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Tag: sanctuary cities

Federal Judge Mostly Rejects Justice Department’s Bid to Block California’s Sanctuary Laws

Sanctuary city concept and illegal immigration law government enforcement policies as a highway sign directing to welcoming immigrants with no legal status as a 3D illustration.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Trump administration has been continually fighting the concept of sanctuary cities. But the judiciary has not always been helpful in that battle.

The latest: A federal judge on Thursday mostly rejected a bid by the Justice Department to block California’s “sanctuary state” laws, which enact policies friendly to undocumented immigrants, the Washington Post reports, adding:

In a 60-page ruling, U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez said most of the laws, which limit how state businesses and law enforcement agencies can work with federal immigration authorities, are “permissible exercises of California’s sovereign power.”

The judge said California was within its rights to allow state authorities to inspect immigrant detention facilities, and to bar state law enforcement agencies from providing release dates or other personal information to federal immigration authorities. He blocked portions of one law which imposed heavy fines on businesses that gave immigration authorities access to their facilities and records without a court order.

Trump’s Choice for ICE Leader Suggests Criminal Charges against Sanctuary Cities

ICE official, via ICE.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Leaders of so-called sanctuary cities should be criminally charged and held “personally accountable” for shielding illegal immigrants from deportation, said President Trump’s choice to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan suggested in an interview with Fox News that places like California are putting “politics ahead of safety.”

“We gotta take [sanctuary cities] to court, and we gotta start charging some of these politicians with crimes,” Homan said.

Claiming “more citizens are going to die because of these policies,” Homan said the Justice Department must hold some politicians “personally accountable.”

Human said he plans to send in federal agents to protect residents in cities and states that refuse to work with ICE on immigration issues.

DOJ Disperses Crime-Fighting Grants to Cities That Help Feds Crack Down on Illegal Immigration

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Local police departments that cooperate with federal immigration officials were given preferential treatment for crime-fighting funds.

The Justice Department dangled more than $98 million as a reward for police departments that cooperate with President Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration by letting immigration officials inside local jails and notifying the feds about undocumented immigrants, BuzzFeed reports.

At the same time, Trump’s administration is threatening to withhold crime-fighting grants from so-called sanctuary cities.

The Justice Department is disbursing $98.5 million to 179 local law enforcement agencies to hire a total of 802 officers.

About 80% of the 179 agencies that received a grant were given preferential treatment because they have agreed to cooperate with the crackdown on illegal immigration.

“Cities and states that cooperate with federal law enforcement make all of us safer by helping remove dangerous criminals from our communities,” Sessions said in a statement. “Today, the Justice Department announced that 80 percent of this year’s COPS Hiring Program grantees have agreed to cooperate with federal immigration authorities in their detention facilities. I applaud their commitment to the rule of law and to ending violent crime, including violent crime stemming from illegal immigration.”

Chicago to File Suit Over Threat to Withhold Federal Funds to ‘Sanctuary’ Cities

Chicago cityscape, via Allen McGregor on Wikipedia.

Chicago cityscape, via Allen McGregor on Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The city of Chicago plans to sue the Justice Department today over threats to punish municipalities that don’t assist federal immigration officials.

The decision comes after Attorney General Jeff Sessions said so-called sanctuary cities will lose federal grants if they don’t turn over names of undocumented immigrants to the feds.

“Chicago will not let our police officers become political pawns in a debate,” Chicago Mayor Ram Emanuel told the Chicago Tribune. “Chicago will not let our residents have their fundamental rights isolated and violated. And Chicago will never relinquish our status as a welcoming city.”

The city plans to file suit “first thing on Monday morning,” officials told the Tribune.

Justice Department Tries to Force Sanctuary Cities to Cooperate Under Budget Proposal

Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump is not giving up on his plan to strip federal funding from so-called sanctuary cities.

A month after a judge in San Francisco temporarily blocked Trump’s  efforts to starve municipalities of federal money for failing to fully cooperate with immigration enforcement, the Justice Department is trying to change the law to give the federal government more leverage over localities when it comes to immigration enforcement, the Washington Post reports.

Local law enforcement agencies have expressed numerous reason for refusing to fully cooperate. Some police departments and sheriff’s offices are opposed because it’s an unfunded mandate, has legal implications and makes the community more unsafe because undocumented immigrants are afraid to report crimes.

The Post wrote:

Justice Department officials have said that under current law, holding illegal immigrants upon request is voluntary. And in a memo Tuesday, Sessions seemed to concede that his power in the matter was limited.

He declared that sanctuary cities, even under Trump’s executive order, were only those places that violated the particular federal law that stops local officials from putting any restrictions on information sharing with ICE. Only such jurisdictions, he said, were at risk of losing federal funding.

If the Justice Department’s proposal were to become law, though, all jurisdictions that do not honor detainer requests will be at risk. The law would block cities from enacting policies that stop compliance with legal Department of Homeland Security requests, including “any request to maintain custody of the alien for a period not to exceed 48 hours.”

Justice Department Threatens to Strip Federal Money from Sanctuary Cities

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department warned sanctuary cities and counties this week that they will not receive federal grants if the continue to fail to work with the crackdown on undocumented immigrants.

At a White House briefing, Attorney General Jeff sessions said the municipalities that refuse to turn over undocumented immigrants to federal authorities stand to lose a lot of federal funding, Time reports. 

“We intend to use all the lawful authority we have to make sure our state and local officials who are so important to law enforcement are in sync with the federal government,” Sessions said.

Time wrote:

There is a question about whether the federal government could withhold a wide array of federal funds from cities over their sanctuary status and still survive a legal challenge. Federalism experts say that case law has built up doctrines that help states maintain their resistance. One is the anti-commandeering principle, which suggests that the federal government cannot force state officials to enforce federal law. Other case law suggests that whatever funds the government is cutting need to be in some way related to the policy issue at stake — so the federal government would be on shaky ground withholding transportation funds in an attempt to force states to comply on an education issue, for example.

Other Stories of Interest

DHS Releases List of Jails, Municipalities That Won’t Cooperate with Immigration Officials

jail2photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security fired back at municipalities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration officials, releasing a list of jails and jurisdictions that have denied immigrant detainer requests. 

Those requests are directed at cities and counties that are holding an inmate who is in the country illegally.

The so-called “sanctuary jurisdictions” have stated various reasons for not cooperating, including the fear that it would undermine policing and cooperation with law enforcement.

The list was published Monday and includes more than 200 unnamed individuals who ICE says committed “countable criminal activity.” Also listed are the jails where the undocumented immigrants are lodged.

Overall, less than 10% of municipalities refused to cooperate.

“When law enforcement agencies fail to honor immigration detainers and release serious criminal offenders, it undermines ICE’s ability to protect the public safety and carry out its mission,” Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan said.

Other Stories of Interest

Obama Administration to Crack Down on Cities That Provide Sanctuary to Illegal Immigrants

Attorney General Loretta Lynch

Attorney General Loretta Lynch

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Obama administration plans to target sanctuary cities that actively thwart federal efforts to deport illegal immigrants.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said she would go as far as ceasing federal grant money from going to cities that provide sanctuary to illegal immigrants, the Washington Times reports. 

The move surprised many lawmakers because the Obama administration has long opposed crackdowns on sanctuary cities.

As part of the crack down, Lynch aid the federal Bureau of Prisons would stop releasing illegal immigrants to sanctuary cities and instead would turn them over for deportation.

“This is a very significant change, and we’re deeply grateful to you,” Rep. John Abney Culberson, Texas Republican, told Ms. Lynch at a hearing of the House Appropriations Committee.

Culberson said he would provide a list of sanctuary cities.

“If they insist on paying it out of their policy, and they won’t honor detainers, and they won’t share information, you know, don’t ask for federal money unless you follow federal law,” he said. “Delighted to hear you’re moving in that direction, and we’re going to work with you cooperatively and in a supportive way to ensure that that happens.”

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