- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 30, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

OP-ED:

If Americans needed another horrifically bloody testament to the absolute chaos the federal government has allowed our immigration system to collapse into, the “sanctuary city” of San Francisco has delivered it again in spades. The outrage over San Francisco’s policy of hiding illegal-immigrant drug dealers by sending them to a safe-house in Southern California (where many of them simply walked away) had just settled to a low boil when the story of Edwin Ramos came to light earlier last week.

Mr. Ramos was arrested on three counts of murder in June following the shooting deaths of Anthony Bologna and his two sons, Michael and Matthew. The three died in a hail of gunfire as they returned home from a family picnic.

As details of the story have emerged this week, it’s hard to imagine a more damning indictment of President Bush, the commander-in-chief who has absolutely refused to secure the nation’s borders and assert federal jurisdiction over immigration enforcement in our cities and towns during a time of war.

While it might be difficult to envision Mr. Bush working hand-in-hand with San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, in fact both executives are directly responsible for the conditions that led to the murder of the Bolognas - and God knows how many other Americans.

On Mr. Newsom’s end of this Faustian bargain we have the alleged killer Mr. Ramos, an illegal immigrant gang member with multiple felony busts under his belt in the Bay, including being taken into custody for attempting to rob a pregnant woman and savagely attacking a bus passenger. As a hardcore member of the MS-13 street gang, Mr. Ramos benefited from San Francisco’s policy of shielding illegal-immigrant criminals who claim to be juveniles - even though there is no way of independently determining the actual age of the criminals. But since Mr. Ramos told authorities he was 17 years old at the time, he was protected from deportation.

The nadir came in June, when a clearly adult Mr. Ramos was yet again released back on to the streets after being arrested instead of being held for deportation. That arrest came as a result of a traffic stop in which police recovered a gun traced to a double-homicide. Free to roam the streets of San Francisco, police say Mr. Ramos opened fire and slaughtered Mr. Bologna and his two sons after the car they were in had briefly blocked Mr. Ramos’ car on a narrow street.

While Mr. Newsom didn’t create the sanctuary policies in San Francisco, he championed them with a righteous zeal, ridiculing those who opposed them as dangerous and wrongheaded. The fate of the Bologna family is the direct result. But the blood is even more indelible on Mr. Bush’s hands.

San Francisco’s policy lays bare the president’s willful surrendering of federal jurisdiction over this crisis; which is a cold-blooded abrogation of Mr. Bush’s sacred responsibility to defend Americans.

Mr. Bush’s dereliction of duty in the face of mass illegal immigration into the United States comes as we face an enemy that crosses our borders not with armored divisions, but individual by individual, where violent criminals blend in with economic refugees, just as al Qaeda seeks the cover of civilians. Just what is the difference in the blood spilled by al Qaeda on Sept. 11 and the slaughter perpetuated by illegal immigrant gang members like MS-13? In the not-so-distant past, a defiant challenge to federal authority like San Francisco’s sanctuary policy had swift and certain consequences - occasionally delivered at bayonet point - as Southern governors George Wallace and Orval Faubus discovered the hard way.

But strange bedfellows as they may be, it is clear that Mr. Bush and Mr. Newsom share a common goal: the subversion of immigration laws at the behest of a coalition that includes big-business interests and ethnic lobbying groups.

The price of such subterfuge and betrayal is to be paid by the American people.

The depth of the tragedy that has befallen the surviving members of the Bologna family almost defies comprehension, and one need only listen to the absolute agony of Danielle Bologna as she describes taking her 16-year-old off life support to understand that part of her has been killed as well. But the spilled blood of the Bologna family is little more than cheap wine to officials like Messrs. Newsom and Bush.

Indeed, Mr. Newsom may be the poster boy for sanctuary policies, but he’s hardly the only elected official engaged in promoting them. Mayors such as R.T. Rybak in Minneapolis, Richard Daley Jr. in Chicago and Antonio Villaraigosa in Los Angeles, among others, have all publicly declared their desire to undermine federal enforcement of immigration laws to varying degrees.

These mayors of sanctuary cities sleep easy knowing that if Mr. Bush does anything, it will be to use a debacle like San Francisco’s protection of illegal-immigrant, drug-dealing gang members as an excuse to again call for a mass amnesty under the guise of “comprehensive immigration reform.” As the enforcement of immigration laws continues to evaporate, and with them the fundamental safety that Mr. Bush swore on a Bible to deliver, it’s not hard to imagine the day when deporting virtually anyone for any criminal act will be considered by officials such as Mr. Newsom and soon John McCain or Barack Obama as passe, if not nonsensical.

After all, just where does a nation without borders deport someone?

Mark Cromer is a senior writing fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization.

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