Birth of the “sanctuary city” began in 1979 when L.A. City Councilman Mike Wu pushed through its passage, which compelled LAPD Chief Darryl Gates to implement Special Order 40.
The intent was to encourage illegal immigrants to come forward and be witnesses and encourage victims to work with law enforcement, a position held by Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean. However, benefits of this policy are not supported by data or studies.
Santa Paula Police Chief Steve McLean said, “Most people who immigrate illegally try not to draw the attention of law enforcement.”
What has sanctuary city status accomplished for Los Angeles? It made Los Angeles a magnet for illegal immigrants, reflected in reversal of Los Angeles Unified School District’s declining K12 enrollment, which grew from 4.1 million students in 1980 to 5.4 million students in 1986.
The L.A. County sheriff reported in 2000 that 23 percent of inmates in county jails were deportable.
A confidential California Department of Justice study reported in 1995 that 60 percent of the 20,000strong 18th Street Gang in Southern California is in the country illegally; police officers say the proportion is actually much greater. The bloody gang collaborates with the Mexican Mafia, the dominant force in California prisons, on complex drugdistribution schemes, extortion and driveby shootings.
Absent illegal immigrants, overcrowded prisons and jails would not have forced Proposition 57 to allow early release of “nonviolent” inmates to reduce overcrowding, causing a 10 percent spike in state crime. K12 classroom size would be onethird smaller, allowing more intimate instruction at less cost because education is primarily funded by state and local tax revenues.
The Thousand Oaks City Council should opt out of the sanctuarystate movement and make clear that the contracted Ventura County Sheriff’s Office will actively communicate with federal immigration officers.