If you really want ‘the rule of law,’ get rid of sanctuary cities and their illegal drugs

· October 9, 2018  
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Sanctuary City Next Exit sign
Rex_Wholster | Getty Images

“Republicans believe in the rule of law, not the rule of the mob.”

This comment from President Trump at a weekend rally in Kansas should be the rallying cry not only for this election but for a policy agenda every day after the election.

A recent bust of a criminal alien drug trafficking network in Lawrence, Massachusetts, an obdurate sanctuary city, should demonstrate once and for all that the border invasion and sanctuary cities are the main cause of the opioid crisis. In a sane world, it would serve as the impetus for Trump to promise a veto of the next budget bill, in early December, that doesn’t defund sanctuary cities. Heck, a sane party would bring Congress back from its endless recess to spark another Kavanaugh-level fight over sanctuary cities, sovereignty, drugs, gangs, and the rule of law. Not a bad formula to win back suburban voters.

Illegal aliens and sanctuaries are separating Americans from their families in the grave

New England has been hit hard by the drug crisis. The entirety of the post-2013 increase in fatalities has come from illicit street drugs. Where do they come from? Last week’s joint ICE/DEA bust of a criminal alien network in Lawrence, Massachusetts, involving over 200 law enforcement officers, provides us with a lot of insight. ICE detained or issued indictments for 50 illegal or criminal aliens who were operating in plain sight of authorities in and around Lawrence and charged them with gun, drug, and immigration violations. Several of them were also identified as sex offenders. They had enough fentanyl to kill half the population of the Bay State. That’s an awful lot of people who would be permanently separated from their families in the grave thanks to the singular focus in both parties on coddling “families” who cross the border and bring in drugs. Included in the bust were individuals whom local authorities failed to detain and hand over to ICE after prior arrests.

Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies and a resident of Massachusetts, told me that she is not surprised by this bust. “The city of Lawrence has given them safe haven with its egregious sanctuary policies,” said Vaughan, who is in touch regularly with local law enforcement. “State and local officials in Massachusetts, right up to the governor, have been in public denial about the role of deportable criminal aliens in this festering problem and failed to take action that would make business difficult for the traffickers – they even allow them to obtain driver’s licenses and welfare benefits.”

This front page of the Boston Herald last Saturday is worth 1,000 words:

This in a nutshell is how sanctuary cities are fueling the drug crisis. It’s one thing to come to this country illegally and get across the border undetected. But it’s much harder to remain undetected in perpetuity and successfully operate a profitable drug network. That is, unless you operate in a sanctuary city, where they do everything possible to avoid detaining illegal aliens caught on drug charges. If local authorities were properly fighting the drug crisis, upon catching the first street distributor, it would lead them to the broader network. But that would involve arresting and turning over illegal aliens to ICE.

Earlier this year, Nick Rogers, a detective for the Denver police, explained to the House Judiciary Committee how effective interior enforcement disrupts drug networks in short order:

They were mostly young, 18 to 25-year-old, illegal aliens from mostly Mexico, but as the years went by, some started coming from Honduras and Nicaragua. They were all in possession of several ounces of heroin and a fake ID from Mexico (Sinaloa was most common). Some of these arrests led to what was known as “the office”: A location, usually a higher-end apartment, which was used only to stash the heroin and money. Many of these “offices” produced tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars in cash waiting to be sent back to Mexico. Each office also produced an average of one pound of heroin located there.

None of this has been taking place in Lawrence. Look at this list of indictments from the U.S. attorney’s office and you will see that this is entirely an immigrant problem. Many of the suspects already had interactions with police but were never turned over to ICE for deportation. Many of those involved in the drug ring hailed from the illegal alien hot-spot countries of Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic. The largest and most deadly component of the drug crisis is all an immigration problem and is completely redressable through punishment and deterrent of sanctuary cities.

The drug crisis is all an immigration problem, not a health care problem

As I’ve warned over and over again, the feds and state governments have misdiagnosed the drug crisis as a prescription problem in order to protect sanctuaries and illicit drugs peddled by Mexican and Dominican drug cartels. In New Hampshire alone, prescription opioids dropped by 33 percent from 2013 through 2017, at the exact time that illicit drug overdoses spiked. This is why just 14 percent of those who sought treatment for addiction in New Hampshire last year did so for prescription opiate addiction.

Likewise, Massachusetts has one of the lowest prescribing rates in the nation, yet is one of the top overdose states. This is no mystery, because almost all of those who overdosed this year had fentanyl and other illicit drugs in their systems.

This has nothing to do with health care and has everything to do with immigration and national security. The Boston Globe, in 2017, admitted that “Mexican cartels are delivering vast quantities of the inexpensive and powerful synthetic drug fentanyl to New England” through “a pipeline that often begins in China, winds through Mexico, and flows into distribution cities such as Lawrence and Springfield.”

This is also why cocaine and meth, which are not even opioids, are the most trending drugs in overdose increases. All of these drugs come from drug cartels. Just last week, a DACA recipient was arrested for trafficking meth.

This is why Trump called out Lawrence’s leaders for their role in drugging up both Massachusetts and New Hampshire, which are served by the network of the drug cartels in this sanctuary city. The media made fun of Trump’s assertion as if it were some conspiracy theory, yet all this fentanyl that is now laced into the heroin and other drugs is being distributed under the eyes of Lawrence’s leadership.

Absent this effort by the feds, this network would have never been apprehended. This sentiment was echoed in a statement by Todd Michael Lyons, acting field director of the Boston ICE office:

This subgroup of criminal illegal aliens has effectively embedded themselves in the community and have hidden in plain sight for too long with impunity. If state and local leaders along with elected officials want to combat the opioid problem in the Commonwealth, they need to be serious about rooting out the foreign nexus of the problem. ERO is dedicated to removing the foreign criminal element that is directly contributing to the overwhelming number of overdoses in this state and others. No sanctuary should be given to a criminal alien who has actively taken part in hurting the youth of New England.

Congress can and must act and can actually win the election on this issue

While the efforts by the Trump administration are laudable, we still need Republicans in Congress to run on this issue and then actually fulfill their campaign promises. As Jessica Vaughan warns:

As helpful and necessary as these operations are, we still need Congress to do its job and provide the resources for better border security, update our laws so gang members and drug traffickers can be thrown out more easily, and impose some consequences for sanctuaries. House Republicans have written bills to do all of this, and the president would sign it in a New York minute, but a few powerful individuals who are more interested in passing expanded guest worker programs keep getting in the way.

Congress can end this tomorrow by finally placing these priorities in the budget bill. I detailed 25 ideas to fight back on criminal aliens, including ending the identity theft mill through the SSA and the IRS, which allows these networks to operate. Moreover, as Vaughan notes, it’s hard for even law-abiding districts to apprehend and turn over illegal aliens because the lower courts are creating new rights every day for MS-13 and drug cartels. The Ninth Circuit just made it impossible to detain many suspected criminal aliens.

Imagine if congressional Republicans engaged in a Kavanaugh-level fight over the rule of law vs. the mob law of sanctuaries, drugs, and gangs – all issues that concern suburban voters. Then we might actually be talking about a red wave. And imagine if they actually fulfilled the promise immediately after the election. We can only dream.


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Author: Daniel Horowitz

Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.