Donald Trump's handpicked Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) pick - the current acting director of the agency - said on Tuesday that he wants the Department of Justice to personally charge elected officials who do not comply with the administration's immigration enforcement requests with federal crimes.
The Trump Administration has tried, from the start, to punish sanctuary cities by withholding federal funding and increasing ICE activity in them.
He has repeatedly invoked the tragic death of Kate Steinle, a thirty-two-year-old American citizen who, in 2015, was killed in San Francisco-a sanctuary city-by a stray bullet fired by an undocumented immigrant.
"These unhinged and misinformed comments are irresponsible even for the Trump Administration", Seth Stein, a spokesman for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, told The Independent in an email. For these sanctuary cities that knowingly shield and harbor an illegal alien in their jail and don't allow us access, that is, in my opinion, a violation of 8 U.S.C. 1324, that's an alien smuggling statue.
Homan revealed that he is now working with the Department of Justice to look into whether the federal government can "charge some of these sanctuary cities with violating federal law" and "hold these politicians personally accountable".
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Hing similarly says that those calling for charging sanctuary-city politicians are "shooting from the hip" and "don't know what they're talking about".
"If you think ICE is going away, we're not", he said. What sanctuary cities actually do is "nowhere near" that, he adds.
The signs in photos and videos being circulated on social media are similar to one placed in Malibu in April 2017, after it declared itself a sanctuary city.
The signs take aim at California's sanctuary state law that kicked in January 1, providing greater protections for immigrants living in the state illegally. The legislation, which went into effect at the start of the year, blocks law enforcement officials from asking someone about their immigration status and from holding an immigrant in jail to assist ICE. However, the official confirmed that uncooperative jurisdictions have a higher rate of criminal alien releases than in places that honor ICE detainers.
Supporters of SB 4 believe the law will take criminals off the streets. "SB54 will negatively impact ICE operations in California by almost eliminating all cooperation and communication with our law enforcement partners in the state, voiding the delegated authority that the Orange County Sheriff's Office has under the 287g program, and prohibiting local law enforcement from contracting with the federal government to house detainees". Local and state officials can also still share information with ICE if an immigrant has committed one of roughly 800 crimes. "So if we can defeat it here, it'll be a lot harder for it to take hold someplace else".