Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly signed a bill on Monday prohibiting cities and counties from enacting “sanctuary” policies or ordinances for illegal aliens. Considering the deadly and destructive outcomes we constantly see in sanctuary cities, now is the time for other states to join Kansas. And the fact that Kansas isn’t a border state shows how deeply the border crisis is affecting the entire United States.
As of this week, no municipality in Kansas may restrict its police from cooperating with federal law enforcement or exchanging information about someone’s citizenship or immigration status. This move overturns three sanctuary ordinances in Wyandotte County, Lawrence, and Roeland Park in addition to preventing local entities from enacting them going forward.
Unfortunately, we’ve seen the way sanctuary policies play out, and it’s not pretty.
Across the country, in sanctuary cities and jurisdictions from Oregon to Maryland, illegal aliens who have been arrested are released, reoffend, and wreak havoc on communities.
One report looking at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement records found that in one 8-month period, over 60% of aliens released in sanctuary jurisdictions had “serious prior criminal records,” including assault, drug trafficking, and sexual abuse of children, among other violent felonies and public safety threats.
Once released, it is no surprise criminal aliens turn around and commit even more crimes. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has released information reporting on the murders, robberies, assaults, and other crimes committed by these aliens after they take advantage of sanctuary policies.
Take, for example, Jorge Luis Romero-Arriaga, released after being held for rape of a child when an immigration detainer was not honored in Washington. He went on to be convicted of multiple additional assaults. Or Rosalio Ramos-Ramos who was released and went on to commit a gruesome murder. Or Christian Octavio Parra and Martin Gallo-Gallardo, who were released only to murder their wives. And there are plenty of other examples just as horrifying as these.
Barring the fact that the Biden administration continues to discourage and defund immigration enforcement, wearing resources thin, there is some good news.
In states or jurisdictions where local police cooperate with federal law enforcement, there are hundreds of examples of aliens who have been convicted of serious offenses such as sexual assault, drug trafficking, and homicide being arrested and appropriately handed over to federal authorities. It’s safe to say that laws like the one Kansas just passed save lives.
If helping to prevent these types of violent crimes is not enough reason to applaud the Kansas bill and convince progressive government officials that sanctuary ordinances are horrible policy, there are also significant fiscal benefits to banning sanctuary cities. Lifting the unnecessary financial burden of illegal immigration off American taxpayers cannot be overlooked.
It is estimated that the Kansas bill will save taxpayers millions of dollars annually. As of 2017, Kansas spent nearly $4,500 on each illegal alien per year between public benefits, education, public safety, and more. That adds up to almost $377 million per year. For every 100 illegal aliens arrested and properly handed over to federal law enforcement, Kansas taxpayers will save nearly half a million dollars annually.
The state’s welcome anti-sanctuary legislation is the latest on a growing list. Kansas is not the first state to pass a bill like this—and it’s also not the first state far removed from the Southwest border to do so.
Over a dozen states have passed some sort of legislation banning or seriously dissuading sanctuary policies. In 2017, a bill similar to the one Kansas just passed was signed into law in Texas. Even states as far north as Montana have banned sanctuary cities, with public officials and supporters of the bill citing concerns about criminal activity and illegal aliens being relocated to the state.
States are realizing the negative impacts of President Joe Biden’s weak border policies and wisely taking matters into their own hands.
With Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’s dangerous catch-and-release policies well underway and the administration flying illegal aliens all over the country, “every state in the country is now a border state.”
The administration has also announced plans to end Title 42 in May, which was used since 2020 to expel mostly unvaccinated illegal aliens in an attempt to reduce the spread of COVID-19. U.S. Customs and Border Protection estimates that with the end of Title 42 enforcement, up to 18,000 illegal aliens per day could be flooding across the Southern border. We can expect every state to be affected.
Governors and state legislatures can—and should—pass laws now banning sanctuary policies as well as take all possible measures, including legal action, to fight off illegal immigration.
Kudos to Kansas for supporting and upholding the law. In light of the ever-increasing Biden Border Crisis, other states would be wise to follow suit.
This piece originally appeared in The Daily Signal