The Connecticut Law Tribune ^ | 18 Aug 2017 | CHRIS POWELL, The Connecticut Law Tribune
As another illegal immigrant defied a deportation order and sequestered himself in a church in New Haven the other day, Mayor Toni Harp welcomed him and proclaimed: "New Haven will remain a sanctuary city. We are not going to engage in helping to report our law-abiding citizens."
But, of course, by definition illegal immigrants are not law-abiding, and the latest one seeking sanctuary in New Haven, like the last one, received a deportation order years ago and then some temporary stays before he was denied another. While he seems harmless enough, terrorists and other ne'er-do-wells might be cheered by the mayor's assurance that anyone who breaks into the country illegally and makes his way to New Haven should be exempt from law enforcement because New Haven substitutes its own immigration policy for that of the United States. No foreigners need to be vetted before arriving in New Haven.
Having declined to pursue New Haven's previous sanctuary seeker into the church to enforce her deportation order, the federal immigration enforcement agency invited illegal immigrants everywhere to consider churches to be enforcement-free zones. Now, with the second sanctuary seeker, a spokesman for the agency has proclaimed as much — that the agency won't try to arrest him and enforce his deportation order as long as he stays inside, churches being considered "sensitive" locations.
This doesn't mean that the deportation of these particular illegal immigrants is compelling. Indeed, the government shares with them the responsibility for the heartbreak that deportation would cause, since in repeatedly postponing its deportation orders the government gave the illegal immigrants more time to build family connections here in the hope of winning exemption from the law.
Rather, it means that both sides in the immigration controversy are destroying the law in their own way, even as impartial and conscientious law enforcement is largely what makes this country worth immigrating to and its borders worth defending.