When Salud Carbajal took office in January 2017, the tragic consequences of policies and laws prohibiting local law enforcement from partnering with federal authorities to remove unlawful criminals were already excruciatingly clear in California, and especially along the Central Coast.
In July 2015, Cal Poly graduate Kate Steinle was shot on a San Francisco pier and died in her father’s arms. Her killer was in the country illegally and had been deported multiple times. Just a few weeks later, Santa Maria resident Marilyn Pharis was assaulted and murdered in her own home. Her assailant, also in the country illegally, had been arrested multiple times. In 2015 and 2016 a crime wave in Santa Maria, attributed to the violent MS-13 gang moving into the area, resulted in over a dozen killings.
With this background, it would seem that Salud Carbajal would be a vocal advocate for reforming laws in order to protect our community and our law enforcement officers from violent unlawful criminals.
His silence is deafening, but his votes do the talking.
In Congress Salud’s June 2017 votes against Kate’s Law and the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, both which contained provisions that would have kept Pharis’ murderer off the streets, were the first in a pattern of votes supporting criminals instead of supporting law enforcement and our families.
Salud had detailed, first-hand knowledge sanctuary policies led to Victor Martinez being on the streets of Santa Maria to assault and brutally murder Marilyn Pharis. In September 2015, as a Santa Barbara County Commissioner, he attended a three-hour long special meeting focused on finding out why, despite having an ICE detainer filed against him, Pharis’ killer was released back into the community. Salud was silent about the horrible suffering Pharis endured when he had an opportunity to comment. Instead, he said:
“I just wanted to say that we should all be appalled when any major crime is committed, no matter whether you’re documented or not, US citizen, we should all be appalled. And what I certainly hope does not happen is that we create this inadvertent or purposeful demagoguing of the immigrant community.
“But we do also need…comprehensive immigration reform that will really once and for all deal with the complexity of this issue, and allow 11 million people who are working in this country to come out of the shadows and to really be acknowledged for the work that they’re doing, and create a comprehensive approach to dealing with this issue.”
He didn’t ask why, when Victor Martinez was arrested in 2014 for felony assault with intent to commit sexual assault, the ICE detainer was ignored. He didn’t want to know how similar crimes could be prevented in the future. He just pushed blame onto Congress — which is ironic, since now that he’s in Congress he bypasses questions about sanctuary state laws by saying it’s a state issue.
In that same hearing, federal and local law enforcement leaders noted that sanctuary policies and laws put everyone at risk — local law enforcement, ICE, and immigrant communities — because officers were now forced to apprehend violent criminals in the community, where these criminals may be armed and may harm innocent bystanders, instead of at a secure location like a jail. Salud had no comment on the safety of the immigrant community or of our local law enforcement officers.
In January 2018 a man who had been previously deported was arrested in San Luis Obispo and charged with posing as an Uber driver and raping at least four college-aged women he’d picked up. Salud had no comment on the needless suffering these young women endured.
At the KEYT debate this spring Salud was asked about his votes and about his support of sanctuary laws in light of the high price the Central Coast has paid. In his answer, he again passed the buck:
“Well, first of all, let me tell you, anybody who commits a heinous crime does not have the privilege and should not have the privilege of living in our country. Having said that, the way we fix our many immigration challenges are through comprehensive immigration reform.”
When the moderator followed up specifically about sanctuary laws, he replied:
“The reason local communities and states enact various laws is because they see a need to protect their citizens.”
Yes, local communities have a need to protect their citizens, but that doesn’t explain Salud’s irresponsible votes to the people of our district. Voters deserve to know where he stands.
When Salud was recently confronted with his dismal record, he made an ad with vague claims that he had “worked closely with law enforcement to crack down on MS-13 and stop drug smuggling and human trafficking” and that he has a “long track record of working to keep our communities safe.”
In light of these comments, I have a few of questions for him:
- Can you please tell us specifically how you’ve worked with law enforcement to crack down on MS-13 and stop drug smuggling and human trafficking?
- Can you tell us specifically what your “long track record of working to keep our communities safe” consists of?
- How many more families in our district have to be impacted? How many more murders? How many more rapes? How many is enough for you?
Time and time again, Salud Carbajal has turned his back on ICE and other law enforcement agencies, and voted against laws that would protect our families. We’ve had enough. As your representative in Washington, I will work to close the loopholes that let violent, unlawful criminals remain on our streets where they can rape, murder, and attack the citizens of the Central Coast. I’ll fight day and night to protect our families and our future.