JANUARY 24, 2020 JUDICIAL WATCH
In the latest example of sanctuary madness, a U.S. city is awarding an illegal immigrant with a cash settlement because police detained him for federal authorities after being arrested for driving under the influence. The 29-year-old perpetrator, Edgar Torres Gutierrez, eventually pled guilty to a lesser charge of reckless driving and his pro bono attorneys from a nearby public university sued the city for violating his Constitutional rights as well as a statewide sanctuary law. Under the agreement, Gutierrez will receive $18,750 from taxpayers in the California coastal municipality where he lives illegally. Local police officers will also be forced to watch a training video involving sanctuary measures for the next two years.
Even for a famously liberal state this seems to be a bit much. The unbelievable incident occurred in Laguna Beach, a southern California town of about 23,000 residents. In the summer of 2018, Gutierrez was arrested and jailed by Laguna Beach Police on suspicion of driving under the influence. The law enforcement agency held him at the request of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) so the feds could take custody. In all, Gutierrez spent around 15 hours in Laguna Beach Police custody and several more hours in a Los Angeles immigrant detention facility, according to a local news report. Apparently, Gutierrez wasn’t deported because he is protected by an Obama-era amnesty program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) that temporarily shields illegal immigrants that came to the U.S. as children. Government figures show that more than100,000 illegal immigrants who have requested DACA have serious criminal histories that include murder, rape and assault charges.
Imagine if every American city paid each of them a settlement for cooperating with federal authorities. Gutierrez came to the U.S. illegally from Mexico when he was three and takes responsibility for the “actions” that led to his arrest. He said this in one local news report: “I acknowledge that and I am at fault for that and I am dealing with the consequences of that.” However, the illegal immigrant added that police should not be working with ICE to deport undocumented aliens like him who are protected under DACA. He is calling on fellow illegal immigrants to speak up and come forward when they feel there’s been an injustice or if their “rights” have been violated. After taking a victory lap, his publicly-funded lawyers filed another complaint this week with the Laguna Beach Police Department that will require more taxpayer resources to defend.
Emboldened by sanctuary policies and open-borders groups that offer free legal representation, a growing number of illegal immigrants are filing lawsuit demanding rights in the U.S. Last year seven illegal immigrants detained in a workplace raid sued the federal agents that arrested them, claiming that they were racially profiled for being Latino. In a federal court complaint their pro bono attorneys asserted that ICE agents violated the illegal aliens’ Constitutional rights against illegal seizures and to equal protection under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Months earlier a separate lawsuit resulted in a federal court ruling that illegal immigrants can sue American employers that refuse to hire them because they require workers to be U.S. citizens or legal residents (green card holders).
The movement has also gained tremendous momentum as leftist groups flex their muscle to pressure local municipalities to protect illegal immigrants. A few years ago, Judicial Watch obtained records documenting how Arizona’s largest city became a sanctuary after its police chief held a private meeting with an influential leftist group ordering a change in immigration enforcement. The documents show that Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams quietly implemented a policy banning officers from contacting the feds after arresting an illegal alien following a secret meeting with the director of a leftist group demanding protections for illegal aliens. The agreement also forbids Phoenix police officers from asking about suspects’ immigration status.