Van Esser's picture


  by  Van Esser

Most who travel abroad are well aware of State Department travel warnings, which inform citizens about dangers related to crime and terrorism in other countries. But have you ever seen an advisory designed to warn criminals not to travel to rule-of-law states in our own country? That’s essentially what the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other open border groups sought when they issued a travel warning to steer illegal-alien criminals away from Florida.

What has Florida done to deserve this rebuke? The state legislature is considering two anti-sanctuary bills -- Senate Bill 168 and House Bill 527 -- that would prohibit cities from adopting illegal-alien sanctuary practices and ensure that police do not release criminal aliens to prey on Florida communities. ACLU Florida and the others determined a warning was necessary because the bills, if passed, would lead to the “increased likelihood of racial profiling, unjust detention, and possible deportation.”

Sanctuary city policies are designed to shield illegal aliens from possible deportation. The worst of these instruct police to ignore ICE requests (called detainers) to hold criminal aliens for pickup. The cities, counties and states that adopt no-detainer policies clearly would rather allow criminal aliens to further victimize Americans than deport them. 

ICE does not issue detainers for alien maids and busboys, just criminals. So when the travel warning warriors seek to put all Florida residents and travelers on alert, they are simultaneously fearmongering and blurring what’s at stake.

The stakes are high. As former acting ICE Director Tom Homan has noted, released criminal aliens “go out and reoffend in the very communities they live, which is immigrant communities. Sanctuary cities do not protect the immigrant community. They put them in harm’s way.” He estimates that 10,000 criminal aliens released by Chicago alone have gone on to commit other crimes. The White House recently detailed some specific, and horrible, cases.

Moreover, sanctuary policies are being used by criminal organizations in other countries. Homan says, “It's a selling tactic for them to get the smuggled aliens to a sanctuary jurisdiction, where even local law enforcement won't cooperate with ICE, thereby bankrolling the very criminal organizations that smuggle these aliens.”

Even before ACLU Florida issued a travel warning, open border groups and the media were badgering the state legislature to kill the legislation. In the name of protecting criminals, they have turned a blind eye to the very real public safety threats posed by sanctuary policies.

In an interview with Newsweek Senate Bill 168’s sponsor, Senator Joe Gruters, decried the travel warning and accusing the ACLU of fearmongering and upping false rhetoric. He said, “This deals with criminal illegal aliens. Unless you’re breaking the law, you have no worries about this bill. This only deals with illegal aliens who are here, who are being processed by the judicial system. It’s about protecting the rule of law.”

Exactly. And that’s why Floridians should tell their state legislators to support Senate Bill 168 and House Bill 527. Gov. Ronald DeSantis announced he will sign the measure but it has to pass first. Don’t let this absurd travel warning get in the way of stopping dangerous sanctuary policies.

Updated: Wed, May 1st 2019 @ 3:15pm EDT

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