If America is to Survive, the Sanctuary Delusion Must Go

Over the last few decades, many Americans have had a shift in their perception of our purpose as a nation. Accustomed to our comfortable standard of living, they have taken America’s success for granted and sought to rescue the world. Now, as the current border crisis has shown, there are limits to our idealism. We are asking a question that was unthinkable not long ago: How much longer will America survive? 

Today, the question of national survival is less about the national debt or the solvency of Social Security, and more about the rapid disintegration of national stability due to lax immigration enforcement and the policies of sanctuary cities. Immigration is the dominant issue of our time. Without an extreme course correction, America will be irrevocably consigned to the status of  second-tier nation, at best.

We can avoid that fate by making the right decisions. A good first step would be to leave the concept of sanctuary cities on “the ash heap of history,” to borrow Ronald Reagan’s memorable description for where another  terrible idea belonged.

A so-called sanctuary city is a place where the local authorities refuse to enforce laws against illegal immigration, and even encourage it by providing illegal immigrants with official identification and welfare services. This experiment has been tried in numerous jurisdictions for decades and has been a quantifiable failure in virtually every case. Wherever the sanctuary designation has been adopted, the result has been increased crime, overcrowding, squalor, and depleted public resources.

All the while, the advocates of this noxious ideology have told us to ignore our lyin’ eyes and believe this policy’s defenders instead. “Immigrants make us stronger!” says the bumper sticker slogan. Yet when communities welcome large numbers of illegals, they become noticeably weaker.

Sanctuary policies have been thoroughly tested over the last few years, and they are failing so spectacularly that even once-ardent supporters are forced to confront reality. In New York City, America’s most dangerous sanctuary community, the city has been so overwhelmed by illegal aliens  that Mayor Eric Adams has all but renounced the city’s kamikaze trajectory.

“For those who are committing crimes, we need to modify the sanctuary city law [so] that if you commit a felony or a violent act, we should be able to turn you over to ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] and have you deported,” Adams said at a recent town hall in Brooklyn.

Such talk would have been considered heresy in the Big Apple not long ago. Now it may be the only option for the viability of Adams’ mayoralty and the city. New York City officials estimate the colossal cost of accommodating migrants—including housing them in luxury hotels, constructing tent cities, and providing them with pre-paid debit cards, among other expenses—will exceed $10 billion through fiscal year 2025.

Compare this grim present to the ’90s-era New York City under law-and-order Mayor Rudy Giuliani. It was widely regarded then as America’s safest big city. Restaurants were packed with tourists and the skyscrapers were filled with businesses that wanted to be there. Which version of New York would most people prefer to live in, invest in or visit?

The financial devastation of sanctuary policies is only half the story. Despite the best efforts of our corporate media to ignore or downplay them, stories of crimes committed by illegal aliens in America today are ubiquitous. They would include the recent death of Georgia nursing student Laken Riley, who was murdered, allegedly by Jose Antonio Ibarra, a Venezuelan national in the country illegally. Last August, Ibarra was arrested in Queens, N.Y., and charged with endangering a child. Thanks to New York’s permissive sanctuary laws, he was released before immigration officials could request local police hold him for transfer to federal custody and possible deportation.   

In Montgomery County, Maryland, Flavio Cesar Lanuza, an illegal alien from Nicaragua allegedly stole a tow truck on Feb. 16 and led police on a wild chase that was caught on video. County officials are defying requests by ICE to turn Lanuza over to the agency in compliance with the county’s sanctuary policy. 

It is not hyperbole to say that, absent sanctuary policies, those crimes would not have been committed, and Laken Riley would still be alive. Not only does the sanctuary ethos enable crime in American communities, but the existence of sanctuary communities is a huge attraction for foreign nationals to enter our country illegally. Imagine if the word got out around the world that America was drawing a hard line on illegal immigration, and that U.S. cities would quickly hand over anyone there illegally to federal authorities. Would the number of people breaking into our country increase or decrease?  

The current immigration crisis has been called an invasion by many, but it is the result of a deluded sense of obligation to the rest of the world at the expense of our own families and communities. Let’s label the sanctuary concept as a mistake of America’s past and promise never to repeat it.

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