HomeNewsMayoral candidate discusses illegal immigrant issues

Mayoral candidate discusses illegal immigrant issues

Melissa Murray Bailey

Republican mayoral candidate Melissa Murray Bailey said she is “outraged” by the shooting death of a San Francisco woman by an illegal immigrant from Mexico with prior felony convictions.

In addition, Bailey said it is wrong for San Francisco and Philadelphia to be so-called “sanctuary cities,” where they cannot hold illegal immigrants who have been convicted of a violent crime for Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainers.

Bailey said in a statement, “I am outraged by the recent shooting of Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco and my deepest sympathies go out to her family and friends. What’s worse, this crime could have been prevented. We have to do a better job protecting people. By declaring Philadelphia a sanctuary city and not detaining illegal immigrants who have been convicted of a violent crime, we are putting the citizens of Philadelphia at risk. More than one in three federal crimes committed in 2014 were committed by people who are in the U.S. illegally. To be clear, I am a proponent of immigration policies and practices that are clear, fair and humane. As a mother, I don’t fault parents for trying to provide a better life for their family.

“Lawmakers in Washington have dragged their feet far too long in resolving this issue, leading some cities, including Philadelphia, to determine themselves safe cities. Providing a safe harbor in Philadelphia for illegal immigrants who commit violent crimes is the wrong choice. The recent homicide in San Francisco underscores what is on the line for Philadelphia. By allowing illegal immigrants who commit violent crimes to stay in our city, we are proclaiming, ‘Come to Philadelphia, because even if you are in the country illegally and committing crimes, there is a place for you here.’ As part of a Bailey administration, Philadelphia will not be a sanctuary city. I will put the safety of people first and support policies that provide a pathway for law-abiding immigrants to obtain legal status.”

Joe DeFelice, executive director of the Philadelphia Republican Party, said, “It is unfortunate that the mayor and the Democrats in City Hall are more concerned about political gain and feel-good initiatives rather than the safety of our citizens.”


The Philadelphia Republican City Committee is supporting the view of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, which has filed unfair labor practice charges against Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey due to his decision to release the names of any officers who discharge their weapons.

The FOP worries that releasing the names could make officers targets.

“We firmly stand with the Fraternal Order of Police,” said Philadelphia Republican Party executive director Joe DeFelice. “These feel-good policies and catering to media and political pressure in exchange for the safety of our officers is a disgrace; each day, when an officer puts on that uniform, he or she has to look over their shoulder and worry about whether they will be a target of retaliation for simply doing their jobs.”


Meanwhile, DeFelice is criticizing Mayor Michael Nutter for the makeup of the city’s new Commission on Universal Pre-K.

DeFelice noted that the commission seemed to have no Republicans as members and no members selected in consultation with the city’s Republican leadership.

“Once again, we see the Nutter administration demonstrating that they are in the pocket of the city’s Democratic machine that acts to preserve its power rather than to improve the quality of life for our citizens,” he said. “If they were serious about implementing and funding universal pre-K in Philadelphia, they would have made the commission bipartisan rather than a branch of Democratic City Committee.”

DeFelice found only Democrats on the commission. In addition to Democrats from Philadelphia, there were Democrats from Upper Merion, Lower Merion, Upper Darby and Pittsburgh.

DeFelice questioned why the commission would exclude Republicans when the GOP has big majorities in the state Senate and House of Representatives. The commission was created with an amendment to the Home Rule Charter. It has no authority to implement a plan or raise money to fund it.

“We opposed the charter change because it was unnecessary and unnecessarily cumbersome and costly,” DeFelice said. “Now that we see a commission that is just a shill for the Democratic machine, we know we were right.”


Democratic mayoral nominee Jim Kenney released the following statement on the dismissal of Margie Winters from Waldron Mercy Academy:

“I applaud the parents and community members at Waldron Mercy for their outcry over the dismissal of a clearly beloved, talented educator. Discrimination and hate have no place in the Church’s teachings and certainly not in its schools. I urge the school administrators to reinstate Margie Winters.”

Winters was director of religious instruction at the elementary school in Merion Station. She married a woman in Massachusetts, which legalized same-sex marriage in 2004. Same-sex marriage became legal in Pennsylvania last year.


The campaign of Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey is pointing out that state and national Democrats do not seem ready to rally behind former U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak as their candidate.

Last week, Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski all but ended his campaign for the Democratic Senate nomination after revelations that the FBI was investigating Allentown contracts.

Sestak received some negative publicity when a video surfaced of him knocking over two small children as he campaigned at a July 4 parade in Delaware County.

Previously, former state Democratic Party chairman T.J. Rooney predicted that Sestak would lose to Toomey, as he did in 2010.

U.S. Rep. Bob Brady has said that there’s “not a lot of love” for Sestak.

“Normally, you would expect the party to embrace a candidate who votes with the Democratic agenda 96 percent of the time with open arms, but clearly party leaders know Joe Sestak’s abrasive style and ultra-liberal views will not resonate with Pennsylvanians,” said Toomey spokesman Steve Kelly.


The liberal super PAC American Bridge 21st Century is criticizing Sen. Pat Toomey for the support he is receiving from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber is running television ads supporting Toomey and fellow Republican Sen. Rob Portman, of Ohio.

American Bridge accuses the Chamber of supporting the shipping of American jobs to China, and claims Toomey has voted against giving tax deductions to business wanting to bring jobs back to the U.S.

Jessica Mackler, president of American Bridge 21st Century, said, “The Chamber is desperate to keep the Senate in the hands of the Republicans and to keep pro-outsourcing senators, like Toomey and Portman, in office. The Chamber isn’t accountable to those who have lost their jobs in Ohio and Pennsylvania, but Toomey and Portman are. They may have helped the Chamber fight to keep exporting American jobs, but their jobs are going to be harder to fight for as the voters take a closer look at their records.”


Republican Party of Pennsylvania chairman Rob Gleason released a statement regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s veto of reform to the state’s public pension system.

“For the third time since taking office, Gov. Tom Wolf has chosen to say no to efforts to make our government work better,” Gleason said. “At a time when an astounding 60 cents of every new taxpayer dollar is earmarked for rising pension costs, Gov. Wolf refuses to even acknowledge the existence of Pennsylvania’s public pension crisis. Our pension crisis is ruining the budgets of school districts across Pennsylvania, but Tom Wolf would rather keep his head in the sand than join with Republicans in enacting meaningful reform.”

Gleason said Wolf is standing on the side of “his liberal special interest benefactors.” ••

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