News and Commentary

Attorney General Sessions Warns Sanctuary Cities: You Are Creating A ‘Clear And Ongoing Threat To Public Safety’

Attorney General Jeff Sessions released the following statement on Monday regarding the first of weekly forthcoming reports from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on “sanctuary cities” with data from Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.):

This important report demonstrates a clear and ongoing threat to public safety. It is not acceptable for jurisdictions to refuse to cooperate with federal law enforcement by releasing criminal aliens back into our communities when our law required them to be deported. The Department of Justice will use all lawful authority to ensure that criminals who are illegally in this country are detained and removed swiftly and to hold accountable jurisdictions that willfully violate federal law.

In late January, President Donald Trump directed DHS via executive order to produce a “comprehensive” weekly list outlining crimes committed by foreigners illegally in the country:

To better inform the public regarding the public safety threats associated with sanctuary jurisdictions, the [Secretary of Homeland Security] shall utilize the Declined Detainer Outcome Report or its equivalent and, on a weekly basis, make public a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens and any jurisdiction that ignored or otherwise failed to honor any detainers with respect to such aliens.

Trump’s executive order warned “sanctuary jurisdictions” against violating federal law, describing such conduct as causing “immeasurable harm to the American people and to the very fabric of the Republic.”

“Sanctuary jurisdictions” failing to comply with federal law, declared Trump’s executive order, would not receive federal funds beyond those mandated by law.

DHS released its own statement on Monday, describing forthcoming weekly reports as highlighting jurisdictions that refuse to comply with directions from I.C.E. (emphases added):

WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security today issued the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Declined Detainer Outcome Report required by President Donald J. Trump’s Executive Order, Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States, signed on January 25. This report will be issued weekly to highlight jurisdictions that choose not to cooperate with ICE detainers or requests for notification, therefore potentially endangering Americans. ICE places detainers on aliens who have been arrested on local criminal charges or who are in local custody and for whom ICE possesses probable cause to believe that they are removable from the United States, so that ICE can take custody of the alien when he or she is released from local custody.

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,” said Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan. “Our goal is to build cooperative, respectful relationships with our law enforcement partners. We will continue collaborating with them to help ensure that illegal aliens who may pose a threat to our communities are not released onto the streets to potentially harm individuals living within our communities.”

The Declined Detainer Outcome Report is a weekly report that lists the jurisdictions that have declined to honor ICE detainers or requests for notification and includes examples of criminal charges associated with those released aliens. The report provides information on declined detainers and requests for notification for that reporting period. A jurisdiction’s appearance on this report is not an exclusive factor in determining a jurisdiction’s level of cooperation with ICE. This report is intended to provide the public with information regarding criminal actions committed by aliens and any jurisdiction that ignores or otherwise failed to honor any detainers or requests for notification with respect to such aliens.

Weeks ago, I.C.E. highlighted several examples of dangerous criminal aliens who had been arrested (as part of a group of 248 arrestees) in late February and early March, all of whom had been shielded by “sanctuary city” policies in Democrat-dominated cities.

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