Former ICE Director Has a Message for California's Sanctuary Cities After Illegal Immigrant Murders Cop


The man suspected of murdering Police Cpl. Ronil Singh of the Newman, California, Police Department was arrested Friday in Bakersfield — 280 miles from where the murder happened. And, as it turns out, the case could be a devastating public relations blow for sanctuary locales.

Gustavo Perez Arriaga had been arrested multiple times for DUI and had known gang affiliations, Fox News reported. He was also in the country illegally, having originally hailed from Mexico.

When Singh stopped him as part of a DUI investigation, the situation allegedly escalated into a gunfight that ended in Singh’s death.

It’s always impossible to draw a direct line between sanctuary policies and crimes committed by those who benefited from them. And Arriaga is innocent until proven guilty, so let’s not discuss him as an example just yet.

Let’s instead set up a hypothetical illegal immigrant murderer who hypothetically escaped deportation after convictions for crimes like DUI or theft and then hypothetically killed a police officer.

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If he were deported, could he have re-entered the United States? Of course. Do sanctuary policies make it easier for him to commit said crime? Of course. Would a border wall have stopped him? Maybe.

In matters like this, Thomas Homan, the former acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, knows more than me. In this case, I defer to him — and in a Friday appearance he said that he thinks that a crime like this was going to be inevitable and that the Democrats’ refusal to grant funding for the border wall facilitates murders like Singh’s.

“If it’s true that he’s in the country illegally, we can agree on one thing: California provided him sanctuary,” Homan said.

“California’s a sanctuary state. Gov. (Jerry) Brown is proud of that. Kevin de León, the state representative, pushed that (sanctuary state) policy that the California Sheriff’s Association came out against it and said it would result in the release of criminals to the streets.”

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And one of those criminals has now allegedly killed a legal immigrant from Fiji — one who was serving his community via law enforcement.

“I’ve said it’s going to happen. I hate that I’m right,” Homan said.

He also criticized the Democrats for their refusal to fund the wall.

“People are dying because of their inaction,” Homan said, singling out Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi. “She’d much rather give this president a loss than do the right thing for the American people,”

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Pelosi and Democrats, he said, were “putting their hatred of the president ahead of” protecting Americans.

He might have hit on something here. After all, here are some Chuck Schumer quotes from the past decade, taken from before the idea that any exercise of security on our southern border is either inefficient or borne of prejudice and a preternatural desire to return to a bygone America that never really existed anyway.

  • “When we use phrases like ‘undocumented workers,’ we convey a message to the American people that their government is not serious about combating illegal immigration, which the American people overwhelmingly oppose.”
  • “Between 2005 and 2009, a vast amount of progress has been made on our borders and ports of entry. This progress includes … construction of 630 miles of border fence that create a significant barrier to illegal immigration on our southern land border.”
  • “Any immigration solution must recognize that we must do as much as we can to gain operational control of our borders as soon as possible.”
  • “One of the most effective things we do on the border is turn people back … They get up to the border and we find them and say, ‘go home!’”

Perhaps if we had done any of that, we wouldn’t be having this discussion today.

None of us can know if adequate border security would have saved Cpl. Singh’s life. What we can say, knowing what we do know, is that it wouldn’t have hurt.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture