For thousands of dads, Father’s Day is a sad reminder of the children they’ve lost because, for decades, the federal government has refused to secure the border or enforce immigration laws. As a result, innocent lives have been forever lost, and grieving families are left to wonder why the government has been so consistently remiss for so long.
In 2008, Jamiel Shaw Jr. was walking from the bus stop to his Los Angeles home just three blocks away when Pedro Espinoza, an illegal alien recently released from jail, shot and killed him. His father, Jamiel Sr., had just spoken to him on the phone. A high school junior, Shaw was a good student and promising football player being scouted by Stanford and Rutgers universities. Conversely, Espinoza was an 18th Street gang member who had been arrested the previous year on gun charges and for assaulting a police officer. The day after his four-month early release, Espinoza murdered Shaw. At the time of Jamiel’s murder, his mother was serving her second tour of duty in Iraq.
Adding to the Shaw family’s grief was Los Angeles’ sanctuary city status which means it won’t report criminal aliens’ release to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for their removal. Los Angeles also had in effect the controversial Special Order 40 that prohibited police officers from inquiring about detained suspects’ immigration status.
In San Francisco, another sanctuary city, Don Rosenberg’s son Drew was the 2010 victim of a hideous hit-and-run murder. Roberto Galo, attempting to avoid oncoming traffic, hit Drew at an intersection. Multiple eyewitnesses reported that after Galo’s car initially struck Drew’s motorcycle, he accelerated and ran over the 25-year-old law school student. Then, attempting to flee, Galo backed his car up, and ran over Drew a second time. Finally, Galo put the car in drive and ran Drew over a third time. Galo was convicted of vehicular manslaughter, and sentenced to serve six months, but released after 43 days.
Jim Steinle was enjoying an arm-in-arm walk down a popular San Francisco pier with his daughter Kate on a beautiful July 2015 day when five-time deported, seven-time convicted Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez shot Kate in yet one more example of a sanctuary city tragedy. In testimony to Congress, Jim said that the last words he heard Kate say were: “Help me, Dad.”
Kate’s father described her as loving and happy, a caring woman of deep faith who often traveled and “shined the light of a good citizen from the United States of America.” Steinle then charged the federal government with poorly enforced immigration laws and “basic incompetence” on multiple levels that led to Kate’s death at the hands of foreign national who should not have been in the country.
To write that nothing has changed in the years that have passed since the Shaw, Rosenberg and Steinle families were destroyed would be misleading. In defiance of federal law and against wishes of the majority that criminal aliens be deported, sanctuary cities in California and elsewhere have increased in number. Los Angeles and San Francisco have established legal defense funds on behalf of deportable aliens, and the California state Assembly will vote soon on legislation that would make California a sanctuary state. To use California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León’s exact, boastful words, the bill would “freeze out ICE.”
The best Father’s Day gift Jamiel, Don and Jim could get would be assurances that others won’t have to suffer the same pain they did when preventable crimes took their loved ones away forever.
Deport, don’t protect, criminal aliens.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.