Monday, 6 February 2017

Trump to build The Wall and start roundup and gaoling of undocumented immigrants in the face of strong resistance

The Guardian, 26 January 2017:

An executive order on “sanctuary cities” signed by Donald Trump on Wednesday has placed in the crosshairs over 400 cities and counties that offer some form of safe haven to America’s 11 million undocumented migrants.

These localities include some of the largest, most progressive metropolises in the United States, many of which have already begun preparations to fight one of Trump’s most aggressive campaign pledges– to force compliance with federal immigration agencies in a bid to ramp up deportations. The beginnings of that pledge have now been formalised by executive action within Trump’s first week in office.

The order issued on Wednesday claims these jurisdictions “willfully violate federal law” causing “immeasurable harm to the American people”, and instructs the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the US Department of Justice (DoJ) to explore which cities could be in violation of federal law and ways of stripping sanctuary jurisdictions of federal grant money, which amounts to billions of dollars across many different federal departments.

The order also instructs the US attorney general to explore “appropriate enforcement action” against any local government agency it deems to be in violation of a broad federal law that encourages – but does not compel – communication between local authorities and the DHS.

Trump’s mandate also issues an extraordinary instruction to the DHS to publish a weekly list of so-called “criminal actions” committed by undocumented migrants and publicly announce which jurisdictions had previously “ignored or otherwise failed” to detain the accused individuals.

The City and County of San Francisco is suing President Trump, the Secretary of the Dept. of Homeland Security and the Acting Attorney General alleging that the Executive order of 25 January 2017 titled Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States violates the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and that In blatant disregard of the law, the President of the United States seeks to coerce local authorities into abandoning what are known as “Sanctuary City” laws and policies.

On 31 January 2017 the City Attorney Dennis Herrera stated:

The president’s executive order is not only unconstitutional, it’s un-American…. That is why we must stand up and oppose it. We are a nation of immigrants and a land of laws. We must be the ‘guardians of our democracy’ that President Obama urged us all to be in his farewell address.....

This lawsuit is not a step I take lightly…..But it is one that is necessary to defend the people of this city, this state and this country from the wild overreach of a president whose words and actions have thus far shown little respect for our Constitution or the rule of law. This country was founded on the principle that the federal government cannot force state and local governments to do its job for it, like carrying out immigration policy.  I am defending that bedrock American principle today.....

The Trump administration falsely believes that sanctuary cities harbor criminals and make communities unsafe.  To the contrary, any persons who is booked in San Francisco has their fingerprints sent to the federal government. If the federal government has a criminal warrant for that person, San Francisco complies with that.  Moreover, sanctuary cities have less crime, fewer people in poverty and lower unemployment than other counties, according to a recent study by Tom K. Wong, an associate professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego. There are, on average, 35.5 fewer crimes committed per 10,000 people in sanctuary jurisdictions compared to non-sanctuary counties, according to Wong’s findings in a report for the Center for American Progress. 

On 3 February 2017 The Globe and Mail reported:

Tom Cochran, the chief executive of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, said he has never seen an atmosphere like this in his four decades at the organization, not even in the waning days of the Nixon administration. “It’s totally different from anything we’ve ever seen,” he said.

Mr. Cochran said his group is pushing back against Mr. Trump’s executive order on sanctuary cities, both in public and in private. He has requested a meeting with the new Secretary of Homeland Security, John Kelly, who has much of the responsibility for implementing the sanctuary cities order. Mr. Cochran intends to bring city police chiefs to the meeting to explain why they feel fostering trust between immigrant communities and law enforcement is important for public safety.

Some cities are disputing that the Trump definition of a "sanctuary city" applies to them.


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