Major cities and their mayors were increasingly vocal concerning their vow to establish “sanctuary cities” in their jurisdictions. They promised to defy President Trump and provide safe havens where illegal immigrants would be safe for arrest due to their immigrations status. Now, less than three months into President Trump’s tenure, an increasing number of such cities are finding their walls of protection crumbling.
On Feb. 02 the Texas Senate passed a bill which would withhold state funds from cities which fail to comply with Federal detainer requests. If passed by the House Senate Bill 4 would require local law enforcement agencies to hold an arrested person while ICE officials had an opportunity to verify immigration status and check for active arrest or deportation orders. More importantly, given the recent rash of violent crimes linked to previously deported violent offenders, the Bill would also allow victims or their families to sue local officials who fail to comply with ICE detainers IF the suspect commits a violent crime within ten years of being released. Gov. Greg Abbott stated in part “elected officials do not get to pick and choose which laws they will obey.”
On March 26 U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that cities failing to comply with Federal Detainers would risk losing Federal grant money. Specifically, AG Sessions stated that states and local jurisdictions would be required to certify compliance with 8 U.S.C. Section 1373 in order to be eligible for Department of Justice grants. 8 U.S.C. 1373 states in part “…a Federal, State or local government entity or official may not prohibit, or in any way restrict, any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding the immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual” Oddly enough President Trump’s recent Executive Order mirrors a similar order by the previous administration over 1 year ago.
In a strange twist of fate not all the cracks in the sanctuary wall are due to outside force. Since the beginning, NCY Mayor De Blasio has been one of the most outspoken opponents of Trump’s increased immigration enforcement- stating he would make NYC a model for other cities to follow. But it does not seem to be working the way he envisioned. A recent New York Daily News article described how two defendants in NYPD investigations were detained, and one arrested, by ICE agents at one of their court’s appearances. This is despite De Blasio’s promise that NYPD would only honor ICE detainers for suspects of serious violent crimes. It appears the Mayor did not understand how the system functions. When NYPD arrests or charges a suspect of ANY crime officials conduct a background check, looking for active warrants from other jurisdictions. Despite the Mayor’s order to not notify ICE conducting the background check automatically sends a notification to any agency with active charges or investigations involving that suspect. Even though the Mayor has ordered to officers not to contact ICE the background check does it for them.
Karma or the system working like is designed to?
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