Megyn Kelly Eviscerates Obama Administration’s Refusal to Crack Down on Sanctuary Cities

Fox News Channel host Megyn Kelly tore into the Obama administration at the top of Wednesday’s Kelly File for both their inability to comment on the illegal immigrant allegedly at the center of 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle’s murder in San Francisco and refusal to crack down on sanctuary cities like the far-left Bay Area city.

Kelly ruled that the American people deserve “a direct, straightforward, simple answer” to whether or not President Obama thinks San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi made a mistake in releasing illegal immigrant Francisco Sanchez prior to his alleged murder of Steinle as well as a denouncement of a police that she argued has led to “lawlessness at the local and federal level."

After laying out the facts of the murder case, Kelly then played a clip of reporter asking White Press Secretary Josh Earnest about Mirkarimi’s decision to which Earnest declined to comment “as it relates to this specific case.”

Following the clip, Kelly rebuffed Earnest by stating that “[t]his cannot be turfed to Homeland Security” and “[t]he White House owes the public an answer, a direct, straightforward, simple answer because it was this administration that apparently stopped a measure to combat sanctuary cities like the one in San Francisco in the first place.”

After having expressed the need for Congress to mandate that local authorities cooperate with ICE in a congressional hearing on March 19, Kelly explained that the Obama White House joined with “the ACLU, immigrants rights groups and others” to have Saldaña undergo “a shocking about-face” on the issue and essentially reject the pleas she had made the day before.

Kelly further pointed to the likelihood that the Obama White House joined with “the ACLU, immigrants rights groups and others” to have Saldaña undergo “a shocking about-face” after having expressed the need for Congress to mandate that local authorities cooperate with ICE.

Late speaking with The Five co-host and former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino, Kelly demanded that the administration explain “their ongoing support for these policies” since, in the end, it’s the President who’s “in charge of all of” the executive branch. 

Thus, Kelly added: “He can't dodge responsibility for the policies he refuses to support at the federal level. The laws that are on the books by saying, take it up with Saldaña or Jeh Johnson. They answer to him.”

Continuing to hold little back, Kelly castigated the administration for engaging in “lawlessness”:

He allowed this to happen. They – the administration knew the person he placed in charge of ICE was telling Congress, ‘yes, help us, get these cities into compliance’ and someone took her behind the wood shed and said you’re reversing that explicitly and now they don't want to answer for it because they know the press will be too lazy to hold them to account. It is lawlessness.

The relevant portions of the transcript from FNC’s The Kelly File on July 8 can be found below.

FNC’s The Kelly File
July 8, 2015
9:00 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Breaking Tonight; White House Ducks San Francisco Question]

MEGYN KELLY: In the five days since an illegal immigrant shot and killed Kate, a 32-year-old woman, shot at random on a pier, this story has become increasingly ugly. First for San Francisco and now for the White House and President Obama. She was killed while walking with her dad in a popular and public location, allegedly by an illegal immigrant who had been deported five times and had managed to put multiple felonies on his record as he kept coming back. Francisco Sanchez told police he had gone to San Francisco because it was a sanctuary city where he was less likely to be deported and sure enough, when he was being held on drug charges last March, the San Francisco Sheriff's Office decided to release him rather than have the feds deport him, saying that is their policy, but their policy undermines federal law. 

(....)

KELLY: This cannot be turfed to Homeland Security. The White House owes the public an answer, a direct, straightforward, simple answer because it was this administration that apparently stopped a measure to combat sanctuary cities like the one in San Francisco in the first place. In fact, The Kelly File has unearthed direct evidence that the administration has no interest in cracking down on sanctuary cities and here is the proof for you to see for yourself. Listen to the head of ICE or Immigration and Customs Enforcement on this very issue less than four months ago. This is Thursday, March 19, 2015 and Ms. Saldaña on the subject of cities that put immigrant felons back on the streets. 

ICE DIRECTOR SARAH SALDANA [on 03/19/15]: Last calendar year, state and local jurisdictions rejected more than 12,000 ICE detainer requests. These are convicted criminals?

UNIDENTIFIED CONGRESSMAN [on 03/19/15]: Would it help you if we clarified the law to make it clear that it was mandatory that those local communities cooperate with you? 

SALDANA [on 03/19/15]: Thank you, amen, yes. 

KELLY: Thank you. Amen, yes. Crack down on the sanctuary cities is what she said, but the very next day, Friday March 20, a complete reversal after the ACLU, immigrants rights groups and others pressured the White House and presto, the head of ICE makes a shocking about face. This time in writing, though, saying, quote, “[a]ny effort at federal legislation now to mandate state and local law enforcement’s compliance with ICE detainers will, in our view, be a highly counterproductive step and lead to more resistance and less cooperation in overall efforts to promote public safety.” What happened to thank you, amen yes a day earlier? And now, after clear evidence that it is not interested in a sanctuary city crackdown, this administration tells reporters it can't comment on whether the President backs the sheriff or the policies in this case? 

(....)

KELLY: They have to got to speak to their ongoing support for these policies. It isn't okay to try to turf it to Homeland Security. Who ultimately runs Homeland Security? President Obama is in charge of all of it. He can't dodge responsibility for the policies he refuses to support at the federal level. The laws that are on the books by saying, take it up with Saldaña or Jeh Johnson. They answer to him. 

(...)

KELLY: He allowed this to happen. They – the administration knew the person he placed in charge of ICE was telling Congress, ‘yes, help us, get these cities into compliance’ and someone took her behind the wood shed and said you’re reversing that explicitly and now they don't want to answer for it because they know the press will be too lazy to hold them to account. It is lawlessness.

DANA PERINO: And note she wasn't asking for more money, okay? She was asking for a clarification of the law that the federal law trumps which the federal law does. You can’t, as a city – you don't get to pick and choose which laws you going to enforce or defend. For example, in the Bush administration comes into office in 2001, they inherit all sorts lawsuits that the Clinton administration filed. We didn't drop them. We actually had to defend the D.C. gun ban because that was the law and that’s what you had to do....She wasn't asking for money. She was asking for help from the federal government – from the Congress to help them tell the cities to do what the law already says they have to do. 

KELLY: What the law requires. That’s why I say it is lawlessness at the local and federal level.

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