DANIEL VAUGHAN: Ronil Singh, the best of America, dies at the hands of indifferent political elites

December 31, 2018

DANIEL VAUGHAN: Ronil Singh, the best of America, dies at the hands of indifferent political elites

Ronil Singh is a name you should know because his story is what makes America great.

Singh legally immigrated to America from Fiji for the express purpose of becoming a police officer. After immigrating, Singh drove two hours both ways every day to attend the police academy in Yuba City, California.

He got his first shot at being a police officer by joining the Merced County Sheriff’s Office as a reserve officer. He also put in time as an animal control officer before finally fulfilling his dream and being hired by the police force in Newman, California, about 100 miles southeast of San Fransisco.

But Ronil Singh tragically paid the ultimate price last week, when he lost his life during a routine traffic stop. He was allegedly shot and killed by Gustavo Perez Arriaga, an illegal immigrant who had been arrested twice previously and who proudly listed his gang affiliations on various social media platforms.

After an extensive manhunt, Newman police captured Arriaga and arrested seven others, all of whom were charged with aiding and abetting Arriaga in killing a police officer and attempting to flee the country.

Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson, who led the ensuing manhunt, called Singh an American hero and said everyone should focus on his great life. But he also pointed out that California’s sanctuary city laws held part of the blame.

“This is a criminal illegal alien with prior criminal activity that should have been reported to ICE,” Christianson said. “The outcome could have been different if law enforcement wasn’t restricted, prohibited, or had their hands tied because of political interference.”

You’d think an illegal alien allegedly killing a police officer — who immigrated legally to the United States — during the middle of a government shutdown over border security would matter to the national debate.

You’d think.

Instead, the Sunday shows focused on Donald Trump’s tweets about two children who died in border patrol custody and Nancy Pelosi’s new climate commission, which NBC’s Chuck Todd decided to devote his Sunday show to (while loudly declaring that he’d allow no dissent on the air). Todd even had California Gov. Jerry Brown on his show — not to answer questions about why local sheriffs are accusing the governor of supporting policies that are harming the police and citizens of California, but to share his thoughts on the climate.

And you know who else is getting a pass from the national media? Pelosi, a Democrat from California.

Pelosi will likely get the Speaker’s gavel again soon and has placed herself front-and-center in the national debate over the border wall. Now, a police officer from her home state is dead, and no one in the national media seems to think it’s important to ask her how she feels about police departments blaming her and her party for this problem.

How did the media cover themselves? They called on a House representative who claimed he knew nothing about California’s laws and couldn’t comment, and a low-level former Obama administration official.

Yes, that’s who they chose to discuss the issues. And those useless interviews are their justification for their claim that they aren’t biased in their reporting.

None of this is to say that children — or anyone — dying in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody isn’t worth discussion. It is.

But this neverending debate over the border wall amid an ongoing government shutdown highlights how people — and especially the media — purposely talk past each other to advance a narrative.

It’s inconvenient to the media and Democrats to talk about whether their sanctuary city policies, anti-wall stances, and oppositions to every single form of border defense offered up — including those approved under the Obama administration — contributed to the problem.

If you’re cherry-picking your way through the shutdown debate, only raising the talking points of one side, then you don’t care at all about children or police officers dying. You’re just trying to score political points.

There is an actual problem at the border. Ronil Singh was killed by a person who never should have been in this country. Children are dying in CBP custody because our entire immigration system is broken and is being held together by the legal equivalents of duct-tape and shoestrings.

We should want more Ronil Singhs in this country. They want to come here, join the fabric of American society, and build a life.

Singh represented the very best of the American promise — and he was killed by the very worst of our broken immigration system.

There’s a real problem in this immigration debate begging to be solved by anyone willing to pay attention. Unfortunately, the political elites in Washington and in the media seem more interested in scoring cheap points than solving anything.

And if they can’t be bothered to care about those who are dying because of horrible legislation, it’s hard to make a case that they care for anyone or anything other than their political pet projects.

Ronil Singh is scheduled to receive an honor guard viewing on Friday, Jan. 4, and his funeral services are set for Saturday, Jan. 5. He leaves behind a wife and child, and a nation grateful for his example and heroism.


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Daniel Vaughan

Daniel Vaughan is a columnist for the Conservative Institute and lawyer in Nashville, Tennessee. He has degrees from Middle Tennessee State University and Regent University School of Law. His work can be found on the Conservative Institute's website, or you can receive his columns and free weekly newsletter at The Beltway Outsiders. Connect with him on Twitter at @dvaughanCI.