In a surprising move, the Obama administration took a step toward common sense legislation and dealt a small blow to sanctuary cities and illegal immigration.
Under a new policy, Immigration and Customs Enforcement will be given initial custody of criminal aliens released from prison rather than turning them over to cities and municipalities. In other words, ICE has the opportunity to deport criminal aliens before they can be released into the safe harbor of sanctuary cities which protect illegal immigrants at all costs, including repeat offenders.
Taken from Politico:
The new policy places the extra restraints on any city, county or state that chooses to adopt a so-called “sanctuary” policy, particularly a categorical one that bars all cooperation with immigration authorities.
“It certainly reads as though it’s a pushback,” said Doris Meissner, commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service under President Bill Clinton. “This is using the federal system as leverage.”
The policy change was noted in a letter sent to Rep. John Culberson, chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee, and obtained by Politico on Tuesday.
Sanctuary cities came to light and sparked national debate after the murder of 32-year-old Kate Steinle in San Francisco last July. The killer, Francisco Sanchez, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, had a lengthy criminal record, and had been released into the streets where he murdered Steinle instead of being prosecuted by San Francisco courts and deported.
Republicans are hoping this new move will help stop this kind of atrocity.
“It’s very important. It is a very significant change and we’re deeply grateful to you,” Culberson said of Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
Others are more skeptical, and are saving the praise until they see action.
“This is encouraging to hear this but I believe that old saying of trusting and verifying,” House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers said. “This is a significant, very important matter for a lot of us and I’d like to know that it’s working.”