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Sometimes repetition is good. Last week, I wrote that being in California can drive people crazy – political correctness, diversity, multiculturalism and all that.
Not a day goes by that the insanity isn’t reinforced and not surprisingly, but this time shockingly, it happened again last week.
This time it deals with the law, the courts, local government, public safety, a vicious triple murder and illegal-alien gang members protected by the misguided concept of a “sanctuary city.”
I’m speaking specifically of the city and county of San Francisco.
It was the same week that a proposal was made in the Oakland City Council to have that city also become a “sanctuary city.” That essentially means that illegal aliens are given the protections of citizenship.
Illegals become almost untouchable – police can’t consider immigration status, schools can’t ask and neither can medical providers, social services and more. It allows churches to provide “sanctuary” for people breaking a basic law of a sovereign nation – that borders have meaning and should only be crossed with legal documentation.
There are numerous sanctuary cities in California and across the country – a situation supported, fostered and strongly defended by those who believe that illegal aliens should be protected and helped.
The only thing better than sanctuary for illegals would be for them to get amnesty from the feds. That would wipe out the fact they broke the law getting into this country in the first place. It would put them at the head of the line for citizenship and all the social and financial benefits.
Never forget that amnesty is on the Obama agenda in Washington. Amnesty – or “comprehensive immigration reform” as it’s called – is what the president wants just as soon as he’s done with health care and cap and trade.
So while Oakland continues in its utopian dream world, across the Bay in San Francisco – which is a sanctuary city – the reality of what that means for the safety of American citizens and other residents has become painfully and insultingly clear.
In fact, it’s an instance of a misguided legal system rearing its ugly head with dangerous ramifications.
On Feb. 22, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Charlotte Woolard threw out a damages lawsuit brought against the city by the wife and family of a man and his two adult sons who were brutally murdered by an illegal-alien gang member.
In June 2008, 48-year-old Tony Bologna and his three sons were driving in the city, just a few blocks from home. Shots rang out from a passing car – shots that killed Tony and his sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16.
A third son survived and identified the shooter as 21-year-old Edwin Ramos. There have been allegations Tony and his sons were thought to be gang members. But they were not.
Ramos said he was driving that car but didn’t shoot. He’s pleaded not guilty. He could face life in prison without parole.
But he isn’t a usual suspect. Ramos has a record of street crimes – an assault in 2003 and a purse snatching in 2004. San Francisco considered him a juvenile (even though there’s no proof of his actual age) and because of the sanctuary city protection, his immigration status was ignored and he wasn’t reported to federal immigration officials.
Because of that, San Francisco juvenile courts sent Ramos to a city-run shelter and then to a “ranch” for such criminals instead of jail. And then, he was released to the streets.
Prosecutors don’t consider him benign. Beyond being an illegal alien who should have been reported to immigration, he’s also said to be a member of the violent MS-13 gang, and his prior crimes were violent.
But because of the sanctuary policy, Ramos got a slap on the wrist and was freed. Now Tony and his sons are dead.
His widow and daughter sued the city, holding it responsible for failing to turn Ramos over to immigration despite prior arrests as a juvenile. They claim that had the city followed federal law and turned Ramos over to immigration after his earlier arrests, he wouldn’t have been free to kill the Bologna family.
Superior Court Judge Woolard did more than just toss out the lawsuit. She said the cities “generally are not liable for failing to protect individuals against crime.”
She said the city had no duty to protect anyone from Ramos unless there was information he posed a specific danger to someone. Since there was no such “specific” evidence, the city is off the legal hook.
But the Bologna family attorney, Matthew Davis, told the San Francisco Chronicle there would be an appeal because while a city generally isn’t responsible for protecting everyone from crime, this case is different because by not reporting Ramos to immigration authorities, the city was “flat-out violating the law.” He’s referring to federal law that prohibits federal officials from interfering with enforcing immigration laws.
The murders created quite a political flap in the city resulting in Mayor Gavin Newsom reversing the sanctuary practice of not turning suspected illegal criminals over to immigration.
Now, he wants them turned over after arrests.
Not to be out-done in political correctness, city supervisors passed an ordinance overruling Newsom, saying there should be no reporting until after a suspect is found guilty.
Newsom, suddenly concerned about “following federal law,” says he won’t enforce the ordinance.
In the meantime, people in San Francisco are at the mercy of illegals who commit further crimes and the court holds the city harmless.
Think about that next time you visit.
Oh, and don’t forget that Tony, Michael and Matthew Bologna are still dead.