U.S. attorney General William Barr said that the so-called cities of refuge, which protects undocumented immigrants who pose a threat to the internal security of the country. Barr announced a series of additional sanctions, which he described as “a significant escalation” against the local authorities, preventing the “lawful operation” of the immigration system of the country, quoted by Fox News.
William Barr. Photo: scenes video YouTube/The Justice Department
Speaking at the winter Legislative and technology conference of the National Association of sheriffs 2020 in Washington, D.C., Barr said the Department of justice will immediately be served several lawsuits against the cities of refuge for the unconstitutional interference in Federal immigration enforcement and will conduct an unprecedented test of authorities and prosecutors in these cities.
“Let’s state the reality in advance and as clearly as possible — began Barr. When we speak about cities of refuge, we are talking about politics, which is intended to allow criminal aliens to escape. This policy does not apply to people who come to our country illegally, but otherwise was peaceful and productive members of society. The explicit goal is to shelter foreigners, which local law enforcement agencies have arrested for other crimes. It is neither legal nor reasonable”.
The justice Department filed a Federal complaint against the state of new Jersey, demanding declaratory and injunctive relief “against the laws that prohibit law enforcement agencies state and local governments to pass DHS important information about the criminal foreigners,” said Barr.
It was a reference to the Directive of the attorney General of the state of new Jersey 2018-6, which, according to representatives of the Department of justice, prohibits officials to disclose immigration status and date of release of persons in custody. The document also requires that the law enforcement agencies of new Jersey “immediately notify the detainee in writing and in the language that person can understand” if the Immigration and customs service (ICE) requests to detain this person.
In addition, “we filed a complaint, demanding declaratory and injunctive relief against king County, Washington, for the policy that prohibits DHS to deport aliens from the United States using the international airport in king County,” said Barr.
The lawsuit is against the Executive order king County PFC-7-1-EO, which, according to representatives of the Department of justice have dramatically increased operating costs for ICE, because the detainees had to be transported to Yakima, Washington.
“Decree of the Executive body unconstitutional, contrary to the Federal law on the deregulation of the airlines, which bans local authorities, such as king County, to adopt or enforce laws or regulations relating to prices, routes or services of airlines”, — stated in the Department of justice.
“In addition, we are reviewing our practices, policies and laws of other jurisdictions across the country. This includes an assessment as to whether the jurisdiction of our criminal laws, particularly criminal statutes, which prohibits the concealment or protection of aliens in the United States,” — said Barr, noting that the Department of justice will support DHS with the help of “Federal subpoenas to gain access to information about foreigners-criminals in detention in the jurisdictions uncooperative”.
Also, according to Barr, “we are carefully reviewing the actions of some district attorneys that have adopted a policy of prosecution of foreign citizens in less serious crimes with a clear purpose to avoid Federal immigration consequences of the criminal behavior of these citizens. In the pursuit of their personal ambitions and contrary to the erroneous notion of equal justice, these prosecutors systematically violate the rule of law and can even illegally discriminate against American citizens.”
Prosecutors in new York and California have changed their policies to consider the so-called “collateral consequences,” including deportation, prior to the presentation of certain charges.
Cities of refuge, according to Barr, defined as a policy that allows “criminal aliens escape” from Federal law enforcement, some jurisdictions are becoming “more aggressive” in undermining the activities of the immigration authorities, and local politicians are developing a “scheme” to bypass immigration officials.
In 2018, the mayor of Oakland Libby Schaaf gave the signal of the impending RAID by Federal immigration authorities in advance of sending a warning to illegal immigrants, and helped them to escape.
Like the President during a speech in Congress, on 5 February, the attorney General cited several cases where illegal immigrants could commit deadly crimes, because they took refuge cities of refuge.
“In November, ICE filed a complaint against the foreigner who was arrested for assaulting his father — said Barr. — Local police in new York, custody of which was a foreigner who had ignored the detainee. Alien was released, and last month he allegedly raped and killed a 92-year-old Maria Fuertes in Queens”.
In October of 2017 DHS “identified a convicted offender with four previous deportations in the city jail in Washington state — continued Barr. In DHS filed for detention. Then the foreigner fought with the prison staff and was taken to a local medical center for treatment. But after treatment, local officials have released a foreigner in violation of the conditions of detention. In January 2018, a foreigner was arrested for the murder and dismemberment of a cousin.”
According to Barr, the Constitution confers police powers on the States and does not impose on States a positive assistance to the Federal authorities in the implementation and application of immigration law, but it expressly forbids the States to actively sabotage the activities of Federal officials on immigration.
“The founding fathers carefully divided responsibility and authority between the Federal government and state governments, said Barr. — Paragraph of the rule in article VI of the Constitution States that “the Constitution and laws of the United States, which must be accepted in discharge… shall be the Supreme law of the country.”
“This item is an important part of our constitutional system. Enforcement of immigration laws in the country is an important function of the national government, he added. And no national government could not ensure proper compliance with these laws, if local authorities can interfere with this. Federal law does not require that “the jurisdiction of the shelters” actively assisted Federal immigration enforcement, he forbids them to interfere in our efforts to ensure enforcement”.
Barr emphasized that there is no way to determine how many “criminal foreigners” is in the US, partly due to “local policy”, although according to the latest estimates of the Obama administration, this figure reaches 2 million.
“Assuming that this assessment was accurate, the numbers are likely even higher today, despite consistent and concerted efforts of the administration of the trump search and deportation of this criminal population,” said Barr.
Barr also mentioned the claim of the Department of justice against California and other States about their policy of asylum. A lawsuit against California includes a law forbidding the Federal government to conduct operations in their own private immigration offices and detention centers.
This law, according to Barr, was a “blatant attempt by the state to prohibit DHS to detain aliens and impede the ability of the Bureau of prisons and the U.S. marshals to manage the Federal detainees and prisoners”.
“The Department has filed a lawsuit against the state of California to prohibit many state laws that attempted to break the Federal immigration system,’ said Barr. We prevailed on several of our claims in the lower courts, and we hope that the Supreme court will grant our request for consideration of the remaining issues and will support us against the policy of obstruction in California.”
New sanctions Barra came into force after the administration of the trump already announced other initiatives against illegal immigration, after the President’s speech before Congress last week.
The acting head of the Department of homeland security Chad wolf said that DHS has suspended Global Entry and a few other Trusted Traveller programs (TTP) for all residents of the state of new York- a dramatic step in response to the recently adopted state law Green Light Law that allowed illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses regardless of their immigration status. Barr described this document as “illegal”.
Assistant Commissioner, customs and border Management field operations Todd Owen later said that over the next 5 years, the change in rules could affect up to 800,000 people in new York. According to him, people with pending applications for Global Entry would be reimbursed, and those who have an active application, the amendments will not affect to the date of their updates.