Attorney General Sessions Threatens to Punish ‘Sanctuary Cities’
The four cities’ police departments were asked to show proof of their compliance by August 18. The Los Angeles Times reported:
The Justice Department sent letters to cities struggling with gun violence, telling them they will be ineligible for a new program that aims to root out drug trafficking and gang crime unless they give federal immigration authorities access to jails and provide advance notice before releasing someone in custody who is wanted on immigration violations. The cities … all expressed interest in the Justice Department’s new Public Safety Partnership, which enlists federal agents, analysts and technology to help communities find solutions to crime.
Sessions said in a statement that accompanied the letters: “By taking simple, common-sense considerations into account, we are encouraging every jurisdiction in this country to cooperate with federal law enforcement. That will ultimately make all of us safer—especially law enforcement on our streets.”
The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico denounced the Department of Justice threats. According to U.S. News & World Report:
ACLU-NM Executive Director Peter Simonson said Thursday that those demands were “a bullying tactic” from Attorney General Jeff Sessions who is “determined to make misery in the lives of immigrant families.” Simonson says the attorney general’s actions are “petty, coercive, and dangerous” for Albuquerque as the city sees a rise in crime.
President Trump’s Department of Homeland Security has long issued warnings to California law enforcement for refusing to comply with calls to help immigration enforcement. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti expressed resistance to Homeland Security policies, disputing the administration’s claim that it can withhold federal funds from cities that don’t comply with Immigration and Customs Enforcement orders.
The Department of Justice initially planned to involve 12 cities in the program and may name additional sites later this year. The statement from Sessions follows Trump’s endorsement of a problematic immigration bill aimed at creating a “merit-based” immigration system, one that opponents call racist and classist.WAIT, BEFORE YOU GO…
If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.
Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.