‘This is not as touchy-feely as some people may want to make it…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) California Gov. Gavin Newsom is facing criticism from liberal activists for allowing Immigration and Customs Enforcement to arrest an illegal immigrant convicted of murder.
The Cambodian native, Tith Ton, served 22 years in state prison for murder a rival gang member and was released on parole by Newsom last week.
Almost immediately after his release, he was picked up by ICE and now faces deportation.
Tith should be hugging his mother as a free person this morning for the first time as an adult. Instead, this is how he’s speaking to his mother because Gov @GavinNewsom tells prisons to collude with ICE. 💔 #ICEOutofCAPrisons pic.twitter.com/2O5VagL0Xn
— Anoop Prasad #FreeLiyah (@anoop_alc) December 23, 2019.
Many of California’s cities are “sanctuary cities,” which mean they prohibit local law enforcement officials from cooperating with ICE.
In his rhetoric, Newsom has vocally supported sanctuary-city policies. However, in practice, as San Francisco’s mayor, he pushed a policy that referred young, illegal immigrants to ICE. The policy, passed in 2008 under Newsom’s direction, led to the deportations of dozens of criminal immigrants, according to the San Francisco Bee.
Newsom has defended the policy as a necessary evil, arguing that without it, crime in the city would have skyrocketed.
“A lot of them have histories; a lot of them are second, third chances,” he told The New York Times in 2009. “This is not as touchy-feely as some people may want to make it.”
It could be that Newsom is reverting back to this strategy as governor, recommending violent illegal immigrants for deportation while fighting for those without criminal backgrounds. Newsom’s office has not said why they released Ton on parole or whether it had been coordinated with ICE.
“It’s deeply disappointing that the governor is choosing to work with ICE,” said Anoop Prasad, an attorney with the Asian Law Caucus. “It’s an unjust and illogical practice that is tearing apart communities in California.”