by Ted Tripp
Kate Steinle was the young woman who was walking with her father along a San Francisco pier on July1 when she was shot and killed by an illegal alien, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez. Lopez-Sanchez was a seven-time convicted felon, had been deported five times, and most recently had been held in a San Francisco jail until April 15 when he was freed without notifying the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) authorities who were seeking to deport him. The main reason ICE was not informed was because San Francisco is a “sanctuary city,” which means it provides minimal cooperation between its own law enforcement officials and federal agencies when it comes to illegal aliens. The justification by local politicians is that illegal immigrants should not have to fear being deported for “minor criminal offenses.”
It should be noted that Lopez-Sanchez has admitted he knew San Francisco was a sanctuary city and knew his chances of being deported were less. That was one of his reasons for being there.
Here in Massachusetts we have four sanctuary cities: Boston, Cambridge, Somerville and Amherst. So it is very possible that Kate Steinle could have been killed by Lopez-Sanchez if she had been walking along the banks of the Charles on either the Boston or Cambridge side of the river. Both cities have sanctuary laws that could lead to the same kind of snafu in San Francisco that led to Lopez-Sanchez being released into the general population. I hope Mayors Marty Walsh and David Maher sleep well at night knowing their residents are at risk of being killed by people who are here illegally and take advantage of it.
Incredibly, after the uproar over Steinle’s death and other deaths by illegal aliens since reported, in late July Lawrence City Council President Modesto Maldonado was still pushing a bill to make Lawrence a new sanctuary city. You have to ask, where do this insane people come from? Fortunately, Lawrence has a responsible and courageous mayor, Daniel Rivera, who opposes the move because he feels the threat of calling ICE can be an important tool in gaining a criminal suspect’s cooperation. At last, a mayor who understands the greater good of laws to protect all the citizens of his city.
The problem of what to do about sanctuary cities has moved to Washington where the Senate held hearings, called “Oversight of the Administration’s Misdirected Immigration Enforcement Policies: Examining the Impact on Public Safety and Honoring the Victims,” chaired by Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa.
One of the most powerful testimonies presented was by Laura Wilkerson, whose son Joshua was brutally tortured and killed by an illegal alien. Excerpts follow.
She began: “My son’s name was Joshua Wilkerson. On November 16, 2010, he was beaten, strangled, tortured until he died. He was tied up, thrown in a field, and set on fire. His killer, Hermilo Moralez, was brought here illegally by his illegal parents when he was ten years old, so he fit the ‘DREAM’ kid description. He was sentenced to life in prison, which means it will be 30 years before he’s up for parole. He’ll be a 49-year-old man, who I don’t expect to be deported. And I just hope he doesn’t come to live in your city.”
During Moralez’ trial, Ms. Wilkerson told the Senate: “We had to hear this kid on the stand muttering about, ‘In my country…’ ‘In my country…’ never to finish that sentence. We listened to him tell us repeatedly that his ‘killing skills took over,’ that Josh had kicked his dog, and his ‘killing skills took over.’ His parents somehow managed to provide lessons so he acquired a black belt in mixed martial arts. Joshua had never been in a fight in his life.”
Wilkerson continued: “Instead of getting Joshua home that day from school, we got an autopsy report. ‘This body is received in a grey body bag. There’s a tag on his toe that bears the name, Joshua Wilkerson. This is a white male weighing a hundred pounds. He is tied up with braided rope — 13 loops around his neck in a slipknot. It goes behind his back through his back belt loop. It goes to his hands and his feet, behind his body. He has multiple fractures in his face and nasal cavity. His throat and his voice box are crushed.’
“He was kicked so hard in the stomach that it sent his spleen into his spine, and sliced it in two … The medical examiner said it was torture.”
She continued: “This was our family’s 9/11 terrorist attack by a foreign invader, whether you want to recognize it or whether you do not. This government continues to fail or even recognize that we have an issue. Americans are dying daily at the hands of criminals that we don’t even know are here.
“You’re officially notified today there’s a problem when this happens. You can’t deny it any longer. You cannot, you cannot stand by and ignore our families — our American families. You’re elected by Americans, not any other country. You should be for Americans. If you want to sit quietly on the sidelines, you’ve thrown your hat into the ring already. Your silence speaks volumes. You’re either for Americans, or you’re not.
“I will not give up another one of my children so that a foreign person can have a nicer life. I’m not going to do it. You don’t understand the pain. It’s so deep in the soul — in the place you don’t even recognize you have. There aren’t words to describe the pain to someone who has not gone through it. I’m not giving up another kid.
“Sanctuary city policies scream to the criminal element of illegals in this country: ‘Come to our town USA, we’ll protect you from our terrible policemen. We’ll protect you from these tough American laws, that you — because you had a hard life — are not able to go through the same motion that an American is.’ It is going to take another life lost by a Senator, a Congressman, the President, even another of today’s heroes, someone from Hollywood before someone in a position moves on this. I urge you: you are in a position to do something about this for Americans.
“Our family is shattered. It’s shattered– it’ll never be the same. We’ll manage, we’ll go on. We function. We put on that happy face. But my kids have changed — surviving kids have changed. Everything about us has changed. It’s by the grace of God that in our broken hearts we have a stream of memories of the loving relationship that we had with Joshua.
“America lost that day. You lost a good citizen that was on the brink of becoming who knows what. He mentioned going into the Air Force like his older brother, who was out defending this country — Americans — and we had to bring him home to bury his little brother, when he wasn’t being defended right here at home. It’s absurd to me.
“Illegal aliens aren’t living in the shadows; they boldly break our laws and demand taxpayer freebies. They’re not scared to come here. We’re inviting them. Sanctuary cities say, ‘Come on down.’ Sympathy has never trumped the law in this country. Ever. Everyone of them here threaten national security because we don’t know who they are. They make a decision to come here. They’re not scared, and they’re invited by sanctuary city policies. They aren’t scared to wait in line for a hand-out that every American citizen has paid into the system for our children if need be. They mistrust police because they come from countries that mistrust police. They’re not scared here.
“I want you to know that our family is broken, forever. We are forever broken. I don’t want the sympathy. I want you to do something about it. Every one of you sitting here is in a position to do something. Just throw your hat into the ring for Americans. Quit sitting silent because it’s going to help you get a vote. Throw your hat in the ring and take care of American families.”
Laura Wilkerson concluded her impassionate speech to a standing ovation. You can view her entire Senate testimony here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYqz7JCjDm4.
Perhaps you ought to send a copy of this column to Mayors Marty Walsh and David Mayer, as well as City Councilor Modesto Maldonado. A copy to the mayor of Somerville and the select board of Amherst wouldn’t hurt either.