U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions appeared to make amends with the New York Police Department on Friday, calling himself a “big admirer” of the city’s main law enforcement agency.
Sessions, along with other members of the Trump administration, has taken a hard stance on illegal immigration and so-called ‘sanctuary cities.’ New York, along with Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle, have all adopted the moniker in an effort to fight crime and ensure all residents are afforded fair access to education, healthcare and community resources.
However, the Attorney General has been a vocal opponent of what he terms ‘sanctuary jurisdictions.’ Sessions said safe zones for illegal immigrants “make the country and cities less safe. I understand there are those that disagree. But the American people rightly want to end lawlessness.”
New Yorkers won't be swayed by the histrionics of Jeff Sessions. We're staying with our approach to public safety because it’s working. https://t.co/YWpCmqasp7
— Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) April 28, 2017
Politico reports the comments ignited a diplomatic back-and-forth on social media between the attorney general and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Blasio Tweeted his retort that “New Yorkers won’t be swayed by the histrionics of Jeff Sessions. We’re staying with our approach to public safety because it’s working.”
De Blasio, who’s running for re-election, is arguably justified in rejecting Sessions’ rhetoric as histrionic. Over the course of the past several decades, New York has gone from being one of the worst-hit victims of the crack epidemic to the safest large city in the United States. Policies to clean up the city, including its parks and subway system, are commonly cited as a contributor to the comparatively sparkling and magnificent Manhattan of today – a far cry from the sinful mecca of Time Square in the 1980s.
Last week, Sessions ridiculed New York’s law enforcement efforts after four Long Island residents were murdered by the Latin American street gang MS-13. He tried to tie the homicides to the city’s sanctuary cities policy – a connection his critics were quick to rebut.
This week, Jeff Sessions recanted his attack on the integrity of the New York Police Department, saying he was a “big admirer” of the NYPD.
“They’ve led the way in community-based policing,” said Sessions, speaking to reporters on Long Island. “They’ve proven Broken Windows strategies work,” and, records Politico, “have been very successful in reducing crime and making this nation safer.”
He also reiterated the current presidential administration’s goal of only investigating and deporting illegal immigrants who have been involved in criminal activities.
“The president and secretary of homeland security, General Kelly, have made clear our priority right now are [sic] fully invested in dealing with people who come here unlawfully and commit crimes, additional crimes,” explained Sessions. “That’s who we are focusing on.”