After this past week, illegal immigration is sure to be a topic of conversation around many dinner tables. The verdict in the Kate Steinle murder trial has some Americans beyond angry. But if there was any doubt about the need for tougher immigration laws, this Oregon case will remove it.
A Portland judge sentenced 31-year old Sergio Jose Martinez to 35 years in prison on Friday. He kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and sodomized two Oregon women back in July. One of his victims was a senior citizen who innocently left a window open to cool her home.
Not surprisingly, Martinez was completely unfazed by the judge’s sentence. He sat there laughing, obviously void of any remorse. As he was leaving the courtroom he gave a parting grin to the family members of his victims saying, “See all you guys in hell.”
Prior to his latest arrest, the U.S. deported Martinez a mind-blowing 20 times. And just like the illegal immigrant, Jose Zarate, he too was a convicted felon. Yet another shared similarity is that Oregon, like California, is a sanctuary state.
In fact, it’s Americas oldest safe-haven for illegal immigrants. The state adopted its sanctuary policy in 1987. Existing laws prohibit local law enforcement from detaining persons illegally in the U.S. if they haven’t committed other crimes.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler openly supports defying federal immigration laws. “The 10th amendment of the constitution makes it clear that municipalities cannot be coerced into enforcing federal law,” Wheeler told KATU News.
In addition, Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese refuses to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Just a few months ago, Reese punished one of his officers for working with ICE officials to detain an illegal immigrant.
After capturing Martinez again, Reese blamed federal authorities for not dealing with the problem. “’It would help our community to understand how he was held accountable by federal authorities for multiple, illegal re-entries,” the sheriff said.
Apparently, an ICE detainer request isn’t what people like Reese consider accountability. Martinez is once again on an immigration hold, but taxpayers will be footing the bill for his “three hots and cot” and cable television until he is 66 years old.
Hardly what anyone would call justice, right?