For years, so-called “sanctuary jurisdictions” have worked to shield illegal immigrants who commit crimes inside the United States from deportation, largely by ignoring detainer requests Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials. Now, President Donald Trump is pushing back by deploying 100 Border Patrol agents to assist ICE in apprehending such individuals, as Fox News reports.
The enforcement crackdown won’t be without its challenges, however, and during a recent interview on Fox & Friends, Acting ICE Director Matt Albence explained that while the initiative is crucial in terms of helping keep Americans safe, liberal politicians in the targeted sanctuary cities seem determined to make the federal agents’ jobs even harder.
“The sanctuary jurisdictions cause us to have to go out and make more arrests at large in the community,” Albence noted on Sunday. “The safest thing for our officers and the public is to turn these individuals over to us when they have them in their custody.
However, Albence pointed out that because such jurisdictions “refuse to cooperate with us,” federal authorities have “no choice but to go out and work these cases at large.”
Protecting American lives
“Not one more American life should be stolen by sanctuary cities,” he continued. “That’s why we are calling on Congress to pass legislation giving American victims the right to sue sanctuary cities and hold them accountable for the suffering and the damages that they have caused.
“Dedicated men and women of ICE will continue to do their job regardless of the obstacles put in front of them,” Albence asserted, “but these things such as sanctuary cities…put our officers at a much greater risk than they need to be.”
Albence went on to say that there is “no need” for law enforcement officers “to put their lives on the line every day to get individuals who otherwise could have been turned over in the safety and security of the jurisdiction’s jail.”
“You have to remember these are the exact same individuals that jurisdiction just arrested hours ago for a criminal violation,” he complained. “They want to enforce their laws but they won’t let us enforce ours.”
Last summer, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti released a video denouncing ICE enforcement efforts and pledging to not cooperate with any federal initiatives aimed at cracking down on lawbreakers in the country illegally.
The previous year, Oakland, California Mayor Libby Schaaf issued a warning to illegal immigrants in her community ahead of an impending ICE raid in the area, urging them to “prepare, not panic” and pointing them to legal assistance resources.
This, according to Albence, is the sort of defiance with which his agents must contend on a daily basis, but which will not deter them from their broader mission.
“We enforce the laws Congress has passed,” he stated. “Should Congress change those laws, then we get to enforce new ones. But we’re going to continue to faithfully enforce the immigration laws to protect this country. We will do it with professionalism and with compassion…but we’re going to do it.”