The City of Santa Ana recently announced that they have partnered with North Star Destination Strategies to develop a community “Brand” for marketing the area to residents, businesses and visitors in the year 2017 and beyond. However that branding effort might have already been settled when the Santa Ana City Council decided this week to support a resolution declaring Santa Ana to be a Sanctuary City.
City employees in these sanctuary areas are directed not to contact the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency when they become aware of an illegal alien in the community, according to the Sanctuary Cities website.
While Sanctuary Cities improve relations between local law enforcement and the immigrant community, they also can result in repeat criminal offenders being released to commit more crimes instead of being detained or deported, according to USA Today.
Sanctuary cities can also be more attractive to the undocumented, increasing the economic burden on the Sanctuary City to support this population.
In July of 2015, an undocumented resident named Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez murdered 32-year-old Californian Kathryn Steinle on a pier in San Francisco. San Francisco sheriff’s deputies blamed her murder on the city’s sanctuary policies, which bar municipal employees from assisting federal immigration agents with investigations or arrests.
Sanctuary cities have released over 8,100 criminal illegal aliens in the past eight months and at least 1,900 of them later committed 7,500 new crimes, ranging from murder to child sex abuse, according to Progressives for Immigration reform.
On the contrary, a 2009 report published by the Police Foundation found that “local police involvement in immigration enforcement could have a chilling effect on immigrant cooperation” with police. “Without this cooperation, law enforcement will have difficulty apprehending and successfully prosecuting criminals, thereby reducing overall public safety for the larger community,” according to Mother Jones.
So what about Santa Ana’s brand? Clearly that brand is now, for better or for worse, “Sanctuary City.” So the obvious question is will this new brand attract more businesses and visitors to our city?
While Downtown Santa Ana has been reborn over the past few years and the many new bars and restaurants in that area, as well as the Artists Village, do attract lots of visitors, the increase in crime in our city since the firing of former SAPD Police Chief Paul Walters has been a real problem for all of us. This has even affected DTSA, where several partygoers have been brutally killed including a young Vietnamese American woman who was kicked and stomped to death by two local women, a young Korean American who was robbed and shot and more recently an off duty security guard who was brutally stabbed while at a concert in a basement.
Whatever money the city is spending on this branding idea is now a waste of money. Thanks to our City Council we now have a new brand, like it or not. Whether or not being a Sanctuary City will actually do anything positive for our city’s image remains to be determined.