Planet Princeton

Letters: Princeton’s `Sanctuary City’ Policy Misguided

Dear Editor:

On Wednesday, July 1 a young woman named Kathryn Steinle was shot in the chest in broad daylight on a popular pedestrian pier in San Francisco as she walked with her father and a friend. She collapsed in her father’s arms begging for his help and died several hours later in a hospital. Her brother described her as “the most wonderful, loving person.” Kathryn’s murderer was Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, an illegal Mexican immigrant and seven-time felon who had been previously deported from the United States no less than five times.

Lopez-Sanchez was on his way to a sixth deportation earlier this year, records show, but was instead sent to San Francisco at the request of the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department to face prosecution in a 1995 drug case. Lopez-Sanchez was picked up from the federal Bureau of Prisons by the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department on March 26. Local prosecutors, however, dropped the drug charge the next day at which point Lopez-Sanchez should have been handed over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) based on a request to hold him for deportation when San Francisco was done with him. But, instead, the Sheriff released Lopez-Sanchez in April onto the streets of San Francisco where he would murder Kathryn Steinle a few months later. San Francisco officials shrugged off the tragic consequence of its action and deflected responsibility elsewhere.

The reason for the release? San Francisco has a “sanctuary city” law that actually directs law enforcement to ignore federal immigration laws. After his arrest for the murder, Lopez-Sanchez, in a jailhouse interview with San Francisco’s KGO-TV in which he admitted killing Steinle, said that he knew San Francisco was a sanctuary city where he would not be pursued by immigration officials.

Sound familiar? It should, because less than two years ago, Democrats on Princeton Council proposed just such a plan for our town, barring police from enforcing immigration laws and from cooperating with ICE officials. At the time, Councilwoman Heather Howard summed up the Council’s reasoning by saying that local police cooperation with ICE would be “detrimental to both public safety and the peace of mind of Princeton’s growing immigrant community.” Cities such as San Francisco were held up as models of immigration reform. Yet today, we witness the dark and tragic side of such misguided “progressive” policies: a beautiful, innocent young life has been tragically taken as a result and the potential deadly consequences of such a sanctuary scheme to law-abiding Americans has been overlooked.

In the aftermath of the San Francisco tragedy, from the politically correct bubble in which Princeton politicians operate, Mayor Liz Lempert doubled down on Princeton’s status as a “sanctuary city.” Rather than an apologia, the public would have been better served by a straightforward statement by the Mayor that Princeton will not be a safe haven for alien criminals who constitute a real threat to public safety and should be deported.

As it stands, the message is muddled. Is Princeton’s self-proclaimed status as a “sanctuary” just a political slogan in a situation where standard police law enforcement precepts are being followed or is it something else? Princeton officials need to define exactly what is meant by sanctuary and sanctuary from what.

Having spent my professional career in the U.S. Department of State (mostly in Latin America) interviewing and processing hundreds of thousands of law-abiding, qualified immigrants and refugees for entry into the United States (as well as having an immigrant father), I keenly appreciate the value and talents immigrants bring to our country. I also agree that our federal immigration policies urgently need to be reformed, but this must be done at the national level, not by municipalities that can wind-up sending the wrong message to individuals who would endanger the safety of our communities.

Sincerely,

Dudley Sipprelle

Chairman, Princeton Republican Committee

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  • wacourson

    I suspect that your (or the TDPS’) numbers are off, CC: According to the DHS status indicators, just over 207,000 criminal aliens have been booked into local Texas jails between June 1, 2011 and November 30, 2016. During their criminal careers, these criminal aliens were charged with more than 553,752 criminal offenses. Note, with particular care, that this category includes both legal as well as illegal aliens.

  • Community Conscience

    Exactly to my point. This will come back to haunt us, big time. Wait until it’s someone you KNOW who becomes one of their victims.

    This is the Democratic way – disarm and restrain the People and then let criminals loose in their midst “Catch and Release.” What could possibly go wrong??

  • krystalknapp

    Interesting story by one of my colleagues at the Boston Globe about how Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was quietly releasing
    violent offenders back into the U.S. when their home countries wouldn’t
    take them:

    https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/06/13/ice-freed-sex-offenders-often-without-notifying-states/v14qAOXKUOqAtaFeKGeGWI/story.html

  • Community Conscience

    “Liberal” is a nasty name? Who knew?

    Planned Parenthood has violated Federal law. They do many good things but something has gone terribly wrong as anyone with a moral compass can plainly see. But then again, consider its founder (Margaret Sanger) who believed in a eugenic approach to “inferior races” and went to KKK meetings. Or, to quote a wonderful woman, Alveda King (MLK Jr.’s niece) “Abortion has done what the KKK could only dream of: roughly one quarter of the black population is now missing.”

    All, sadly true. Verify if you can handle the truth.

  • resident

    What is nasty is your intentional name calling. Why should anyone believe that your more philosophical statements have some validity when you can’t write a post here without name calling.

    Other than simply repeating the claim that it is misguided and immoral, how about if you address why you think the scientific study of human tissue is wrong? Such studies can save the lives of other people. To the extent that religion is involved, I believe God approves of such work. Why wouldn’t we want to save the life of a 3-year old?

  • Community Conscience

    The Planned Parenthood videos, and the views above and below, simply epitomize the depraved indifference to human life embodied in so-called Liberal ‘values.’ No, we know nothing, not even something this outrageous, can change your minds. Thank you for confirming it. That’s what Liberalism is – commitment to so-called ‘ideals’ no matter who disagrees and no matter what the consequences to humanity.

    They simply don’t care, and as you can see, will never, ever question their ‘beliefs’ no matter how misguided. They even take a call for morality in face of indifference to human life and call it “nasty” and “angry” when it is neither. The greatest tragedy is that those who truly DO care are criticized into silence in America.

    But, that is what Liberals want more than anything else, your agreement and your silence.

  • resident

    I agree that we should behave with morality, decency, and a respect for human life. I believe Planned Parenthood does this.

    I think your posts here, and your willingness to keep lobbing nasty characterizations against those with whom you disagree, show that you should reflect on how to treat others with decency and respect. I think you would be less angry if you tried to understand why good people have such different views than yours.

  • Martha Friend

    I guess you and I simply differ about our definitions of “morality” and “respect for human life.” You also don’t seem to understand what services Planned Parenthood actually provides. I can assure you, whoever you are, that I have plenty of outrage but it is focused squarely on those who attempt to make decisions about MY body. I’ll see you at the polls in November.

  • Community Conscience

    Lack of outrage = Lack of Humanity. But this is where Liberals have taken our society. What really matters is morality, decency and a respect for human life. Get a grip on that.

  • Martha Friend

    And so it continues that lines are drawn with those citizens able to see outside of their own lives and those stuck in a place where only their story matters. Fetal cells are a vital research tool for saving lives, often children’s lives. Let’s get a grip and focus on what really matters. I’m a proud supporter of Planned Parenthood and the health services they offer to all women (no matter their story.)

  • Community Conscience

    If they would “love to be here legally” then require them to do so. Looking the other way is insulting to legal immigrants.

  • Community Conscience

    Oh, sorry, where else would you have obtained this false idea? HuffPost? Planned Parenthood has already apologized for the ‘hoax’ videos and the move to defund them (since they are breaking the law) continues.

  • Community Conscience

    Criminals ignore the law. You must not realize this. Plus, we aren’t enforcing the laws we already have.

  • resident

    Gun laws aren’t perfect but they reduce the ability of people to obtain guns, which results in fewer gun related crimes. It doesn’t eliminate all of them, but it does reduce them.

  • resident

    Huh? I think you’ve really lost it. What does MSNBC have to do with this?

  • resident

    nothing callous here. there’s nothing wrong with people donating their body tissues for scientific research. it helps finds cures for other ailments.

  • Community Conscience

    Seriously, you cannot possibly have watched the four videos released and have that attitude. How callous can you be?

  • Community Conscience

    Ding ding ding!!! We have found the last MSNBC viewer alive!!!

  • Community Conscience

    Criminals do not obey laws. Only Dems believe that they do and that laws are magic.

  • resident

    You know that the Planned Parenthood video was a hoax, right? The unedited version of the video shows nothing improper was going on.

    Is this what your side is reduced to? Relying on editing to try to show that there is a problem?

    And yes, I believe the real risk that lions will be going extinct is more important than a fake controversy created by a fake group with no evidence other than a heavily edited video.

  • resident

    Of course they do. And one can look at the studies on this if one doubts it.

  • Community Conscience

    Fetal body parts are being sold illegally by a group supported by taxpayer dollars. But you favor lions.

  • Community Conscience

    Gun laws do not prevent shootings of any kind. But you know that.

  • Alexi Assmus

    Answer to your question, I believe, is in a Packet article. Princeton police don’t turn over people who are caught for minor offenses and do not participate in federal roundups of undocumented immigrants. Isn’t the latter — immigration enforcement — the job of the federal government and shouldn’t this be done at the “national level” as you suggest in your letter, not by Princeton police.

    Police Chief Sutter was reported to have said that a ” binding directive from the state Attorney General in 2007 tells law enforcement it must notify federal immigration authorities when law enforcement arrests an undocumented immigrant for offenses ranging from drunken driving to more serious, first-degree crimes.”

    From Packet article (Google Mayor stands by town sanctuary).

    “The town declines to hand over illegals to federal immigration authorities who are caught for minor offenses. Also, police do not participate in raids or roundups of illegals by federal authorities.

    Police Chief Nicholas K. Sutter, also at the mayor’s press conference, picked up on the issue. He said “our responsibility as a police department (is) to provide impartial policing to all members of our community and visitors to our community.”

    “That’s what we take an oath to do,” he said. “That has to be one of our priorities.”

    He said a binding directive from the state Attorney General in 2007 tells law enforcement it must notify federal immigration authorities when law enforcement arrests an undocumented immigrant for offenses ranging from drunken driving to more serious, first-degree crimes. He said those circumstances are clearly outlined in the directive.

    “It doesn’t leave discretion up to the local authorities,” he said.

  • Alexi Assmus

    Undocumented immigrants would love to be here legally — those who win the lottery for a green card are very happy. It’s not a “why bother” situation as you suggest.

  • Alexi Assmus

    Is Painesville Ohio a sanctuary town?

  • resident

    Lions are headed for extinction. One should care about them.

  • resident

    I hope you spend this much energy arguing for gun laws, after every senseless shooting in this country.

  • resident

    You sarcasm is amusing!

    Seriously, it still doesn’t appear that you have any understanding of why people with opposite views hold those views. The people you are maligning are legal, US citizens who you disagree with on the issue about having a massive deportation effort and a roundup of illegal aliens. I think you know this. No one was suggesting that you were maligning the motives of the immigrants — that hasn’t been the issue.

  • Community Conscience

    You’re right. How odd that I would impugn the motives of people entering the US illegally and then being offered ‘sanctuary’ after having done so. I suppose that when someone breaks into your house, you will give them a big hug and offer them breakfast.

  • Community Conscience

    (CNN)For the second time in under a month, an undocumented immigrant has been accused of murdering someone after authorities became aware of their status but did not detain or deport them.

    Juan Razo pleaded not guilty this week to an attempted murder charge stemming from a violence-filled July 27 that also included a woman’s killing, an attempted rape and a shootout with officers in Painesville, Ohio.

    In addition to allegedly shooting and wounding a woman in the arm, police said that Razo, 35, attempted to rape his 14-year-old niece hours before he shot and killed Margaret Kostelnik, a 60-year-old woman who,according to CNN affiliate WEWS, was the secretary for the mayor in nearby Willoughby for nearly three decades.

  • resident

    The main stream media covered the tragedy about Ms. Steinle. And no one finds this tragedy to be insignificant.

    The underlying issues aren’t insignificant either. But the court cases you seem to getting upset about, aren’t that significant in themselves. It’s part of the normal business of justice.

    I’m not sure why you keep wanting to describe people in this way (with the worst possible motives and beliefs). It’s not true and doesn’t help to find a solution. I know, I know, you have a solution — but it’s not a solution that will be implemented unless you compromise with others. And that can only start by understanding what their concerns are and why they disagree with some of your positions.

  • Community Conscience

    Mr. and Mrs. Steinle, and many other Americans, do not find the events leading to her murder to be insignificant. Only the MSM, who largely refused to cover it, and certain other groups feel that it is insignificant when the deliberate release of illegal alien criminals results in the tragic death of American citizens.

  • resident

    The Texas claim is unsupported by evidence. One can Google politifact about this claim, first made by Gov. Rick Perry in 2014. In their words,

    “PANTS ON FIRE – The statement is not accurate and makes a ridiculous claim.”

    The article has an analysis showing why some people might make the claim and why that analysis distorts the situation.

  • resident

    I found the article on this case (in which a judge found that the administration wasn’t following the law and was being too lenient). I also found an article about a different case where a judge found that the Obama administration was violating federal law by being too harsh with the treatment of illegal immigrants.

    We have a big government and individuals in the government aren’t perfect. They make mistakes. Some are being lax about federal law, others are being too harsh. I didn’t see anything to suggest that there’s a deliberate policy one way or the other by the government to break the law.

    There’s no conspiracy out there. You can also find these items in the main stream press. Have you considered that the reason they aren’t reported as much as you like is that they aren’t as significant as you might think?

  • Community Conscience

    Haven’t you ever considered how insulting it is to immigrants who enter legally, learn English and finally become American citizens, only to witness that our government takes few steps to inhibit ILLEGAL immigration? Take human behavior and incentive into account – why bother to integrate into American culture legally when you can simply join the ranks of the illegals? NO other developed country in the world allows such nonsense with regard to borders and immigration.

    By the way, since you mention Texas, are you aware that according to the Texas Dept. of Public Safety, illegals have committed 611,234 crimes there (10/2008 – 4/2014) against Texas residents, including at nearly 3,000 homicides and nearly 8,000 sexual assaults? Texans are fed up with being victims of crime.

  • Community Conscience

    Administration attorneys are on record admitting breaking the law and violating court orders on immigration work permits. Of course you are aware that Texas and 25 other states sued the administration over their actions.

    Thousands of dangerous federal prison inmates will be released in November as a result of the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s decision to lower federal sentencing for all drug trafficking and distribution crimes.

    Even though the ‘shortened sentences’ involve mostly drug crimes, the release will include inmates with violent criminal histories who committed crimes involving assault, firearms, and even murder.

    Overall, the Sentencing Commission has estimated that 46,376 prisoners are eligible for early release under Amendment 782 — with nearly 8,000 offenders eligible for immediate release on November 1, 2015,”

    The MSM turns a blind eye to many, many stories that don’t fit a so-called ‘progressive agenda.’

    Where will they go? Princeton has the welcome sign out.

  • Jim Jenson

    I agree 100%. Lived in Texas, don’t vote Democrat, and I respect folks who want to work hard to make a better life for their children (like my grandparents did!).

    Our national immigration laws are broken. And we need immigrants to revitalize our country, etc. Thank you Princeton Council and Police for handling this situation with care and respect.

  • resident

    Why do you believe the Obama administration has broken Federal law? Googling the article that you cite shows that 72% of the releases of the most serious criminals were court-mandated, and the remainder were subject to monitoring, such as with electronic bracelets, after release.

    The study seems to distort what the actual situation is. The Obama administration would be breaking the law if it didn’t release most of these criminals, many of whom have already served the full term of their sentences.

    Again, why are you blaming the Obama administration for doing their legal duty and following the courts’ instructions? I can’t help thinking that this is just an excuse for a partisan attack.

    Lastly, what’s with the attack on the main-stream media? I found it reported in a cvs news article. You sound a bit paranoid.

  • Community Conscience

    Seriously? Oh, I forgot, MSM not covering it.

    From 2014: Federal immigration officers released another 30,000 immigrants with criminal records last year, following the 36,000 it released in 2013 (announced by Fed government).

    DHS has actually broken Federal law in the release of hundreds of illegal alien felons.

    Republicans in Congress have proposed rewriting the law to allow for longer detention of serious criminals, and they have called on the Obama administration to use existing powers to deny visas to leaders of countries that refuse to take their citizens back.

    But the administration has declined to take those steps.

    Ms. Vaughan said one reason for the drop from 36,000 to about 30,000 is because immigration agents are arresting and detaining fewer aliens in the first place, thanks to President Obama’s new immigration plans.

    Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson late last year acknowledged the high number of releases for a second year in a row.

    “I believe it should be lower,” he said.

    Mr. Johnson said money should never be a reason for releasing someone with a serious criminal record back onto the streets.

    The ‘welcome sign’ is out in Princeton.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg. Google is your friend.

  • resident

    I think I must have missed this. What are you referring to and when did this happen?

  • Alexi Assmus

    Our economy and life style is dependent on hard-working immigrants who do many jobs, including staffing restaurants, doing landscaping, taking care of children, picking fruits and vegetables, … Shouldn’t we give back? We would be in deep trouble if undocumented workers were suddenly forced to leave the country — some Texas Republicans understand that which is why they have supported immigration relief for the many hard-working, and yes, even tax-paying, undocumented workers.

  • Community Conscience

    “I believe all politicians would say that they support:

    3) emphasize protection of the public from dangerous criminals”

    Great. Assuming that you are correct, then, local politicians still looking at this should appropriately post below their condemnation of the Federal government’s release of thousands of dangerous felons into the general population:

  • resident

    Thank you for making a post that omits mentioning both of the political parties. I think that helps promote a better discussion of the important ideas.

    I believe all politicians would say that they support:

    3) emphasize protection of the public from dangerous criminals (Please note there are dangerous criminals who endanger the lives of the illegal immigrants currently here).
    4) support Federal law

    Item 4) is the only one that is related to being faithful to the US constitution.

    I would disagree that it is a duty of government to always put our own citizens first. That may a good principle in general, but it is not an absolute one. Being too rigid about this has led to past disgraces such as not wanting to admit Jewish refugees from the Nazis into this country, and not wanting to be involved in World War II (it doesn’t involve the US said the non-interventionists). And in the present, there are clearly US citizens whose rights aren’t being respected (whether with voting issues or police brutality), so this demand to respect the rights of all US citizens doesn’t seem an inviolable principle (though I would like it to be).

  • Community Conscience

    Last week, House Republicans took action to stop so-called “sanctuary cities” from ignoring the law. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director testified to the House Judiciary Committee earlier this year that there are more than 200 such jurisdictions that don’t honor ICE detainers. The Enforce the Law for Sanctuary Cities Act (H.R. 3009) would cut off federal funds under the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, the Byrne-JAG program, and COPS funding to state and local governments that work to undermine federal immigration laws. The bill passed with the support of only six Democrats.

    174 Democrats voted against this bill to protect Americans from criminals, and President Obama threatened to veto it. Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) even called Kate’s tragic death “a little thing.” He’s wrong. This act of violence in San Francisco was entirely preventable.

    Shockingly, GOP leader Mitch McConnell blocked inclusion of ‘Kate’s Law’ in the Highway Bill. I guess people are more upset about a lion than what is happening to their own country.

  • Community Conscience

    So it’s considered an “attack” to request that our lawmakers remain faithful to the US Constitution and US law? Elected officials take a sworn oath to support and defend the Constitution and uphold the law. It is not an “attack” or “demand” to request that our lawmakers DO THAT instead of either ignoring the problem or imposing their own sense of ‘right’ and ‘wrong.’

    We do seem to have two points of view. One group of people is offended by the concepts (1-6) above. The other group of people are offended by actions that threaten the lives of innocent Americans. It isn’t a partisan issue to put our own citizens first, after all, that is the duty of government.

    “Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.” James Madison

  • resident

    Again, do you not see the one-sidedness of making all these demands of the Democrats without offering concessions? What concessions in your positions are you willing to make?

    And don’t you see that asking Democrats to “put Americans first” is pretty-much a red-meat item for campaign stops for the tea-party crowd. It’s not a way to have a constructive dialogue.

    Can one also point out that almost everyone in this immigration debate is an American? Some are North Americans, some are South Americans, and others are Central Americans.

    Lastly, would you consider making a post that doesn’t contain an attack on Democrats? It may lead to a more productive discussion by being less partisan.

  • Community Conscience

    That will be increasingly easy after Democrats begin to speak out to:

    1) secure the border
    2) oppose sanctuary for illegals
    3) emphasize protection of the public from dangerous criminals
    4) support Federal law
    5) put Americans first
    6) oppose handouts for illegals

    You must understand that the combination of a porous border and a welfare state will be the downfall of our country. Or do you?

  • resident

    There is a long history of anonymous political discussion, starting with the Federalist papers. Even today, anyone with a regular job can be fired for their published political views. I’m sorry if you feel offended by anonymous posts, but I would encourage you to debate the ideas of these issues, rather than use these issues to try to score political points.

    I would encourage you to help lower the partisan nature of this discussion by not painting all Democrats with the same brush, and as the cause of the current problem.

  • John Heilner

    While I fully support Princeton’s policy of only holding undocumented immigrants for which an arrest warrant has been issued, or who pose an imminent threat to the community until a warrant can be obtained from a judge – and not for “detainer requests” which have no force of law – I am also in favor of securing the border.

    However, statistics demonstrate that once a wall began to be erected – at huge taxpayer cost – the number of undocumented who remained in the USA began to increase. Why? Because it became much more difficult to leave and reenter later…..the San Francisco murderer notwithstanding. I don’t have the figures at hand, but from the 1950’s – early 1990’s or so, low skill workers came and went seasonally with employment opportunities. It’s a lot cheaper to live south of the border, plus they had family there.

    All this discussion only proves that we absolutely need to fix our broken system with comprehensive immigration reform, that matches labor supply to demand, and provides a path to citizenship for those who so desire.

  • Dudley Sipprelle

    We know the tactic well, we hear it every day at the national level–if Democrats have a weak case, demonize the Republican opposition. Even put words in the mouths of opponents. If you want to criticize, fine, this is America, but get the facts straight. Start by reading my letter carefully. I mentioned only “criminal aliens”, not law-abiding members of the local community. Background check? The SF murderer stole the weapon. Warrant? The murderer was released from prison at the request of San Francisco prosecutors for prosecution. He was then knowingly released by the Sheriff without notice to ICE. As Senator Feinstein (D) noted, “A phone call would have been sufficient.” You also cite a number of alleged abuses of our local immigrant community which require intervention through ordinance. Can you share your evidence of this alleged abuse in Princeton? I won’t patronize those firms. As for the lack of movement on immigration reform, that’s a bi-partisan failing of national leadership. And, for the record, I do not employee illegal aliens, or anybody else, to clean my house. Can’t afford it because Princeton property taxes are too high.

  • Dudley Sipprelle

    While I welcome the opportunity to engage on the issues, I’m not
    going to respond further to Internet trolls venting their partisan
    spleen anonymously. If one wishes to question my motives, intent, etc.,
    then he/she/it should have the courage of their presumed convictions
    and identify themselves.

  • Dudley Sipprelle

    While I welcome the opportunity to engage on the issues, I’m not going to respond further to Internet trolls venting their partisan spleen anonymously. If one wishes to question my motives, intent, etc., then he/she/it should have the courage of their presumed convictions and identify themselves.

  • Community Conscience

    Local experience simply confirms the Democratic outlook. During the debates last year (at the Unitarian Church) which included questions on immigration, only one candidate, Alieta Eck (R) mentioned securing the border. There was literally a ‘gasp’ in the room and all Democratic candidates indicated that securing the border was not on their list of priorities.

    Find some Dems who want to uphold US immigration laws and implement true border security and then we can talk. You won’t find any locally. The open border is the future Dem voter pipeline.

  • resident

    This is an honest question: what do you think that your quote from 2008 shows?

    It seems to show that 14 House Democrats in 2008 challenged the Bush administration’s policy. That’s a far cry from all Democrats obstructing all progress on the issue. Nor does it show that “the history of empty rhetoric on the part of Democrats.”

    You seem, along with Mr. Sipprelle, to want to take the opinions of some Democratic politicians and then generalize it to every Democratic member. You took offense when I made a similar generalization of Republicans above in response. Yet, you seem to intentionally keep doing it for the Democrats. Is this intentional or do you not understand the mistake you are making?

  • resident

    Mr. Sipprelle is an intelligent person and we all know that the members of the Council are Democrats. By writing “Democrats on Princeton Council” rather than “the members of Princeton Council”, he was attempting to make this a partisan issue, and use it for political purposes, rather than discuss the underlying issue. Please stop denying what was clearly intended.

    If you want to earn political debating points, you, along with Donald Trump, have a right to do so. But please also acknowledge that you aren’t interested in finding a solution to the problem.

  • Community Conscience

    ““Fourteen House Democrats, including eight committee chairmen, said yesterday that they will file a brief supporting a legal challenge to the Bush administration’s plans to finish building 470 miles of fencing and other barriers on the U.S.-Mexico border by the end of the year.”

    Washington Post, April 7, 2008

    You cannot rewrite the history of empty rhetoric on the part of Democrats on the issue of border control. They oppose any efforts to close their “future Dem voter pipeline”

  • Community Conscience

    There is no such thing as “singling out” Democrats when they are the only party represented in Princeton. “Singling out from what? They bear singular responsibility for trying to make the town a Sanctuary City and in allowing that to be the de facto policy.

  • resident

    People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

    Dudley, look back at your letter. You wrote it in a partisan tone by singling out Democrats for their poor policy. There was no need for that if you were trying to be nonpartisan and interested in finding a solution. I don’t want to demonize anyone, but surely, if you start by mocking the Democrats, you can expect people to respond against the Republicans.

  • resident

    “Democrats obstruct any progress on this issue …” Surely, you know that this is not a true statement. I could make equally false statements about the Republican positions. Neither would get us anywhere.

    Is your goal pointless rhetoric or finding a solution? Surely, you must realize that simply reporting your talking points is a great fundraiser for the tea party crowds but won’t lead to a solution.

  • Dudley Sipprelle

    We know the tactic well, we hear it every day at the national level–if Democrats
    have a weak case, demonize the Republican opposition. Even put words in the
    mouths of opponents. If you want to criticize, fine, this is America, but get the facts straight. Start by reading my letter carefully. I mentioned only “criminal aliens”, not law-abiding members of the local community. Background check? The SF murderer stole the weapon. Warrant? The murderer was released from prison at the request of San Francisco prosecutors for prosecution. He was then knowingly released by the Sheriff without notice to ICE. As Senator Feinstein (D) noted, “A phone call would have been sufficient.” You
    also cite a number of alleged abuses of our local immigrant community which require intervention through ordinance. Can you share your evidence of this alleged abuse
    in Princeton? I won’t patronize those firms. As for the lack of movement on immigration reform, that’s a bi-partisan failing of national leadership. And, for the record, I do not employee illegal aliens to clean my house. Can’t afford it because Princeton property taxes are too high.

  • Community Conscience

    It is Common Sense that no progress can be made on immigration reform until our border with Mexico is reasonably secure. Democrats obstruct any progress on this issue because to them the porosity represents a steady stream of future Democratic voters. As exemplified by the feckless San Francisco city officials (all Dems) innocent lives lost do not concern them.

  • Community Conscience

    The Obama administration has recently released thousands of illegal alien felons into the U.S. population. Princeton has put out a welcome sign for the undocumented who flagrantly violate U.S. immigration law. Those posting the ‘sanctuary’ sign bear responsibility for the results.

  • resident

    If you check the record above, you’ll see that you’re the one who started the “blame the other party for this problem” rhetoric. Part of finding compromise is not being antagonistic. If you’re sincere about wanting to make progress, I’d suggest more conciliatory language.

  • John Heilner

    This seems like a good analysis of a complicated statistic that apparently has changed over time. Please note the last paragraph.

  • Fsclcnsrvtv

    I think you need to check the record. Republicans like Rubio, Graham and Ryan have hammered out deals on immigration, but both parties have quashed them before they were brought to the table. In fact, Harry Reid himself killed the last deal before the vote took place. But go ahead…continue blaming all our woes on the other party. That ought to help.

  • resident

    Your reply is typical of the problem. The only “compromise” that most Republicans want is one in which they don’t compromise at all. Describing your opponents interests in the way you do may be rhetorically effective for the tea-party crowd, but it’s an example of why we don’t have a solution. There are Democrats willing to compromise, but they don’t seem to have any partners to work with.

  • John Heilner

    It’s very disappointing to see the Chairman of the Princeton Republican Party politicize the very tragic murder in San Francisco. Is he playing a “Trump card?” Did he poll all the Republicans in town before he wrote this?

    Without negating the tragedy of this killing, and the pain felt by the victim’s family and friends, someone who would shoot another for no reason must have a mental illness. Are we to lock up everyone with mental illness, whether white, black, Asian, or Latino? Some do require separation from society, most do not. And what kind of background check was carried out before the killer obtained a weapon?

    If the accused had seven felony convictions, was there a warrant out for his arrest? Under Princeton’s police directive, a warrant would cause an individual to be held for the Federal authorities. Detentions without warrants have been held illegal by a number of circuit courts in the last 18 months. This resulted in the Dept. of Homeland Security issuing a directive to its Immigration & Customs Enforcement Division (ICE) last December to cease “detainer requests” to local police departments unless a warrant exists.

    Princeton Police Chief Nick Sutter told NJ.com last week that “the law and the attorney general’s directives are clear anyway (he said), saying it is a “complete misperception” to believe that leaving immigrant witnesses, victims and community members alone is equal to offering sanctuary to potential criminals. If somebody is legally allowed to leave our custody and we hold them past that time, there’s a constitutional issue.”

    Would the writer have our police hold hard working people for low level offenses like changing lanes without signaling and broken tail lights?

    I fully support Mayor Lempert, Town Council and our Police Department in their welcoming policies toward immigrants. These include the detention distinction discussed above, stepped up community policing, and actions like amending our local landscapers ordinance to make unresolved wage theft a cause for revocation of a landscaper’s license to do business in Princeton. A few unscrupulous employers take advantage of undocumented workers to steal their minimal wages.

    Who among us has not benefited from undocumented immigrants doing our landscaping, shoveling snow in the winter, serving us or working behind the scenes in our restaurants, cleaning our homes, etc. I can speak from personal experience assisting students with financial aid applications for schools and colleges that yes, their undocumented parents are paying personal income taxes as well as payroll and sales taxes.

    I hope our local Republican Party will spend more time convincing their colleagues in Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform – as was passed by the Senate two years ago and has been on hold in the House ever since – and less time trying to capitalize on this tragedy to fit a narrow political agenda.

  • Fsclcnsrvtv

    Unfortunately the Democratic Party’s solution includes more amnesty and no changes to the porous Southern border, so I think it’s pretty fortunate that Republicans have been resistant to the Dem. plans.

  • John Heilner

    President Obama has deported more undocumented immigrants than any of his predecessors – even during a period when illegal immigration has decreased due to the initially slumping economy that Obama inherited. Frankly, I’m depressed by the deportation of hard working immigrants who have built a life here and often must leave behind spouses and children in the USA. But let’s stick to the facts – the Obama administration has done far more to stop illegal immigration than was done in the past.

  • resident

    I’m a Democrat (pretty far on the left, usually) and find this incident very troubling. An innocent person died and it could happen again because of the current policy. I disagree with the suggestion that there should be no sanctuary anywhere — there are good reasons for the sanctuary policies — but there needs to be some change in the current policy. The alleged perpetrator here had a previous record and that shouldn’t have been ignored.

    This is a bipartisan issue and needs a bipartisan solution. Unfortunately, the Republicans haven’t seemed opened to working with Democrats on immigration issues for the past decade. There needs to be a compromise solution.

  • Community Conscience

    Democrats believe they own the moral high ground and must impose it upon others. When innocent people die as a result the fallacy of this approach is exposed. They then choose to ignore the impact of their misguided agenda.

  • Dudley Sipprelle

    As often the case, self-styled “progressives” get huffy and defensive when
    their cherished beliefs are called into question. It is not I who has drawn the
    “straight-line,” but you, in an attempt to change the subject. I made a plain
    observation: “Princeton officials need to define exactly what is meant by
    sanctuary and sanctuary from what….federal immigration policies urgently need
    to be reformed, but this must be done at the national level, not by
    municipalities who can wind-up sending the wrong message to individuals who
    would endanger the safety of our communities.” San Francisco ignored that
    truism and it has unleashed a bi-partisan national backlash which will not result in a positive outcome for immigrant communities.

  • Community Conscience

    Exactly what is offensive about stating that providing a place of ‘safety’ for those who ignore US immigration laws affords NO benefit to Princeton residents and encourages illegal aliens (they are NOT immigrants) to move here for protection from ICE?

  • Martha Friend

    Mr. Sipprelle, in your statement above, you have drawn a direct line between our Princeton residents who came into this country illegally and “dangerous people.” Are you implying the two go hand-in-hand?! When you say, “Let’s be honest, “sanctuary” is a code-word for providing refuge to law-breakers and dangerous people” you surely make it sound that way. I don’t know you but I ask that you clarify your statement because as it stands, it’s incredibly offensive to many of us in the Princeton community.

  • Dudley Sipprelle

    You
    wrote: “I know many of the members of our outstanding police force and there is
    no question that they work diligently to keep ALL members of the Princeton
    community safe.” I ask you why that fact should be particularly noteworthy in
    this discussion? That’s what a police force is sworn, and paid, to do.
    Obviously, some police forces do it better than others. Sen. Diane Feinstein
    (D), a former Mayor of San Francisco, in her criticism of San Francisco
    officials yesterday, said it best, “We should deport convicted criminals, not
    set them loose on our streets.” Let’s be honest, “sanctuary” is a
    code-word for providing refuge to law-breakers and dangerous people. In any
    event, the issue at hand is about elected officials who are ultimately
    responsible for public policy. I am still waiting for a direct and
    unequivocal response to the question I posed in the penultimate paragraph of my
    letter.

  • Martha Friend

    I guess I do mean “otherwise law-abiding.” Thank you for the clarification.

  • Resident

    Perhaps you mean otherwise law-abiding?

  • Martha Friend

    Obviously, I can’t speak for Princeton Council but I can imagine they would favor all legislation that works to support and afford opportunity for success to all Princeton residents. The Princeton community is no way perfect but I’m perpetually astounded at the energy so many put forth to get it one step closer.

  • Community Conscience

    Each year the Border Patrol apprehends hundreds of thousands of aliens who flagrantly violate our nation’s laws by unlawfully crossing U.S. borders. Such illegal entry is a misdemeanor, and, if repeated after being deported, becomes punishable as a felony.

    Does Princeton Council favor sanctuary for those who flagrantly disregard US law and eventually become felons (repeat illegal entry)?

  • Community Conscience

    Actually we are descended from SETTLERS not illegal immigrants.

  • Community Conscience

    This is not a issue of “gun control” (since the gun was stolen from a federal agent) it’s clearly one of ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION control. Democrats perpetuating a chronically porous border allowing CRIMINALS to enter the U.S. and then offering them sanctuary in order to provide for more Democratic voters.

    Shame on Democrats.

  • Community Conscience

    Number of guns up, number of gun crimes way down from the 80s and 90s per FBI stats. Facts don’t lie (but Democrats do).

  • Fsclcnsrvtv

    Why?

  • PrettySmart1

    Yes?

  • PrettySmart1

    Judging by the number of gun massacres that have occurred in this Country without any progress toward diminishing the number of guns in private hands, a very large number indeed…

  • PrettySmart1

    I am suggesting that you are descended from immigrants.

  • Fsclcnsrvtv

    I don’t think that anyone is suggesting that police chief not protect illegal immigrants from wrong doing. The debate here is whether he, and the Princeton municipal government, should ignore Federal laws and create a haven for people to commit crime by overstaying visas without risk of prosecution or deportation. Why do you seemingly feel it’s okay to undermine the immigration laws of this country?

  • Fsclcnsrvtv

    Pretty Smart – No, I am not a Native American. I know that is the go-to argument for the pro-illegal immigration crowd, but the argument has no merit. Are you suggesting that because land was taken from Native Americans when the nation was formed, we don’t have the right to enforce immigration laws? Basically all modern nations were formed when one group of people conquered another, and acquired the land. Are you suggesting no nations have the right to enforce borders and immigration laws? Are you suggesting we just do away with our own borders altogether? We admit more LEGAL immigrants every year than any nation on the planet. It sounds like you think that as long as a person is nice, said person has the right to ignore the immigration laws of this country. I think I’m a pretty nice guy…can I come into your him without permission and stay as long as I’d like? I promise I’llwork hard.

    Oh, and if you read the article you’d have learned that Princeton has elected to ignore Federal immigration laws, and refuses to cooperate with the Feds in any illegal immigration matters.

    Thanks

  • PrettySmart1

    It is not possible for Princeton to “ignore federal laws.” Also, I’m betting you are not a Native American, so wanting to close the door after your ancestors arrived safely doesn’t reflect very well on you. Illegal immigrants have a tough enough time getting here and making a living here that the successful ones are the kind of strivers that make this Country better. There is no need to make the system harsher.

  • Martha Friend

    I think our police chief should speak for his officers- “our responsibility as a police department (is) to provide impartial policing to all members of our community and visitors to our community.” I do know that the Princeton community is filled with all kinds of citizens from many many countries, some here legally and some not. I also know that someone’s legal status tells me nothing about their ability to be a positive member of the community.

  • Jenny Crumiller

    Princeton Council member here. This is not a new policy. The former Princeton Borough had a policy in place for a number of years before consolidation whereby police do not enforce immigration laws. One reason for that is that violations of immigration laws are civil matters rather than criminal matters and are enforced by a federal agency. As mentioned in the letter above, our police believe that Princeton is safer when undocumented residents are not afraid of them.

  • Community Conscience

    PrettySmart?

  • Community Conscience

    Exactly how many senseless tragic deaths of innocent people are needed?

  • Fsclcnsrvtv

    Overstaying one’s visa, or better yet, entering the country illegally, are criminal acts. So yes…Princeton is a safe-haven for criminals. Working without a work visa is criminal. Earning money without paying taxes is criminal. Shall I go on?

  • Fsclcnsrvtv

    So….you think it’s a good idea to encourage illegal immigration, and disregard Federal laws?

  • PrettySmart1

    The death of a single woman at the hands of a single illegal immigrant in California is hardly grounds for changing municipal policy. Maybe the author of this letter is going to join the Republican presidential field.

  • Martha Friend

    Princeton is not a “safe haven” for any criminals, Mr. Sipprelle. I know many of the members of our outstanding police force and there is no question that they work diligently to keep ALL members of the Princeton community safe. There is way too much ignorant hate-filled rhetoric in the media these days, wouldn’t you agree? As a public school teacher in Princeton, I wholeheartedly support Mayor Lempert as she clarifies the importance of keeping Princeton a community for all of our law-abiding citizens (regardless of their legal status.) As I understand it, this means that the town places the safety and interests of its residents first- all of its residents.

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Vinyl: A Magical History Tour

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Sat 19

Johnny Rockets Grand Opening Celebration at the Quaker Bridge Mall

January 1, 1970 @ 11:00 am - August 26, 2017 @ 1:00 pm
Sat 19
Sun 20

Good Grief Volunteer Facilitator Training

August 20 @ 9:30 am - 5:30 pm
Sun 20

31 & Main Farmers Market at Campus Town

August 20 @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Sun 20

Vinyl: A Magical History Tour

August 20 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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