Attorney General Sessions Lauds Miami, Lambastes Chicago On Immigration

Remigio Civitarese
Agosto 18, 2017

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday strongly criticized the city of Chicago's political leadership, citing its so-called sanctuary policies as an example of the breakdown of law and order in the country.

Gimenez distanced himself from Trump hours before the event, which drew no other elected officials and a condemnation from a county commissioner who called the attorney general's visit "offensive". No one understands that better than the Cuban Americans here in Miami-Dade.... Then came two denunciations of London Mayor Sadiq Khan in June for reassuring comments after a terrorist attack there ( "Pathetic"). This is good news for law enforcement and for the citizens of Miami-Dade. A week after Donald Trump took office, Gimenez ordered county jails to start honoring the detainer requests shortly after the new president promised to withhold federal funds to sanctuary cities.

The people of Miami-Dade know that the rule of law guarantees equality and opportunity ... protecting this guarantee is why the government of Miami-Dade made its decision, and is working with federal law enforcement, not against us.

Miami-Dade's Gimenez has also said that his police force will not do the job of immigration agents. But the county commission backed Gimenez's policy by a 9 to 3 vote in February, the Sessions speech at PortMiami drew only a modest protest on Wednesday. Even then, the policy required the detention requests to be ignored if Washington had not already agreed to pay for the extra detention time - a rule that all but barred the requests, since Immigration and Customs Enforcement consistently refused reimbursements.

While Sessions highlighted the criminal offenses of people subject to the detention requests, they also apply to first-time offenders and people charged with minor offenses. If those prints match someone on a federal immigration-offender database, a detainer request gets triggered. The extra detention gives immigration officers more time to apprehend the suspect for possible deportation.

Gimenez ordered Miami-Dade to start accepting the detainers on January 26, a day after Trump issued his own directive that federal agencies withhold funds from "sanctuary" communities.

Although the link between illegal immigration and rising crime is weak - studies show immigrants tend to commit crimes at lower rates than other people - Sessions suggested Miami's policies contributed to a dramatic drop in murders.

Instead, Chicago last week sued the Trump administration over the funding threats.

Meanwhile, a county executive in NY says a new immigration bill would endanger the public by making Westchester a sanctuary county.

In his tweet, Trump positioned the immigration crackdown as a way to fight crime.

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