The acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement blamed the Golden State’s sanctuary laws and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf’s warning that ICE officers were about to conduct a series of raids in the Bay Area late last month.

ICE chief Thomas Homan said Tuesday that three Mexican nationals in this country illegally were among the aliens targeted by the roundup. Just days after evading capture in the raid, Homan said the men went on to commit new criminal offenses. Without identifying them by name, Homan reported:

  • One was arrested for robbery and gun crimes. He had been released back into the community for a prior offense despite an ICE detainer request in November.
  • Another was busted for drunken driving, despite having been deported three times and prior convictions for false imprisonment, DUI and battery of a spouse.
  • A third man was arrested for corporal injury of a spouse. He had been deported twice and criminal convictions including drug possession, hit-and-run, DUIs, possessions of narcotics equipment and a parole violation.

The Justice Department is suing California over the state’s sanctuary policies and is reviewing Schaaf’s actions for possible prosecution.

Congress must act accordingly. Lawmakers have the authority to withhold federal funding for sanctuary jurisdictions as Congress weighs a $1.3 trillion spending bill this week.

Money going to sanctuaries is the lowest of low-hanging fruit. It should be the first to be cut, root and branch.

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