Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen confirmed that her department has asked federal prosecutors to see if they can lodge criminal charges against sanctuary cities that refuse to cooperate with federal deportation efforts.
“The Department of Justice is reviewing what avenues may be available,” Nielsen told the Senate Judiciary Committee. The secretary added that sanctuary policies were “putting my [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] officers at risk.”
Her confirmation came after California’s new sanctuary law went into effect Jan. 1, severely restricting cooperation the state or any of its localities could offer.
She said it’s safer for immigration agents to do their jobs if they have the assistance of local and state jurisdictions.
The Justice Department’s review follows a chilling warning earlier this month from the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Thomas Homan, who said California would feel the wrath of his agency because of its decision to become a sanctuary state. Homan also called for local and state elected officials to be charged with federal crimes for adhering to sanctuary policies.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Tom Homan says sanctuary policies put his officers and local communities at more risk because they have to arrest illegal aliens out in the community.
Mr. Homan said last July that he wanted to see local officials charged as complicit in human smuggling if they shielded illegal aliens through sanctuary policies.
The Trump administration has vowed to withhold federal money from localities that refuse to give federal immigration authorities access to jails and provide advance notice when someone in the country illegally is about to be released, reports the Washington Times.
Last month, Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Ind., introduced a bill threatening elected officials in sanctuary cities with fines and prison time.
“Politicians don’t get to pick and choose what laws to comply with,” Rokita told Fox News at the time “Americans are dying because politicians sworn to uphold the law refuse to do so.”
Rokita introduced the bill in the wake of the Kate Steinle trial, in which an illegal immigrant who had been deported to Mexico five times was acquitted of murdering Steinle on a San Francisco pier in 2015.
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
January 17th, 2018