Trump Talks ICE Raids As Sanctuary Cities Fight To Protect Illegal Immigrants

President Trump said the raids carried out by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency last week are a part of his highly acknowledged campaign promise to crack down on undocumented persons in the U.S.

On Sunday morning, President Trump expressed his views on the U.S. district court’s order blocking his executive action and an appeals court’s upholding the Judge’s ruling.

Trump issued an executive order issued January 27 barring citizens of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen from entering the U.S. for 90 days and refugees for 120 days. President Trump passionately asserted that there is a “court breakdown,” which is allowing a surge in people from the seven countries coming into the U.S.

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Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), agent photographs a detained immigrant at an ICE processing center. [Image by John Moore/Getty Images]

“The crackdown on illegal criminals is merely the keeping of my campaign promise… Gang members, drug dealers & others are being removed!”

Following Trump’s actions, federal Judge James Robart of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington promptly suspended key parts of Trump’s executive order nationwide, according to CNN.

Following the Judge’s suspension, major cities and states like Kansas, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Texas, Florida, and Virginia are reported to be cracking down on immigrants without permission to be in the United States, according to the Washington Post.

Now, sanctuary cities have become more prominent throughout the nation.

According to Daily News, the term, “Sanctuary city” is a term used for cities that do not permit police or municipal employees to inquire about one’s immigration status and don’t allow municipal resources to further enforcement of federal immigration laws.

“Sanctuary” is not an official designation as there is no one true definition of what a sanctuary jurisdiction is. In general terms, a city, country or state can be considered to have sanctuary status if it chooses to place restrictions on the degree to which law enforcement can enforce immigration law, according to NPR.

Many opponents call this obstruction of federal law.

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A U.S. Border Patrol agent checks birth certificates while taking Central American immigrants into detention on January 4, 2017 near McAllen, Texas. [Image by John Moore/Getty Images]

California cannot interfere with federal immigration officers conducting deportation raids in the state. However, the Golden State can stop local deputies and police from helping the federal authorities enforce immigration laws, according to USA Today.

Cities like San Francisco have prohibited municipal employees from using city funds or resources to aid in the enforcement of the federal immigration law. San Francisco City Attorney, Dennis Herrera, asserted that his city’s policies do not violate Section 1373. He also submitted a complaint to the U.S. Court district and argued that section 1373 is “unconstitutional on its face,” according to Daily News.

“… Any city funds or resources to assist in the enforcement of federal immigration law or to gather or disseminate information regarding release status of individuals.”

However, sanctuary city defenders claim it is the job of state and local police to enforce federal immigration law.

The term may vary from person to person as the term “sanctuary” can also apply to a places that uphold an unwritten rule that sheriffs’ deputies will not go out of their way to inquire about immigration status of a person.

To many, the entire state of California fits the definition of a sanctuary city. The state’s Trust Act from 2013 prohibits state and local law enforcement officers from keeping non-felons in custody simply at the request of ICE.

Sanctuary Cities Cease To Shield Immigrants From Federal Authorities

Several towns, cities, and counties around the nation are beginning to yield to President Trump’s threat to strip funding by abandoning their “sanctuary” pledges to shield illegal immigrants from federal authorities. Ohio dropped a policy that restricted the city’s cooperation with immigration officials pursuing illegal immigrants arrested for misdemeanors or felony property crimes, according to the Dayton Daily News.

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A demonstrator yells at police during a protest outside the Immigration Court in New York City. [Image by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]

A number of GOP states have moved to introduce legislation to block their own state funding to sanctuary cities, according to Fox News Insider. The states included are Texas, North Carolina, Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, Tennessee, Florida, and Pennsylvania. Other U.S. cities that have adopted the sanctuary status include New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Boston, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C.

The American Civil Liberties Union (also known as ACLU) advises that if ICE agents show up at the door of an undocumented immigrant, do not open the door unless the agents can show a warrant that has been signed by a judge.

Trump’s List Of Criminal Actions Committed By Aliens

According to the Week, Trump’s executive order has a striking feature which orders the Department of Homeland security to publish a weekly, “comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens.” Some critics refer to this list as “Trump’s name-and-shame” list. The list would reveal the identities of illegal immigrants that have been released back into their communities by sanctuary cities and their specific crime.

The goal of the list is to pressure sanctuary jurisdictions to accept more requests for the detention of undocumented immigrants. However, opponents say the list would serve only to stigmatize illegal immigrants.

Protests Against ICE And Immigration Laws

Last Thursday night, protesters blocked an entrance to the 101 Freeway in Los Angeles following a demonstration against what they said were amped up immigration raids across Southern California, according to ABC News.

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Protestors on February 11, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. [Image by /Getty Images]

The group held a vigil at the downtown office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. After the event, about 100-150 people blocked the entrance to the 101 highway. Police stood by but made no attempts to relocate the protesters. According to ABC News, there were no indications of violence or arrests made at the event.

Other protests sprang up at the deportation of Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos. Rayos is a 35-year-old mother of two from Phoenix. Guadalupe checked in with ICE at an office regularly since 2008 after being convicted of using a fake Social Security number.

Hans von Spakovsky of the conservative Heritage Foundation asserts that a public list of crimes would be “a very important piece of transparency,” but then again, the rate of crime among immigrants is irrelevant, according to Weekly.

“The point is that every crime that is committed by someone who is here illegally is a crime that would not occur if they weren’t in the country.”

[Featured Image by Mario Tama/Getty Images]