In a direct rebuke to “so-called ‘progressive’ politicians,” Attorney General Bill Barr just announced two new lawsuits targeting “dangerous and unlawful” sanctuary policies in New Jersey and King County, Washington.
New lawsuits target criminal illegal aliens
The DOJ filed a lawsuit against the state of New Jersey, including the Democratic governor and attorney general, in response to a policy that explicitly prohibits local and state agencies from sharing information and records with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Another DOJ lawsuit was filed against King County, Washington — where Seattle is located — and the county’s chief executive over a policy that expressly prohibits ICE agents from using the King County International Airport for deportation or transport of criminal illegal aliens in federal custody.
The DOJ is also taking action, both legal and policy-wise, in response to various sanctuary policies implemented by California and New York, Barr said.
Barr: Sanctuary policies are dangerous, unlawful
In a speech to the National Sheriffs’ Association Winter Legislative and Technology Conference in Washington, D.C. on Monday, Barr reiterated the Justice Department’s commitment to the “safety of the American people,” but acknowledged the challenges faced by law enforcement agencies — in particular, the “challenge presented by criminal aliens.”
“Unfortunately, in various jurisdictions, so-called ‘progressive’ politicians are jeopardizing the public’s safety by putting the interests of criminal aliens before those of law-abiding citizens,” Barr said.
“They have put in place policies and laws designed to thwart the ability of federal officers to take custody of these criminals and thereby help them escape back into the community,” he continued. “They often proudly brand their jurisdictions as ‘sanctuaries,’ and package their obstructive policies in idealistic and misleading rhetoric about ‘protecting the immigrant community.'”
“Let us state the reality upfront and as clearly as possible: When we are talking about sanctuary cities, we are talking about policies that are designed to allow criminal aliens to escape,” Barr said. “These policies are not about people who came to our country illegally but have otherwise been peaceful and productive members of society. Their express purpose is to shelter aliens whom local law enforcement has already arrested for other crimes. This is neither lawful nor sensible.”
He went on to note that such policies were not only antithetical to the rule of law but are also in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, which grants priority to the federal government over the states when it comes to aspects of the law directly delegated to the federal government — such as immigration.
Sanctuary policies typically prohibit local and/or state cooperation with federal immigration officials and can result in criminal illegal aliens being released back onto the streets. This endangers both the U.S. citizens and the foreign residents in local communities, especially those largely comprised of immigrants, Barr noted, as well as the law enforcement personnel who work in those communities.
More to come
Barr also announced a meticulous nationwide review of all “practices, policies, and laws” pertaining to sanctuary cities, as well as the activities of certain district attorneys across the country. The review will determine whether they comply with or are obstructing federal laws and policies, and leaves open the possibility of further actions in the future.
President Donald Trump and many others have long criticized such “sanctuary” jurisdictions for illegal aliens. It’s about time something was actually done about it.