President Donald Trump upped the ante on immigration last week, saying his efforts to crack down on illegal migration from Mexico and Central America is “liberating towns” from criminal gangs.
“We’re freeing up towns, actually we’re liberating towns, if you believe we have to do that in the United States of America,” said Trump on Wednesday, speaking alongside families who lost loved ones to unauthorized aliens. “But we’re doing it and we’re doing it fast.”
The president’s remarks came as he requested Congress to pass the controversial No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, which would pull certain varieties of federal funding from ‘sanctuary cities.’
‘Sanctuary cities’ include the likes of Los Angeles, New York, Dayton, and Newark. Law enforcement personnel in sanctuary cities tend not to inquire about the ‘legal’ status of persons they encounter in routine interactions.
Proponents of the sanctuary city movement say that lifting the constant fear of deportation helps lower crime rates and keep communities safer. Migrants can safely call emergency services in the event they witness or fall victim to a crime without having to worry about being back south of the border or overseas.
“We will cut federal grant money to cities that shield dangerous criminal aliens from being turned over to federal law enforcement,” said Trump, opting for a fear-mongering trifecta of words relatively unsupported by fact.
He also asked Congress to pass Kate’s Law, which ‘augments criminal penalties for those who return to the United States illegally after deportation.’
Meanwhile, Politico reported that a lawyer for Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner was purportedly working to resist the administration’s efforts to shut down sanctuary cities.
Jamie Gorlick, who served as deputy attorney general under Bill Clinton, filed a brief last Wednesday lambasting Trump’s executive orders focused on illegal immigration.
Gorlick, who filed the brief on behalf of several immigration advocacy groups, argued that the administration’s crackdown was discouraging victims of gender-based violence from reporting instances of discrimination and domestic violence.
“Recent reports detailing this chilling effect… demonstrate that, unless enjoined, the Executive Order will continue to undermine cooperation between law enforcement and immigrant communities, and continue to endanger community safety,” wrote Gorlick.
Politico notes that some Democrats have criticized Gorlick for taking on President Trump’s daughter and son-in-law as clients, while others have seen her continued pro-immigrant activism as a sign that she’s ‘kept one hand in’ the resistance to the administration and its policies.