Victor Hugo’s Gothic Romance novel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame revolves around an innocent young woman, Esmeralda, being rescued from hanging by a hunchbacked bell-ringer who loves her deeply. She is given “sanctuary” in Notre Dame Cathedral under the law of sanctuary in effect in 1470 France. Despite the happy ending in the movie, the book has her tricked out of the Cathedral and hung for a crime she did not commit.
Funny that 2015 America is festooned with “sanctuary” cities that, unlike the Victor Hugo book:
- Aim to protect aliens that by definition are illegal and not innocent of crime as was Esmeralda.
- Function on the basis of their Mayors and City Councils simply “declaring” this place-of-refuge status for any and all illegal aliens regardless of the number of times they have illegally crossed our border unlawfully or any crimes they commit in other jurisdictions.
- Operate apparently independent of any state government authority, jurisdiction or concern.
- Appear to be invisible to the federal government, based on recent and emerging information since the heinous murder of a young woman in her father’s arms on a San Francisco pier and the woeful ignorance of the Secretary of “Homeland Security” before Congress recently and the indifference of the President.
Early American literature and jokes are full of stories about city slickers, country bumpkins and schemes of all sorts. Taking a leaf from the historic perceptions of smart city slickers and not-so-smart rural “rubes” I have given some thought to this urban “sanctuary city” scam and I think they are on to something.
- The Sheriff of San Francisco declares he has no choice but to not work with federal officers enforcing immigration laws.
- The Mayor and City Council say they are only doing what “the people” want.
- The California Governor and State Legislature sound like crickets at night around a Minnesota wetland.
- The President ignores the crime, the family, the “sanctuary city” phenomenon while sending staff to investigate the Police of Local communities actually enforcing all laws unlike his and the “sanctuary” bosses’ selective enforcement of select laws like immigration enforcement and the actual scattering of illegals to select cities around the country that are kept secret from American citizens.
So, speaking of “selecting”; there are many rural Counties that are currently hosting federally-forcibly-imposed wolves and grizzly bears. These very dangerous, deadly and destructive predators wreak havoc with human lives, human safety, livestock, dogs, and the economic life and the very viability of such counties. State governments with but a very few exceptions are complicit in the federal abuse while claiming to represent the State’s interest over wildlife species. Well, lah-dee-dah!
1.) If State’s have no role in cities declaring “sanctuary” status for illegal aliens that impact the state negatively every bit as much as they do the Local communities.
2.) If the State has no say or concern regarding cities under their purview withdrawing from any cooperation with any outside jurisdiction up to and including the federal government on whatever body of laws THEY decide will not be enforced in their jurisdiction.
3.) If the State or Federal government has no interest in cities, at their own discretion giving clandestine refugee status to illegal persons accused of crimes not of interest to the Sheriff, Mayor or City Council.
Why can’t rural Counties in any state at any time declare themselves as wolf/grizzly bear-free Counties?
If the State is AWOL as a City declares “sanctuary!” like some medieval priest; what does it matter that state governments whine that they are responsible for wildlife?
Can’t a rural County receive the same “consideration” extended to despised and harmful wildlife that THEY extend to urban “sanctuary cities” with clearly problematic aliens that are illegal by definition?
If the San Francisco Sheriff can release a clearly dangerous felon onto the streets where he then kills an innocent young woman AND STILL KEEP HIS JOB, what does any rural Sheriff have to fear if a County Commission and/or County Executive declare that they will offer NO assistance to ANY FEDERAL AGENCY ENFORCING ANY ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT VIOLATIONS?
If the good citizens of San Francisco can offer succor and support to illegal visitors, why can’t County governments authorize any resident to kill any wolf or grizzly bear on their property or in the County without any fear of any Local law enforcement informing or providing any assistance to any State or Federal law enforcement entity?
Why can’t the rural County residents pick and choose what federal laws they will enforce, just like those big-city-slickers?
Why can’t the rural Counties treat the federal government and federal laws like the federal government and cities like San Francisco do immigration, the right to bear arms, freedom of religion and freedom of speech, etc.? That is to say, ignore what you don’t like and destroy the rest?
This is not tongue-in-cheek. These are hard questions that give further evidence of the cultural rot around us that we clearly ignore at our own peril.
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Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC. He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands. He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC. He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority. He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.
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