Another major U.S. city has enacted sanctuary city policy and sure enough, Univision was there to celebrate, with a disturbingly uninformed and inaccurate picture of the reality of sanctuary cities in America.
In this case, correspondent Enny Pichardo reported on Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney’s executive order issued back in January limiting Philadelphia police cooperation with Homeland Security and federal immigration authorities in federal immigration law enforcement.
Philadelphia’s previous Mayor, Micheal Nutter, had issued a similar order under his term, but had subsequently signed onto Homeland Security’s Priority Enforcement Program (PEP) in December 2015. Now, even Priority Enforcement is prohibited in the “City of Brotherly Love.”
Pichardo cited as the subject’s only “expert”, Maria Turcios, a community organizer for the New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia.
MARIA TURCIOS, COMMUNITY ORGANIZER, NEW SANCT. MVMT.: This invites everyone to do the same, to continue receiving immigrants, not with what is coming now, wanting to remove a large part of the immigrant people of this country.
What the report fails to take into account is that in June of 2014, the very order that Mayor Nutter initially passed was at play in a rape case at a Rittenhouse Square apartment. The suspect was deported in June 2013, came back into the country illegally and assaulted a 26-year-old woman in her apartment.
Failing miserably to include contrary viewpoints in relation to law enforcement, much less the circumstances surrounding former Mayor Nutter’s rescinding of his initial order (he even got a special thank you for doing so at the time from U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson), Univision took the opportunity to once again push the narrative that local officials can thumb their noses at the feds without any adverse consequences.
In addition to Turcios, the celebratory report also featured Gerardo Flores, an undocumented immigrant who stands to benefit from Philadelphia’s reinstated sanctuary city order.
Around the country, sanctuary cities have been refusing requests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement by the thousands, and among those requests (in 2014) 62% were for people who were previously charged or convicted of a crime.
Leaving it to the cities and letting them determine which federal laws to comply with is not how rule of law is supposed to work. If Mayor Kenney, María Turcios and Jorge Ramos want to figure out how to best change the law (ahem, “federal agreement”), perhaps they need a little Schoolhouse Rock to guide them along on how to do it.
The text of the referenced report on the January 5th, 2016 edition of Noticiero Univisión appears below:
6:39:10 – 6:41:14 PM EST | 2 MIN 3 SEC
JORGE RAMOS, CO-ANCHOR, NOTICIERO UNIVISION: Well, the other face of the immigration drama is the city of Philadelphia that started the year with an official rejection to the raids on undocumented immigrants. Their new mayor is called Jim Kenney, and issued an executive order cancelling the collaboration of the city with immigration authorities to hand over arrested undocumented immigrants to deport them. Enny Pichardo tells us.
ENNY PICHARDO, REPORTER, UNIVISION: They say that Philadelphia is a hospitable city and that is why hours after his inauguration the new mayor, Jim Kenney, signed an executive order that limits the help of that city to deportations of Immigration and Customs Enforcement of the United States. According to the mayor, the executive order states that "the city authorities will not cooperate with orders from the Immigration Service to detain undocumented immigrants ... unless they have committed a violent crime of first or second degree." Community leaders applauded this initiative.
MARIA TURCIOS, COMMUNITY ORGANIZER, NEW SANCTURAY MVMT: Well, it invites everyone to do the same, to continue to welcome the immigrant, not with what is now being said to take much of the immigrant people out of this country.
ENNY PICHARDO, REPORTER, UNIVISION: One of the beneficiaries is Gerardo Flores, whose son was deported after being arrested by local police.
GERARDO FLORES: He loaned money to a pseudo-friend, and then when my son went to collect the money, he would not pay, call the police on him, and in those times immigration and police were together, they immediately passed him to immigration.
ENNY PICHARDO, REPORTER, UNIVISION: This is not the first time in Philadelphia that this type of measure is implemented, in 2014, the former mayor Michael Nutter signed a similar executive order that put restrictions on these deportations. However, this order was removed last year.
MARIA TURCIOS, COMMUNITY ORGANIZER, NEW SANCTURAY MVMT: He had an agreement ... with the President ... a federal agreement, and he had to do it.
ENNY PICHARDO, REPORTER, UNIVISION: Noticiero Univision contacted Immigration and Customs Enforcement to ask for comments on this executive order but never got an answer. In Philadelphia, Enny Pichardo, Univisión.