Making Public Safety a Priority

By Center for Immigration Studies, Special for  USDR

Americans voted into office the presidential candidate who promised to abolish sanctuary cities, the more than 300 jurisdictions that obstruct immigration enforcement. A new report by the Center for Immigration Studies offers President-elect Trump justification and strategy for keeping his campaign promise of ending “the sanctuary cities which have resulted in so many needless  deaths.”

Ten jurisdictions, identified by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General as having a sanctuary policy that is inconsistent with federal law received an estimated $96 million in law enforcement grants in 2016: Milwaukee County; Chicago; New York City; Clark County, NV; Orleans Parish, LA; Philadelphia; Cook County, IL; Miami-Dade; and the states of California and Connecticut. Withholding of the millions of dollars of grant money is one of several ways the federal government can use to encourage their cooperation. These 10 sanctuaries have been told that they must conform to federal law by June 30, 2017 or lose  funding.

Jessica Vaughan, the Center’s director of policy studies and co-author of the report, says, “Having a sanctuary policy could get very expensive in the near future. If the public safety reasons are not enough, maybe the prospect of losing federal funds will help them do the right thing. How long will local taxpayers be willing to put up with sanctuary policies that serve only to shield criminal aliens from  deportation?”

View the full report at:  http://cis.org/Stop-Sanctuary-Cities

In considering civil litigation to fight the obstruction of immigration enforcement, the authors suggest starting with the jurisdictions that free the most criminal aliens, or with the five large sanctuary jurisdictions that will not cooperate even with the Obama administration’s much-maligned Priority Enforcement Program: San Francisco, CA; Cook County, IL; Contra Costa County, CA; Santa Clara County, CA; and King County,  WA.

But many sanctuary policies could be reversed if ICE offered a carrot as well as a stick, as was the case in Suffolk County on Long Island, N.Y. The sheriff of this county recently reversed its sanctuary policy, following state Supreme Court decisions supporting the practice of local cooperation on ICE detainers that are backed with a warrant, which ICE has agreed to provide. This will help the county address severe problems from illegal alien youth arrivals from Central America – including MS-13 gang members, and the arrangement could be replicated in other parts of th e country.

The report also recommends that ICE begin publishing a weekly list with information on all of the criminal aliens released by sanctuary  jurisdictions.

Under President Obama, sanctuary jurisdictions have flourished and multiplied. But President-elect Trump, along with his attorney general nominee Senator Sessions, seems likely to tackle this legal and community safety issue. The tools exist to require states and localities to follow federal law and cease in substituting their own judgment for what is required by federa l statutes.

SOURCE Center for Immigration  Studies

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