Immigration beat reporter Beth Fertig of WNYC/NPR reports:
“There is no single definition of a sanctuary city, and policies vary tremendously across the country. But in New York City, immigration agents are not allowed in the jails. When immigrants without legal status are arrested, they can only be detained or turned over to federal agents for deportation if there’s a warrant and they’ve been convicted of a violent crime. A 2014 local law spells out nearly 170 different offenses that meet that definition. They include various forms of assault, arson and sex crimes.
Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito said these limits make sense.
“If you’re committing a nonviolent offense but you’re otherwise contributing positively to the city, why should you be torn apart from your family?”
Police Commissioner James O’Neill and Mayor Bill de Blasio joined the argument Wednesday, saying that immigrants will be less likely to cooperate with law enforcement if they’re afraid of deportation. “We build trust,” said O’Neill. “I wouldn’t want to do anything to put that at risk.”
Trump’s order changes enforcement priorities, too. In addition to aliens convicted of criminal offenses, the Department of Homeland security will also prioritize those who have been “charged with any criminal offense, where such charge has not been resolved.”
Avideh Moussavian, a policy attorney with the National Immigration Law Center, warned that this policy could lead to “gross infractions of due process protections.”
She said people could become enforcement priorities if “they have been merely charged with an offense, even if their charge is pending and turns out later to be dismissed.”
From a practical standpoint, it would be very difficult to deport more immigrants. The nation’s immigration courts have a tremendous backlog of cases. Judges who handle immigration cases estimate there are 75 vacancies among their ranks, and Trump has imposed a federal hiring freeze. However, the executive order means that the freeze on judges could be lifted in the name of national security.”
Read Beth’s complete article, including comments from Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute in favor of the President’s crackdown at:
Mollie Reilly, Deputy Politics Editor, and her colleagues write on HuffPost:
“Independent of the ultimate legality of the executive order, politicians from those sanctuary cities say they aren’t budging, and legal advocacy groups are gearing up for the coming legal fight.
The president is “in for one hell of a fight,” California state Sen. Scott Weiner (D), who represents San Francisco, said in a statement.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh (D) said his city “will not retreat one inch” from its policy against holding undocumented immigrants it otherwise would not hold based on requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said his city “will not be intimidated by the authoritarian message coming from this administration.” San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee (D) said “nothing has changed” in his city, noting the lack of specifics in Trump’s order.
“We are going to fight this, and cities and states around the country are going to fight this,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) said at a press conference Wednesday.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) already began hinting at a legal challenge, releasing a statement that Trump lacks the constitutional authority for his executive order and that he will do “everything in [his] power” to push back if the president does not rescind it.
Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D) also warned of potential legal challenges to come, saying in a statement that the order “raises significant legal issues that my office will be investigating closely to protect the constitutional and human rights of the people of our state.”
There’s no exact definition of “sanctuary city.” Places like San Francisco and New York use the term broadly to refer to their immigrant-friendly policies, but more generally the term is applied to cities and counties that do not reflexively honor all of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s requests for cooperation. Many of these localities do work with ICE to detain and hand over immigrants suspected or convicted of serious crimes, but they often release low-priority immigrants requested by ICE if they have no other reason to hold them.
“The reason that many local law enforcement officers don’t honor detainers is because courts have said that they violate the Constitution, and if they violate the Constitution, the localities are on the hook financially,” said Cesar Cuauhtemoc Garcia Hernandez, a law professor at the University of Denver who teaches on the intersection of criminal law and immigration.
Just on Tuesday, a federal court in Rhode Island joined several others that have ruled in recent years that certain ICE detainers can violate people’s constitutional rights ― even those of U.S. citizens.
But Trump’s executive order seems to overlook this legal reality, and instead frames sanctuary cities with the alarmist rhetoric he used on the campaign trail.”
Read Mollie & co.’s complete report here: