OPINION|Barry Richard: Arrest Officials Who Protect Illegals
How absurd is it when local and state police refuse to have the backs of federal law enforcement officials who are attempting to enforce the nation's immigration laws?
The San Francisco Chronicle says it has learned that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents are planning a series of raids in the Oakland area in the near future with the goal of rounding up some 1,500 illegal aliens. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf says she has no first-hand knowledge of the operation but, says Oakland Police will not be involved. Fox News says the Oakland City Council passed a resolution this week that ends all cooperation between local police and federal immigration officials.
California's new sanctuary state law took effect on Jan. 1. ICE says it is prepared to protect California citizens if local and state authorities refuse to do it.
The Trump Administration has asked the Department of Justice to arrest local officials who refuse to enforce federal immigration laws. Bristol County Sheriff Tom Hodgson told WBSM's Chris McCarthy he supports the idea;
"No elected official has a right to exempt themselves from following federal law."
"Anyone who knows of someone to be in this country illegally and attempts to harbor and conceal them is guilty of a felony under federal law."
Hodgson is correct. We are a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws. No local elected official has a right to refuse to enforce the law, especially when doing so places the safety of the citizenry at potential risk.
Editor's Note: Barry Richard is the afternoon host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from Noon-3 p.m. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.)