Trump DOJ Takes on Sanctuaries

Speaking to a national sheriffs’ convention yesterday, Attorney General William Barr detailed the Trump administration’s case against “sanctuary” cities and states. The policy of sheltering criminal aliens already arrested for other crimes, he said, “is neither lawful nor sensible.”

AG Barr speaking to sheriffs’ convention

Barr singled out a number of cases where sanctuary policies have resulted in further crimes against innocent victims, such as:

  • The case last year of Reeaz Khan, a 21-year-old illegal Guyanese migrant, who was released by NYPD in defiance of DHS requests and went on to murder a 92-year-old woman.
  • A 2018 case in Washington State where a convicted criminal alien was released from custody by local officials in violation of a DHS-requested detainer. Shortly after his release, the alien murdered and dismembered his cousin.
  • A case in Georgia where authorities released a criminal alien with five outstanding warrants against him, for crimes including kidnapping and false imprisonment. Upon his release, the alien tried to run over an officer with his car.

Barr announced that to deal with such egregiously unsafe and illegal policies of liberal jurisdictions, the DOJ is doing the following:

  • Filing a complaint against the State of New Jersey seeking relief against its laws that forbid state and local law enforcement from sharing information about criminal aliens with DHS.
  • Filing a complaint against King County, Washington, for forbidding DHS from deporting aliens from the United States using King County International Airport.
  • Reviewing the practices, policies, and laws of other jurisdictions across the country to assess whether those jurisdictions are illegally harboring or shielding of criminals.
  • Using federal subpoenas to access information about criminal aliens in the custody of uncooperative jurisdictions and taking all necessary action in federal court to ensure compliance with those federal subpoenas.
  • Reviewing the actions of certain ambitious district attorneys who charge foreign nationals with lesser offenses to avoid federal involvement in their cases. Such policies, he said, are in violation of the rule of law and may unlawfully discriminate against American citizens.

Barr concluded his speech this way:

Today is a significant escalation in the federal government’s efforts to confront the resistance of “sanctuary cities.” But by no means do the efforts outlined above signify the culmination of our fight to ensure the rule of law, to defend the Constitution, and to keep Americans safe. We will consider taking action against any jurisdiction that, or any politician who, unlawfully obstructs the federal enforcement of immigration law.

You can read the Attorney General’s remarks at the DOJ website.

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