Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Trump Administration Continues Full Court Press on "Sanctuary" States and Cities, Implicates Complex Federalism Concerns


There is never a dull moment in the world of immigration enforcement with President Trump in office.  Last week, the administration announced that tactical Immigration & Customs Enforcement  (ICE) officers would be sent to "sanctuary cities" to bolster immigration enforcement.  This week is even busier for ICE.

The war on sanctuary cities continues this week.  Politico reports that yesterday President Donald Trump on a visit to Los Angeles by criticizing the city’s Democratic mayor on immigration. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti recently had posted a video informing undocumented residents of their legal rights. Trump blasted back in a tweet, “The Mayor’s efforts to shield illegal aliens endangers the lives of the public and law enforcement who have to go into the field to apprehend those released. “He shouldn't be urging illegals to beat the system, he should be urging them to safely turn themselves in!”



In Oregon, ICE yesterday served two immigration subpoenas on the Washington County (Oregon) Sheriff's Office. The subpoenas were served to request information on two Mexican citizens believed to be (1) undocumented; and (2) with a criminal record.  The Sheriff's Office plans to share the requested information with ICE.  The immigration subpoenas issued reportedly are the first in Oregon. Since January, ICE has also issued similar immigration subpoenas in California, Denver, Connecticut and New York.

Also, yesterday, U.S. immigration agents arrested at least three people at the Sonoma County (California)  Superior Courthouse, preventing them from appearing before judges for pending criminal matters and prompting unified outcry from criminal justice and court officials who condemned the action as undermining due process and local authority. ICE officers made the arrests in the face pf a new state law seeking to limit courthouse arrests

It is interesting that a Republican administration is pushing the states on issues of law enforcement, traditionally left to the states.  Immigration enforcement has led the Trump administration to attempt to limit state law enforcement action with respect to immigrants.


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