Sanctuary and clemency is a disaster

| 20 Aug 2015 | 03:08

The following letter from U.S. Rep. Tom Marino is dated July 23.

To the Editor:
Once again, the Obama Administration’s policy to disregard federal immigration law has embroiled our nation in another debate over how to solve the illegal immigration crisis. This time we are debating the policy of so-called “sanctuary” in American cities.

These “sanctuary cities” have enacted policies to release individuals placed under arrest before U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can assume custody. When cities refuse to detain these individuals it prevents ICE from ultimately deporting them.

This policy has tragic and unnecessary outcomes for law-abiding citizens. We witnessed this recently in California with the fatal shooting of Kathryn Steinle by an illegal immigrant.

Sanctuary for illegal aliens within our cities must stop.

To take immediate action I cosponsored two bills designed to deter deported criminal aliens from returning to our cities. This week, my Judiciary Committee colleagues addressed this further after I questioned Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. Finally, today I will vote YES on H.R. 3009– Enforce the Law for Sanctuary Cities Act.

I also have concerns with the president’s new clemency push (I wrote to the Attorney General demanding answers about this unprecedented move) and misguided effort to overhaul our criminal justice system.

Last Thursday, after granting clemency to forty-six individuals, President Obama traveled to the El Reno Correctional Institution in Oklahoma to announce his proposals. He failed to mention the safety of our corrections officers. Moving forward, he should focus less on releasing dangerous criminals into society and more on my top priority: ensuring corrections officers across the country have exactly what they need to do one of the most difficult jobs in America.

I learned the importance of this firsthand during my recent visit to Federal Correctional Complex (FCC) Allenwood and United States Penitentiary (USP) Lewisburg. While there, I spent time with officials learning about the extraordinary challenges facing America’s prison system. The last thing they need is their president making their jobs harder and less safe.

America faces significant challenges at home and abroad. As we find solutions, I will continue to remind my colleagues that we work for you. As always, you have an open line to my offices and I want to hear from you.

Congressman Tom Marino (PA-10