President Donald Trump delayed immigration enforcement actions set to begin over the weekend, saying he will give Congress two weeks to fix loophole-ridden asylum laws before ramping up deportations in America’s largest cities.
With chances of congressional action rated somewhere between slim and none, defiant sanctuary city officials say they are more determined than ever to freeze out U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“[The Chicago Police Department] will not cooperate with or facilitate any ICE enforcement,” declared newly elected Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. “I have directed and Superintendent [Eddie] Johnson has confirmed that CPD has terminated ICE’s access to CPD’s databases related to federal immigration enforcement activities.”
In Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti, said his city “will always stand with our immigrant brothers and sisters, and our law enforcement officers will never participate in these actions. No Angeleno [sic]should ever have to fear being snatched from their home or separated from their loved ones, and we are doing everything we can to provide immigrant families with the information and support.”
The Office of Immigrant Affairs in New York tweeted a link informing migrants of their “rights,” and in Houston the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas (a state with an anti-sanctuary law) advised illegal aliens not to answer if ICE agents come knocking.
“That would be one of the biggest mistakes one could make. Opening the door allows the agent to pursue the person they’re seeking and both question anyone in the house and search anything in the house,” counseled senior staff attorney Edgar Saldivar.
While doing nothing to stanch the surge of illegal crossings at the southern border, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., joined in the political grandstanding, decrying ICE enforcement as “brutal action which will tear families apart and inject terror into our communities.”
In fact, the Obama administration carried out just such actions against illegal alien families in Georgia, Texas, and North Carolina in late 2016. Since then, deportations have slipped, and 100 percent of migrant family units crossing the border are being released daily into the U.S.
Pelosi’s rhetoric aside, Congress designed immigration law with assistance from state and local law enforcement in mind. As FAIR has detailed, local and state cooperation with federal immigration authorities promotes public safety, is essential to thwarting national security threats and saves taxpayers money.
Obstructionist politicians achieve none of the above.