Attorney General William Barr has announced the Trump administration will start piling on sanctions on Democrat-run sanctuary cities in what he called a ‘significant escalation‘ against lawless Democrat policies that are designed to protect ‘criminal aliens.’
Declaring that law enforcement officers in sanctuary cities are being ‘put in harm’s way by these ideologically driven policies,’ Barr announced lawsuits against New Jersey and King County in Washington State over immigration policies that offer protections to immigrants who are in the US illegally.
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‘Let us state the reality upfront and as clearly as possible,’ Attorney General Barr said at a meeting for officers at the National Sheriffs Association Winter Legislative and Technology Conference in Washington on Monday.
‘When we are talking about sanctuary cities, we are talking about policies that are designed to allow criminal aliens to escape. These policies are not about people who came to our country illegally but have otherwise been peaceful and productive members of society,’ he explained.
‘Their express purpose is to shelter aliens whom local law enforcement has already arrested for other crimes. This is neither lawful nor sensible.‘
MailOnline report: His remarks coincided with legal action being taken against New Jersey, which is being sued by the Justice Department for violating federal law by prohibiting state and local law enforcement from sharing information about inmates who are undocumented immigrants.
Washington state’s King County was also hit with a lawsuit over a policy that prohibits the Department of Homeland Security from using the King County International Airport-Boeing Field for deportation flights.
‘Today is a significant escalation in the federal government´s effort to confront the resistance of sanctuary cities,‘ Barr said, adding that the Justice Department would be ‘robustly supporting‘ Homeland Security to use ‘all lawful means,’ including federal subpoenas, to obtain information about suspects they are seeking to deport.
Barr’s references were to cities like New York, which have put laws in place that prohibit the sharing of information with immigration officials.
‘These policies are textbook examples of misguided ideology triumphing over commonsense law enforcement, and it is the public and the police who pay the price,’ Barr said.
The Trump administration also is going after California, suing to block a law that took effect Jan. 1 that banned new contracts with for-profit prison companies, including thousands of immigration detention beds that the federal government pays for in the state.
US President Donald Trump has been trying since he took office to punish sanctuary cities.
In 2017, then Attorney General Jeff Sessions said such cities would not receive grant money unless they gave federal immigration authorities access to jails and provide advance notice when someone in the country illegally is about to be released from prison.
A federal judge blocked the punishment from being enforced, and the cities got the money.
Federal authorities have tried lawsuits before, suing California over its sanctuary law in 2018. A federal appeals court rejected the bulk of the administration´s lawsuit, though Barr said Monday he was hopeful the government would win before the Supreme Court.
That hasn’t stopped Trump from criticizing the policies and noting, in bloody detail, certain cases where immigrants in the US illegally have committed crimes.
On Monday, speaking to the nation’s governors, Trump said that it was essential the country comply with immigration enforcement requests.