Trump administration seeks to shame sanctuary cities

Trump administration seeks to shame sanctuary cities
© Getty Images

President Trump's administration is aiming to shame sanctuary cities with a new report listing localities that are not cooperating with requests to detain illegal immigrants who have been charged with crimes.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Monday released this year’s first “Weekly Declined Detainer Outcome Report,” which lists 118 cities or jurisdictions. The report describes them as “jurisdictions that do not comply with detainers on a routine basis" and “have a policy of non-cooperation.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Clark County, Nev. topped the list with 51 declined detainers during the week of Jan. 28 to Feb. 3, while Nassau County, N.Y. followed with 38.

The data collection began one day after Trump issued his original travel ban order.

Trump, who repeatedly promised on the campaign trial to go after sanctuary cities, also blocked federal funding for sanctuary cities in one of his January executive orders. 

“This important report demonstrates a clear and ongoing threat to public safety,” Attorney General Jeff Session said in a statement. “It is not acceptable for jurisdictions to refuse to cooperate with federal law enforcement by releasing criminal aliens back into our communities when our law required them to be deported.

“The Department of Justice will use all lawful authority to ensure that criminals who are illegally in this country are detained and removed swiftly and to hold accountable jurisdictions that willfully violate federal law,” he added.

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.), however, accused the Trump administration of improperly portraying immigrants.

“Trump’s presidency is based on a number of lies, but one of the most important … is to paint all immigrants as killers and rapists,” Gutiérrez, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, said.

Gutiérrez said the White House’s crackdown on sanctuary cities is making jurisdictions less safe because immigrants, fearing deportation, will not contact authorities in emergencies.

--This report was updated at 6:44 p.m.