President Donald Trump just took another big step in his fight against illegal immigration.
According to the Washington Examiner, the Trump administration will now be sending Border Patrol agents to 10 different sanctuary cities in order to assist Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.
Dangers of sanctuary jurisdictions
Sanctuary cities are jurisdictions across America in which illegal immigrants are able to find refuge. This is because the local governments themselves choose not to aid in the enforcement of federal immigration law, effectively allowing immigrants who would otherwise be deported for violating American law to remain in the country.
Such policies severely undermine the effectiveness of administration initiatives designed to root out and prevent criminal activity committed by individuals who do not even have a legal right to be here. This is critical, because the real-life consequences of the non-cooperation policies of sanctuary jurisdictions are often deadly, a fact recently underscored by the tragic story of Maria Fuertes, a 92-year-old New York City woman allegedly killed by an illegal immigrant who was the subject of an ICE detainer request filed last year — a request which was ignored pursuant to the city’s sanctuary policy.
While it is true that federal ICE agents still have the ability to pursue apprehensions of illegal immigrants in sanctuary cities, the deck is often seriously stacked against them.
Not only do city governments instruct local law enforcement not to help ICE agents — to the point of making it impossible for an ICE agent take custody of an illegal immigrant from a local jail — but, there have also been incidents in which city officials have warned illegal immigrant populations in advance of an impending raid by federal authorities.
Suffice it to say that ICE is often fighting an uphill battle in sanctuary cities, as is the Trump administration in its efforts to combat the dangerous ramifications of unchecked illegal immigration on American citizens.
In order to help address the situation, the Trump administration has announced a plan to send 100 tactical officers from Customs and Border Protection (CPB) to temporarily assist ICE agents with enforcement tasks in these illegal immigrant sanctuaries from now through May of this year, according to the New York Times.
The ten targeted cities are Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Boston, New York City, Detroit, Houston, New Orleans, San Francisco, and Newark, New Jersey.
CPB, through Acting Director Matthew Albence, released a statement on the new strategy, according to The Washington Post.
“As we have noted for years, in jurisdictions where we are not allowed to assume custody of aliens from jails, our officers are forced to make at-large arrests of criminal aliens who have been released into communities,” he said. “When sanctuary cities release these criminals back to the street, it increases the occurrence of preventable crimes and, more importantly, preventable victims.”
Concrete techniques to address the public safety threat posed by sanctuary policies are indeed long overdue, and time will tell whether this kind of initiative might prove effective on a more permanent basis.