As the brother of a police officer, I am especially disturbed when I follow news stories like the one headlining across Denver this week: the 19-year-old firing shots without warning at two Denver police detectives, killing Detective Donnie Young. I can only send my condolences to his widow and two daughters and pray for God’s will to be done in their lives. May they find true peace and rest in Him.
As for Raul Garcia-Gomez, his punishment must be swift and certain and severe, and I pray that his capture comes quickly and without harm to anyone else. Those who would seek to kill uniformed police officers must be sent the sternest of messages.
But now the revelations come out that Garcia-Gomez was an illegal immigrant who worked at one of the restaurants owned by Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper. That fact is an unfortunate coincidence for the mayor, who has little or no oversight into the day-to-day operations of his businesses. A lot of business owners in the area – more or less prominent, Republicans or Democrats or no political affiliation at all – have hired illegal immigrants for various jobs. The phenomenon is systemic, and events like the one that occurred this past weekend in Denver should only drive us to find a resolution to the problem.
What is more disturbing is Denver’s broader public policy, as brought up by U.S. Congressman Tom Tancredo:
The Littleton Republican said U.S. immigration officials should have been contacted after each of three traffic citations issued to Garcia-Gomez in Denver because police could not confirm his legal status.
“Denver’s sanctuary policy prevents local law enforcement from cooperating with federal officials on immigration matters, despite federal law which explicitly prohibits such a policy,” Tancredo charged in a news release.
Once the initial period of grieving is over for Detective Young, some colleagues and officials may want to take a cold-eyed look at the sanctuary policy and decide who or what it’s really protecting. There are a lot of complex issues surrounding this case, but taking more care to ensure that illegal immigrants who flout our laws are sent back to their country of origin seems one simple and logical solution.