Two events about immigration were in the news this week. In the first, an undocumented man shot and killed a woman in San Francisco. He had been in police custody, but he was released hours before the shooting.
The killing was horrible, but the news was that it happened in San Francisco. San Francisco is a “Sanctuary” city. That means their police do not honor “detainers” issued by ICE. Detainers are used to hold people in custody until federal agents can pick them up. The killer was a known felon. He had been deported five times before.
It did not take long for the opponents of immigration reform to act. They say sanctuary cities help criminals remain in the U.S.
In the second event, Donald Trump has spoken up about immigration reform. He is running for the Republican nomination for president. He is outspoken about Mexicans who are undocumented. He says they are “rapists and criminals.” Most Americans support immigration reform. He is seeking the support of those who are against reform. They are a loud minority. Mr. Trump is using what happened in San Francisco for his own political gain.
Meanwhile, President Obama is trying to go ahead with his reform rules. He is asking a federal court to let him continue. His program would let about five million undocumented people apply for legal status in the United States.
The court has ruled against him before. Two of the three judges hearing this case were on the case the president just lost. Experts say he probably will not win.
It is likely that there will be no real reform between now and the presidential election in November 2016.
In America, some states and cities are trying to help undocumented people. They are issuing driver’s licenses and I.D. cards to them. Most states in the South and Southwest continue to treat the undocumented as threats to law and order.
The immigration issue divides the country. It is foremost a political matter. The voting power of immigration supporters, and that of immigration opponents will be tested in the next election.
Source: The New York Times July 10, 2015