- - Wednesday, July 6, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Justice delayed is once more justice denied. The powerful elites in Washington have been satisfied to coddle illegal immigrants rather than make the safety of American citizens their first priority. With everyone watching on Wednesday, the U.S. Senate had two chances to redeem itself. The senators blew both of them.

The Senate required 60 votes to advance Kate’s Law, which sets out that anyone arrested re-entering or attempting to re-enter the United States after having been deported three times would be subject to a five-year jail term. If previously convicted of a felony, the interloper would face a maximum sentence of 20 years. The vote on separate legislation, the Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act, failed by a vote of 53 to 44. It would have cut off federal money to “sanctuary cities” such as San Francisco and other cities and counties that refuse to co-operate with federal immigration authorities.

Kate’s Law, introduced last October by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, a Republican, is named for Kate Steinle, 32, of San Francisco who was slain two years ago by an illegal immigrant who had been deported five times, only to return to the sanctuary of San Francisco. Miss Steinle was shot in the back while strolling with her father along the waterfront, setting off outrage across the nation. “If you can’t pass a law to save a life, even though the person is an illegal immigrant or whatever, you’re not doing your job,” Jim Steinle, the father, said just before the Senate voted.

The Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act introduced by Sen. Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania Republican, was aimed to stem the rising number of cities and towns, now numbering more than 300 across the nation, that harbor illegal immigrants as a matter of policy. “Sanctuary city policies not only make it harder to stop illegal immigration and keep dangerous criminals off the streets,” says Mr. Toomey, “but they also undermine our anti-terrorism efforts.”

Senate Republicans had hoped to have enough votes to invoke cloture, to suspend debate to enable the Senate to move to a final vote. But Democrats obeyed the Obama White House, which said “the administration believes that these provisions would lead to mistrust between communities and state and local law enforcement agencies; undermine the ability of law enforcement to keep communities safe across the country; and impede our efforts to safely, fairly, and effectively enforce the nation’s immigration laws.”

If President Obama were really interested in enforcing the law, the two measures would not have been necessary. Americans have lost patience with politicians who hector them about overreacting to the dangers posed by the illegals while ensuring their own safety with gated communities guarded by armed patrols. A recent Rasmussen Poll found that 59 percent of Americans say gaining control of the border should be the priority of immigration reform. Only 34 percent say granting legal status to illegals is more important.

Democrats have made the cold calculation that they can win more votes in November by pandering to illegal aliens and their friends and enablers than by being faithful to the lives and fortunes of the millions of law-abiding Americans. If common-sense measures such as Kate’s Law and the Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act can’t prevail, voters can have no illusions about the future that awaits in a world without borders.

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