The federal government can’t protect every American from every bad person. But given that immigration is a purely elective and selective process, our government absolutely has the ability and the obligation to protect Americans from foreign nationals coming here and murdering Americans in their homes. Tragically, Bambi Larson was the latest American to pay with her life for this foundational breach of the social compact of governance.
Nearly every American and certainly every politician in Washington is familiar with the fact that Jamal Khashoggi, a pro-al Qaeda “journalist” from Saudi Arabia, was killed at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul last October. In fact, months later, the Senate is still virtue-signaling about it by conducting another vote yesterday to hold Saudi Arabia’s leaders accountable. How many Americans, though, will be acquainted with Bambi Larson, the American who was just killed at home? The suspect in custody is an illegal alien gang member who had six ICE detainers on him for other terrible crimes but was let out on the streets by sanctuary California politicians. How many bills will the Senate take up on this issue – the most vital job of the federal government?
On Monday, Carlos Eduardo Arevalo Carranza, 24, an illegal alien from El Salvador, was arrested for allegedly beating and stabbing Bambi Larson, 59, to death in her own home in south San Jose two weeks ago. According to ICE, Carranza had at least 10 prior arrests over the past three years, including several convictions for drugs, kidnapping, battery against a police officer, and burglary. ICE placed detainers on him six times, two with the Los Angeles Police Department Central Jail in 2016 and four with the Santa Clara County Jail between May 2017 and January 2019. The two jurisdictions ignored the detainers each time. According to ICE, the most recent detainer was issued in January after Carranza was picked up on drug charges. This senseless and completely avoidable murder happened while Carranza, a self-admitted gang member, was on probation for possession of methamphetamine, paraphernalia, false imprisonment, and burglary.
This tragic murder proves every point I and others have been making both on border enforcement and interior enforcement. So much of the drug trafficking and other “lower level” crimes of illegal immigrants go unnoticed, and sanctuaries allow them to continue harming Americans for years when there are many opportunities to get them out of the country. In that sense, all of their subsequent crimes are completely preventable, because they should never be in the country and if caught once, should be immediately deported.
Santa Clara County has long been a severe sanctuary jurisdiction that has refused to even notify ICE of releases, much less work to honor their detainers, long before California passed a statewide prohibition on honoring detainers in 2017.
Ironically, Carranza was only apprehended for the murder after he was picked up on unrelated drug charges. Once again, we see how so many of the drug traffickers are the most violent people in the country and how so many of them are illegal aliens who are connected to transnational gangs. States getting weaker and weaker on both immigration and crime in general allows so much needless crime to fester. These states are not only sanctuaries for illegal immigrants but treat all their typical crimes – drug trafficking, DUIs, gang activity, and burglaries – as “low level.” They are not locking up anyone thanks to the Koch-Soros “criminal justice reform” agenda, which has now, unfortunately, permeated every corner of Republican politics too.
Now, in states like California, these criminals don’t even have to post bail, so they are out in a flash and there is no way for ICE to reach them in time, even if ICE decides to act without cooperation from local authorities. Thus, the large number of criminal offenses documented by ICE apprehensions every year are only a fraction of the illegal alien criminality, given that in the states and cities with the most illegal immigrants, ICE is often not even informed of the crime.
The American people need to ask the question: What is the purpose of having a federal government distinct from the 50 states if it is impotent in protecting us against external violent threats of foreign nationals? As our Founders made clear, one of the primary reasons why they adopted the Constitution, which transferred certain existing state powers to the federal government, was to better control the sovereignty of the entire union from “the intrusion of obnoxious aliens through other States,” in the words of Madison. Writing in Federalist #42, Madison elaborates that the federal power over naturalization solved “a very serious embarrassment” and “defect” of the Articles of Confederation whereby “certain descriptions of aliens, who had rendered themselves obnoxious” can force themselves on several states if they “acquired the character of citizens under the laws of another State.”
So why is it that two years into this administration, the federal government seems impotent in cracking down on California? Why are these cities still receiving law enforcement grants? Of course, it all gets back to the courts. We have empowered the courts to eviscerate immigration laws, a back-door abolishing of ICE. While the courts strip the states of their lawful powers over election law, marriage, and abortion regulations, they suddenly empower states to steal the one unambiguous power the feds wield for good reason.
Which leads us to the other branch of government: Congress. Why did Republicans refuse to pass a single piece of sanctuary city legislation when they controlled all of government? Why is Mitch McConnell not forcing Senate Democrats to take tough votes on one criminal alien bill after another? Recently, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., introduced a bill named after police officer Ronil Singh, who was killed by another illegal gang member released by sanctuary California. The bill would declare ties to a criminal gang combined with any criminal conviction “to be grounds for inadmissibility to the United States and grounds for removal,” would bar known gang members (with a prior conviction) from qualifying from asylum, and would empower the secretary of Homeland Security to designate gangs under the Immigration and Nationality Act. Why isn’t McConnell bringing up this bill side by side with the resolution of disapproval against Trump’s emergency declaration?
It’s time for the Trump administration to demand that McConnell bring up this bill. In addition, Trump should push legislation requiring local law enforcement to notify ICE when aliens are arrested for crimes and cut off grant program funding to all localities that refuse to cooperate.
Finally, it’s time to create a private right of action for citizens to sue sanctuaries that thwart our sovereignty. If the courts are to be regarded as God, and if illegal immigrants can use the courts to subvert our sovereignty, why can’t Americans sue those who violate the law? Relatives of those killed or victimized by illegal aliens should be able to sue their state or local government if those governments failed to comply with an ICE detainer or notify ICE of the release of an alien in custody.
If Republican leaders don’t care about public safety, do they at least care about winning political issues? Americans detest sanctuary cities. Ron DeSantis, who is the strongest governor on illegal immigration, is now the most popular governor in the country. He has gotten the state legislature to consider legislation punishing sanctuary counties within Florida. The plan is supported by a super-majority of Floridians, according to a new Quinnipiac poll, including a plurality of Hispanics.
If as a nation, we can’t even resolve to get rid of other countries’ criminals after they have already been caught committing other crimes, there is quite literarily no purpose to a federal government.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.