Matt Zapotosky reports for the Washington Post:
“The Justice Department on Wednesday escalated its attempt to crack down on so-called “sanctuary” jurisdictions, threatening to subpoena 23 states, cities and other localities that have policies the department suspects might be unlawfully interfering with immigration enforcement.
President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have long promised to target places with policies friendly to those in the country illegally — warning they might withhold federal money from some and trying to tie grant eligibility to cooperation with federal authorities on immigration matters. The Justice Department had previously contacted the 23 jurisdictions threatened Wednesday, raising worries they might be in violation of a federal law barring places from enacting policies that block communication with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
In a new letter, Bureau of Justice Assistance Director Jon Adler said officials remained “concerned” that the places had policies that violate the law, even after their previous responses. He asked for a new bevy of documents — including “any orders, directives, instructions, or guidance to your law enforcement employees” — and said the department would subpoena the materials if necessary.
. . . .
Among those jurisdictions in the crosshairs are Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles and the states of California, Illinois and Oregon. In total, the 23 jurisdictions received more than $39 million in fiscal year 2016 money from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program — which Sessions is now threatening to put at risk.
Local leaders criticized the move. New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu (D), president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, said he would skip a planned White House meeting on infrastructure because of it. “An attack on one of our cities mayors who are following the constitution is an attack on all of us,” he said. His city was not among those targeted Wednesday.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio similarly wrote on Twitter he would skip the gathering after Trump’s Justice Department “decided to renew their racist assault on our immigrant communities. It doesn’t make us safer and it violates America’s core values.”
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) said officers in his city endeavor to build trust with residents to reduce public safety threats, and “you cannot do that if you drive a wedge between any immigrant community and the law enforcement.” He said Sessions’s threats were “amazing” in that the attorney general seemed to “disregard what the court system has already said uniformly from coast to coast.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said: “The White House has been very clear that we don’t support sanctuary cities. We support enforcing the law and following the law, and that is the Department of Justice’s job is to do exactly that, and if mayors have a problem with that, they should talk to Congress.”
Much of this crackdown has been stymied by the courts. A federal judge in California last year blocked Trump’s executive order to cut funding to such places, and a federal judge in Chicago ruled that Sessions had exceeded his authority in imposing new conditions, such as requiring recipients to give immigration authorities access to jails and 48 hours notice when suspected illegal immigrants are to be released. A federal judge in Philadelphia also ruled that city was in compliance with the law and blocked the Justice Department from withholding money. The Justice Department has appealed all those cases.
. . . .
Sessions has long sought to tie crime to immigration — recently releasing data, which experts said was misleading, that said 73 percent of terrorism convictions in the U.S. involved individuals from other countries. Determining a link between illegal immigration and other crime is statistically difficult to do, though some research shows that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than those who are native born. Civil liberties and immigration advocates, too, note there is irony in Sessions threatening to withhold law enforcement grants in the name of fighting crime.”
Read the complete article at the link.
On paper, Gonzo isn’t actually in charge of the DHS. That job is nominally in the hands of Lightweight Sycophant Kirstjen Nielsen.
Remarkably, what Sessions is actually supposed to be doing is administering a fair and unbiased U.S. Immigration Court System in a manner that guarantees the legal and Constitutional Due Process rights of each individual brought before those courts by the DHS. Yeah, right! Sessions never met a migrant he didn’t despise and want railroaded out of the country as part of his White Nationalist agenda. And, he’s clearly “in bed” with DHS Enforcement. That’s why the U.S. Immigration Courts under Gonzo Apocalypto are well on their way to becoming mere “Whistle Stops on the Deportation Railway.”
There was a time when what is now ICE worked hard to gain community support and be considered part of the “legitimate law enforcement apparatus.” But, those days are long gone.
Trump, Gonzo, and Tom Homan are well on the way to making ICE the most hated, distrusted, and despised police force in America — the “New American Gestapo” if you will. The aforenamed “nasty clowns” will be gone someday. But, I’m not sure that ICE will ever be able to undo the damage they are doing to its reputation and standing in the law enforcement community.
As one or more Federal Judges has noted in enjoining Gonzo’s illegal overstepping, “once lost, community trust is not easily, if ever, regained by the police.”