The Phoenix City Council on Wednesday rejected a petition to give sanctuary city status the nation’s sixth largest city. But the issue is not dead. It’s been referred to a committee for further review after the city hall chambers were jammed with shouting illegal advocates.
Sanctuary cities provide a safe haven for illegal aliens, who are living and working in the United States using stolen or falsified social security numbers and other ID while taking jobs and taxpayer-funded benefits. Among them are criminals who have previously been deported and returned.
Who can forget the senseless murder of Kate Steinle as she walked along the San Francisco pier with her father? The gunman Francisco Sanchez was an illegal alien — a repeat drug felon — who had been deported five times. Taken into custody again, the city of San Francisco refused to hold Sanchez for deportation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials because of San Francisco’s “sanctuary city” policy. Sanchez was dumped back out onto the streets where he stole a gun and ultimately killed the 32-year-old Steinle.
Closer to home is the horrific case of Grant Ronnebeck, 21, a Mesa convenience store clerk killed without provocation over a pack of cigarettes by Mexican-born Apolinar Altamirano, who was arrested following a high-speed chase on at least two valley freeways, endangering countless other lives..
San Francisco was also where sanctuary policies played a role in the slayings of a 48-year-old father and his two sons, 20 and 16 by allowing city officials to shield the killer, Edwin Ramos, from deportation back to his native Salvador, despite his violent criminal history.
These are but a few of thousands such cases across the U.S. They are nothing we want to emulate as a matter of policy. We need another Republican on the Phoenix City Council to offset the leftward lurch of the liberal majority who sanction sanctuaries.
The fallacy that has been relentlessly promoted for years is that the mayor and council members are non-partisan. Nothing could be further from the truth. When he was elected mayor in 2011, Greg Stanton received a congratulatory call from then-Pres. Barack Obama and Homeland Insecurity Chieftain Janet Napolitano. Stanton is already moving on filing to run for Secretary of State, frequently a dependable path to the governor’s office.
Red state Arizona has a blue stained capitol city, with only two Republicans — Jim Waring (Dist. 2) and Sal DiCiccio (Dist. 6) among the eight council members who represent Republicans in their districts. Thelda Williams, (Dist. 1), also a registered Republican, is less steadfast, though she issued this statement in opposition to the sanctuary city petition. Waring and DiCiccio both voted in opposition. After the vote, DiCiccio rightly accused the council of “punting” the issue by forming a committee to make recommendations. The remaining members newly appointed councilwoman Debra Stark (Dist. 3); Laura Pastor (Dist 4); Daniel Valenzuela (Dist. 5); Michael Nowakowski (Dist. 7); and Kate Gallego Dist. 8) are all liberal Democrats.
Residents of City Council District 3 (map here) will participate in a crucial March 14, 2017 runoff election (complete election info, including early voting under link). Stark was appointed as an interim to replace Councilman Bill Gates who was elected to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. Gates is a Republican. There is an excellent candidate ready to replace liberal, short-term, appointee Debra Stark. Chris DeRose, unafraid to declare his political affiliation and with an outstanding resume and a much-needed vibrancy, is the obvious choice.
If you live in Phoenix District 3, commit Chris DeRose’s name to memory. This is a major election with far-reaching ramifications. It’s too important to mistakenly regard as inconsequential.