At first glance, the news release seemed to be smirking: "In yo' face, Mayor Kenney."
On second glance, too. The purpose of the handout from the U.S. Department of Justice was to announce that Juan Ramon Vasquez, who's been in my column before, pleaded guilty to illegal entry after deportation, which is a felony.
But that was not as bad as the felony he committed after he was turned loose by the City of Brotherly Enablers after a 2014 arrest.
ICE had requested that he be detained for deportation, but our self-righteous city turned the Honduran loose, and the next time he was in custody it was for raping a 5-year-old girl. I'm sure the victim's family appreciates Kenney's policy that protects foreign convicted felons, which is what Vasquez was.
The "in yo' face" element?
On the first page of the news release, DOJ embedded a video shot by one of the mayor's aides of Kenney doing a moronic Three Stooges shuffle, singing, "We are a sanctuary city." This happened in June after a judge ruled that DOJ couldn't cut crime-fighting funds to Philly.
I asked DOJ if use of the dancing mayor video struck payback.
"The Department of Justice remains committed to providing factual representation of all matters," said spokesman Devin O'Malley. "The release sent out on Tuesday was a means to provide additional background and context on this matter."
The mayor's juvenile jig becomes part of background and context. Uh-huh. I didn't expect DOJ to admit it was payback. I also didn't expect the mayor to accept any responsibility for enabling the rape, but I asked his office anyway.
"The federal government failed to obtain an arrest warrant for this individual's immigration offense in 2014," said mayoral spokesman Mike Dunn. Asking the feds to produce a warrant, Dunn said, is "not overly burdensome." Feds say it is both burdensome and unnecessary. You've got a criminal, give him up.
As I was waiting for the mayor's response, I read a story containing District Attorney Larry Krasner's laughable attempt to blame this on President Trump.
"The Trump administration has made it so that immigrant children can get raped because they're afraid to call the police," said a duplicitous Krasner. Since Mayor Michael Nutter's administration, the city had not been providing the feds with the names of victims or witnesses of crimes. It provided only the names of the accused, and soon will cease doing even that. We have to keep our foreign convicted felons free from harm.
In the highly evolved mind of Krasner, Philly turns loose a convicted felon who rapes a child and it's Trump's fault. Maybe Trump was also the driver of the other car in the Rittenhouse stabbing case.
The deflection is ridiculous, and Vasquez's is not a unique case.
In Tuesday's news release, the DOJ listed other detainers that were ignored by the city: A Liberian convicted of aggravated assault and required to register as a sex offender, a Lithuanian with three DUI convictions, a Gambian charged with aggravated assault, a Guatemalan convicted of indecent exposure, a Mexican with a DUI, another Mexican with aggravated assault and weapons offense convictions, an Italian with cocaine delivery and manufacturing convictions, a Vietnamese with drug convictions.
It's just a handful, you say? What is the correct number of foreign convicted felons Philadelphia should shelter? For years I've been saying turning them loose would harm Philadelphians, and now we know it has. I guarantee you these are not isolated cases.
I am not talking about undocumented people with no other offenses. These are foreign convicted felons and Kenney places their welfare above your safety.
Perhaps he'll stop dancing long enough to tell us why.