Opinion

The Sound You Just Heard Was Sanity Finally Leaving California

As a police officer, I try to put myself in the tactical boots of other law enforcement officers when I read, hear or see news about police-related issues. Currently, I’m trying to do this about yet another story out of—where else— California. But my head is in danger of exploding clean off my shoulders. When I heard about another case of how shamefully California’s so-called law enforcement leaders conduct themselves in the rogue state, I cringed with embarrassment for all American cops.

It is now news in California and its many municipal and county sanctuary jurisdictions when federal law enforcers are actually able to enforce federal immigration laws in that state.

According to news reports, ICE agents, whose sworn duty is to enforce federal immigration law, “managed to interview an inmate in a San Francisco jail earlier this month…” Managed to interview? Hey, California, it’s their job. Oh, and the person they want to talk to is in jail! So much for the sanctuary movement that says it’s in favor of providing sanctuary only to “law-abiding” illegal aliens (by the way, the irony of the end of that last sentence is not lost on me).

During an interview, Thomas D. Holman (Deputy Director and Senior Official at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE]) deals with the charge by the Left that sending more ICE agents to California and other sanctuary cities is retaliation.[Credit: Facebook/Religio-Political Talk (RPT)]
Those reprehensible officers who recklessly assisted federal law enforcement officers with doing their jobs —you know…protecting America— were in violation of state law and department policies. How can state and city lawmakers not see the insanity of putting their law enforcement officers in this position? It’s not like immigration law is mired in some murky argument with blurry lines between state and federal jurisdictions. Immigration law is exclusively within the constitutional purview of the federal government.

And, if states refuse to allow federal officers to operate within their borders to enforce immigration laws passed by the U.S. Congress, then ICE can’t possibly conduct its law enforcement mission to protect America. I suppose that’s part of the plan, right?

The alleged San Francisco sheriff, leftist activist Vicki Hennessy, is falling all over herself, apologizing for unintentionally following the law. “I apologize on behalf of the department. I feel embarrassed by it. I’ve taken steps to make sure it never happens again.” Is it me, or is this insane?

Hennessy went on to explain her paranoid conspiracy theory that ICE was “testing our defenses and they found some weak points.” No, sheriff. What they were doing, and probably why you didn’t recognize it, is conducting law enforcement—you should try it sometime.

I guess the other day when Governor Jerry Brown described ICE’s attempts to enforce federal law in California as a war, he might not be far off. “Testing our defenses?” Has California begun its secession from the union? Sounds like it, doesn’t it?

California’s top judge hates ICE agents who arrest illegals in or near California courthouses as state readies sanctuary for illegal Felons.” (Credit: Facebook/Frank Drake, Opinion Maker)

While state law requires staff to provide inmates a consent form before being interviewed by ICE, San Francisco policy makes the form moot by barring ICE agents from accessing inmates at all. Regardless, jail staff did not give this document to the prisoner ICE “managed to interview.” This sanctuary state and its cities are out of control. Within the realm of illegal immigration, they have de facto seceded from the U.S.A.

According to the news story, public defender Jeff Adachi said: “How sheriff’s deputies are not aware of our sanctuary policies is quite frankly beyond me.” I don’t know those deputies, but I kind of hope they were aware but chose to act as cops helping cops instead of the social justice pawns their leaders are trying to turn them into.

I can only imagine the pressures pulling them toward enforcing the law—federal down to local—as they swore an oath to do despite the push to disregard federal law. All the while their leftist leaders are trying to herd them through a maze of what laws to follow and what laws not ignore.

The attorney seems miffed by deputies not following city or state law. Strange, isn’t it? I mean, they [sanctuary supporters] are blatantly not following federal immigration laws or policies, not to mention passing laws and implementing policies explicitly intended to obstruct federal law enforcement agents.

President Donald J. Trump considered pulling Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents out of California, warning that the nation’s most populous state would turn into a “crime nest” without the federal agents. (Credit: KQED News)

Hey, I have an idea. Let’s all get on board the who-gives-a-sh*t-about-the-law crazy train. Why not? I can think of a few laws I don’t like. Why should I obey them? Why should you? Why should California’s cops follow state or local sanctuary laws if they don’t like them? The state set this new standard for compliance with laws it doesn’t like. Why use the legal processes provided to change laws when you can just decide not to follow certain laws instead?

California and its constituent renegade cities don’t follow the laws and rules they don’t like. So, to all officers and deputies called on the carpet in California for disobeying sanctuary laws and policies, throw your political leaders’ justifications for violating law and policy back in their hypocritical faces.

Reportedly, when ICE agents returned to the jail, officials turned them away. Now, I don’t know if the brass were the officials blocking entry to ICE agents. But if deputies were ordered to tell brother or sister federal law enforcers to go away, do you know what that feels like for a cop to do to another cop? If I’d been ordered to turn away federal law enforcement officers just trying to do their jobs, just like I try to do my job for my agency, I would be the one feeling embarrassed.

Reports indicate that, so far this year, ICE asked over 200 times for the state to hold or turn over illegal alien prisoners.

The renegade state of California did not act on a single request.

Steve Pomper

Steve Pomper is a retired Seattle police officer, and the author of four non-fiction books, including Is There a Problem, Officer? and the upcoming De-Policing: A Street Cop’s View of the Anti-Police State. He served as a field-training officer, on the East Precinct Community Police Team, and as a precinct mountain bike coordinator. He has a BA in English Language and Literature. He enjoys riding his Harley and hiking and cycling with his wife who is also an English major as well as a retired firefighter.

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