Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick of Texas is blaming sanctuary cities for their role in a grisly tragedy that unfolded over the weekend. Authorities discovered eight dead bodies in the back of a steaming hot tractor-trailer in San Antonio along with 17 others who are said to be in critical condition. The gruesome tragedy inspired Patrick to go on Facebook with his thoughts about who might share responsibility.
“Sanctuary cities entice people to believe they can come to America and Texas and live outside the law,” Patrick wrote. “Sanctuary cities also enable human smugglers and cartels. Today, these people paid a terrible price and demonstrate why we need a secure border and legal immigration reform so we can control who enters our country. We continue to pray for the families and friends of the victims.”
The dead and near-dead individuals are believed to be illegal immigrants who were smuggled across the border by one operation or another. After their discovery in a Wal-Mart parking lot on Sunday, ICE Director Thomas Homan said that there may have originally been more than 100 people packed into the back of the truck. A total of 39 people were still inside when first responders arrived, four of whom were under the age of 17. In comments to the press, Homan said that an operation like this could not be limited to a prosecution of the driver.
“Even though they have the driver in custody,” he said, “I can guarantee you there’s going to be many more people we’re looking for to prosecute.”
The investigation will go forward, but in the meantime, it’s absolutely worth looking at the “carrots” that still remain in the U.S., luring these people across the border. In the Obama years, those carrots were easy to identify, seeing as how they were coming from the president himself. With DACA and DAPA and his infamous “prosecutorial discretion” policies that put nearly everyone other than rapists and murderers out of their fear of deportation, Obama spent eight years encouraging people from Central America and Mexico to take their chances.
Border statistics prove that President Trump, through both his rhetoric and his willingness to let ICE do their jobs, has turned the tide dramatically. The number of border crossers is down enormously over the last six months. Still, we have cases like this one. And you have to ask the question: Why are illegal immigrants still willing to take the chance? What hope do they have? And the answer is, as Patrick pointed out, plain as day. There are still more than 100 cities in America that refuse to cooperate with federal authorities when it comes to deporting these people, and that’s the beacon of light they are following. Until we, ahem, encourage these cities to fall in line with laws that protect our national security, illegal immigration will continue to plague our nation.