported in 1999 and had actually been ticketed four times since 2002, but was never reported to federal immigration authorities, due to Houston’s sanctuary policy.

Despite the evidence that “sanctuary policies” always result in more crime, liberal politicians just can’t seem to help themselves…

In April 2011, Montgomery County Council member Nancy Navarro, along other council members, introduced a resolution opposing the implementation of the Secure Communities program. The federal program mandates localities to submit the fingerprints of all arrestees and identifies illegal aliens in for deportation.

Montgomery County, which is reportedly home to a third of the state’s Latino population, has yet to participate in Secure Communities.

Council member Nancy Navarro said her resolution would urge police to continue to only report “individuals who have been charged with a violent crime, rather than all individuals who have been arrested for any offense, which could include traffic and other offenses.”

Navarro told NBC Washington: “It sends a message to the community that everybody can be a target and therefore disproportionally affects the ability to collaborate with law enforcement,” she said. “I don’t think it’s what we want to do in Montgomery County.”

After several high profile murders were committed by illegal aliens in Montgomery County, county officials were forced to change their policy in reporting criminal aliens to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. However, as Judicial Watch pointed out, Montgomery County police only report illegal aliens to the feds when they have been arrested for a very serious crime such as rape or murder.

Illegal aliens arrested for burglary, simple assault, and most weapons violations are still not reported to ICE for deportation. Just as with any offender, bail is set for them and they are released back onto the streets to either commit more crimes in the county or to flee elsewhere.

On February 16, 2010, police in Prince William County, Virginia, filed charges against Marcos Banegas, 26, for forcible sodomy and aggravated sexual battery on an 8-year-old girl. The Honduran national has been on the run ever since, and remains at large.

It was a crime that could have been prevented if police in Montgomery County, Maryland, would have reported him to Immigration and Customs Enforcement when they had Banegas in custody. A year before he was charged with raping the girl in Virginia, he was arrested for second-degree assault on a child in Maryland.

However, because Montgomery County had an official policy against the police notifying ICE of a suspect’s illegal immigration status, Banegas was simply released after the charges were dropped by the girl’s mother, who was apparently dating Banegas.

Of course, Banegas would have been set free anyway by Montgomery County. Evidently, assaults are not considered violent enough.

A few months ago, Montgomery County spokesman Patrick Lacefield defended the policy, telling the Washington Examiner: “People need to be held responsible for the crimes they commit. Reporting every single crime would be putting county police in the position of enforcing federal immigration policy.”

The following is a short list of some of the violent crimes recently committed by illegal aliens in Montgomery County, Maryland:

In July 2009, Edwin Umana, 21, was stabbed to death by seven Hispanic gang members.

In November 2008, Tai Lam, 14, was shot to death on a crowded bus by 20-year-old MS-13 member and Takoma Park resident Hector Mauricio Hernandez. This killing could have been avoided if Hernandez had been reported to federal authorities a month earlier, when the illegal alien was released after being caught carrying a concealed weapon.

In October 2008, police arrested Honduran national Jose Juan Garcia-Perlera, 33, for the murder of Frances Havenstein, 63, after being linked to the crime with DNA evidence. He was also charged with several counts of robbery in a string of home invasions which targeted elderly homeowners. He always tied-up his victims, one of whom was 92 years old.

At the time of his arrest, Garcia-Perlera was living in Hyattsville, Maryland, and working for an electrical contractor. He had been in the country illegally for six years.

In September 2008, while at a local mall, a Gaithersburg teenager was stabbed nearly 50 times by gang members Ricardo Mejia, 16, Oswaldo Michael Lainez, 16, Omar Diaz, 16, and Edgar Garcia, 15. Though he was stabbed in the heart, the teen survived the attack. All of the assailants were charged as adults with attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault, reckless endangerment, and two conspiracy charges.

In April 2009, Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger announced that criminal activity committed by illegal alien gangs MS-13 and the Latin Kings had increased significantly and accounted for the higher numbers of serious crimes such as rape, robbery, and murder.

According to the Maryland State’s Attorney’s Office, there are 40 active gangs in Montgomery County with a total of about 1,150 members.

Chief of the FBI’s MS-13 National Gang Task Force, Aaron Escorza recently said that gangs “know what law enforcement is doing. Word of mouth spreads quickly.” Illegal alien gangs are now spreading the word that Maryland is part of the “wild wild East.”

In December 2008, the Center for Immigration Studies released a comprehensive report on law enforcement’s handling of illegal alien gangs, entitled “Taking Back Our Streets.“ An excerpt taken directly from that report follows:

“Consider the case of Milton Calderon-Menendez (age 25, citizen of El Salvador), who was arrested in March 2008, by the Prince William County, Virginia, gang unit. Following procedures put in place just weeks before, Prince William police checked his immigration status and learned that Calderon was an illegal alien. The policy also requires them to notify ICE, which promptly put a hold on Calderon so that he would be held pending immigration charges, and would not be released (under Virginia law, illegal aliens are presumed to be ineligible for bail). As it turned out, Calderon had been arrested nine months before in Montgomery County, Md., about 40 miles away, for punching a 15-year old in the face. Calderon had admitted to Montgomery police that he was a member of MS-13.However, that department’s policy is to not inquire about immigration status. Montgomery County released Calderon on $2,500 bail and told him to return a month later for trial. He did not. About three days after his scheduled trial, Calderon and a friend assaulted the friend’s roommate — the friend beat his roommate in the head with a baseball bat while Calderon stabbed him in the chest. It was after this attack that Calderon was arrested in the neighboring state of Virginia.”

Could it be any more symbolic?

In October 2011, Washington D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray signed an executive order which bars District police officers from questioning anyone, even those they arrest, about their immigration status.

Gray said: “This executive order ensures public safety by ensuring that our police resources are deployed wisely and our immigrant communities feel safe cooperating with those who are sworn to protect them.”

Gray adamantly made that statement, but just how shielding those here illegally from possible deportation then “ensures public safety” is still unclear.

Shortly after the order was signed, the outspoken chairman of Prince William County, Virginia’s Board of County Supervisors Corey Stewart, told Fox News: “This is an abomination. This is the capital of the United States, and to have the nation’s capital as a sanctuary city where essentially federal law is not going to be enforced sends all the wrong messages — not just in the United States but around the world.”

Stewart recently sued the Department of Homeland Security in an effort to discover what action (if any) the federal agency has taken against the 4,000 illegal aliens his county has turned over to ICE for deportation.

Stewart took this measure after Prince William County police began noticing that the illegal aliens they arrested for various crimes, and then turned over to ICE, kept showing up in their jail.

A tragic example of the feds’ “catch and release” policy came on August 1, 2010. Carlos A. Martinelly Montano, 23, slammed head on into a car in which three Benedictine nuns were traveling. Sister Denise Mosier was killed instantly while her two companions were taken by helicopter to the hospital in serious condition.

Montano was charged with DUI and involuntary manslaughter.

It was actually Montano’s third DUI arrest in Prince William County over the last five years. At the time of the crash, the illegal alien was free on bond while awaiting deportation proceedings.

The case received national attention and had many Americans calling for Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s resignation.

According to spokesman Jonathan Perok, Prince William County Police notified ICE after both his first and second DUI arrests. The department is now investigating how the illegal alien was able to obtain a valid driver’s license.

Stewart issued the following statement on the case: “The despicable thing is that this criminal was … handed over to ICE twice, and released by ICE twice. He’s gone out and killed a nun. That’s a perfect example of what’s wrong with immigration enforcement in this country. The blame is on representatives in Congress for being so flaccid on the issue, and they continue not to fund the deportation of illegal immigrants in this country.”

As we have seen in the past, cities which lay out the welcome mat for illegal aliens are simply inviting criminals to victimize their own citizens.

In San Francisco, on June 22, 2008, three members of the Bologna family were gunned down by Salvadoran national and gang member Edwin Ramos. Tony Bologna, 48, and his sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16, were shot to death by Ramos as they sat in their car on a crowded street, in the city´s Excelsior District.

Ramos, who is a member of the notoriously violent drug gang known as MS-13, shot the Bologna family to death because Tony Bologna had temporarily blocked the car in which Ramos was traveling, as the two cars made their way through an intersection. The Bologna men were returning home from a family barbecue.

As a juvenile, Ramos had committed felony attempted robbery and assault.

Shortly after the shooting, the San Francisco Chronicle reported, Juvenile Probation Department officials did not report Ramos to federal immigration authorities for possible deportation because of San Francisco´s stated sanctuary policy.

Despite the rhetoric coming from many local officials claiming that they have no legal role in enforcing our immigration laws…that is simply a lie.

In 1996 the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIR) was passed as a federal law which requires local governments to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (now part of the Department of Homeland Security).

The local governments that have been enforcing their own sanctuary policies are actually defying this law, but neither the Bush, nor the Obama administrations have seen fit to enforce the regulation. Not even President Bill Clinton, who signed the IRIR bill, ever chose to actually enforce the legislation.

U.S. citizens have a right, according to the Constitution, to expect to be protected from violations of federal law by foreign nationals who are not authorized to be in the country, without local police departments aiding and abetting these criminal aliens in their unlawful activities.


What can we do?

Of course, to the political leadership of cities such as San Francisco, the rule of law means very little. Therefore, we can never expect cities ruled by the left to do their part in protecting citizens from criminal aliens.

However, by using their own tactics against them, pressure can be applied and they can be punished for their unlawful actions.

A simple, yet powerful way to fight against these sanctuary cities is to refuse to spend one dime in them.

Do not vacation, dine out, go shopping, or do any sort of business in cities which shield illegal aliens from deportation. If your company or organization is planning a convention to one of those cities, tell your boss or group’s leaders that you will not attend and why.

You can also email, write, and call the mayors and city council members who have chosen to provide sanctuary to illegal aliens, as well as those now boycotting or suing Arizona, and explain why you will not be visiting their city.

The only thing our politicians respect is the al-mighty dollar. Tell them you will hold onto yours, until they grow some respect for our laws.

The Congressional Research Service has listed the following cities and counties that have “don’t ask, don’t tell” sanctuary policies in place (of course, this is not a complete list of all of the sanctuary cities):

• Anchorage, Alaska

• Fairbanks, Alaska

• Chandler, Arizona

• Tucson, Arizona

• Fresno, California

• Los Angeles, California

• San Bernardino, California

• San Diego, California

• San Jose, California

• Sonoma County, California

• Denver, Colorado

• Durango, Colorado

• Lafayette, Colorado

• Chicago, Illinois

• Cicero, Illinois

• Evanston, Illinois

• Iowa City, Iowa

• Cambridge, Massachusetts

• Orleans, Massachusetts

• Portland, Maine

• Baltimore, Maryland

• Takoma Park, Maryland

• Ann Arbor, Michigan

• Detroit, Michigan

• Minneapolis, Minnesota

• Durham, North Carolina

• Albuquerque, New Mexico

• Aztec, New Mexico

• Rio Ariba Cty, New Mexico

• Santa Fe, New Mexico

• New York, New York

• Ashland, Oregon

• Gaston, Oregon

• Marion County, Oregon

• Austin, Texas

• El Cenizo, Texas

• Houston, Texas

• Katy, Texas

• Seattle, Washington

• Madison, Wisconsin

Both Alaska and Oregon have state-wide policies that forbid state agencies from using resources to enforce federal immigration law. Oregon law, however, does provide an exception to allow law enforcement officers to share information on immigration status with federal authorities on those arrested for criminal offenses.

About the author

Dave Gibson, a former legislative aide to a Virginia state senator, is a freelance writer. His work has been published in many newspapers and magazines, including the Washington Times.