FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 25, 2017
Contact: Kemi Bello, kbello [at] ilrc.org, (415) 321-8568
Immigrant Legal Resource Center Decries Trump Action to Force Law Enforcement to Assist with Deportations
Executive Actions on Sanctuary Policies, Wall, and Refugees Launch Sweeping Attack on Communities
WASHINGTON, DC – Today the federal government continued its misguided attempts to strong-arm localities into carrying out immigration enforcement, a role that sits squarely within federal responsibility. Federal law codifies – and the Immigrant Legal Resource Center heartily concurs – that it is not any local jurisdiction’s job nor legal obligation to carry out the federal government’s immigration enforcement work. Rather than leave immigration enforcement to the rightful federal authorities, the President’s actions today will strip crucial public funds from our cities and counties, hurting all residents.
“Local law enforcement knows best how to keep their neighborhoods safe, so let us allow them to do their jobs and don’t ask them to do yours, Mr. Trump,” said Lena Graber, Special Projects Attorney at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center. “Immigration enforcement is a federal responsibility, not a local one. Our Constitution does not have loopholes, and we will not turn a blind eye to any attempts to poke holes in its protections.”
Under the umbrella of sanctuary policies, cities and counties are rightfully and legally enacting provisions to leave the work of deportations to the federal authorities and to ensure that their local law enforcement departments are not complicit in any of the likely violations of the Constitution that stem from Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s (ICE) long history of troubled practices. This includes, but is not limited to: provisions that guide against inquiring into immigration status, offering city services without respect to immigration status, declining to spend local resources assisting with immigration enforcement, and providing access to legal counsel and a fair day in court, all to ensure that the fair and equal treatment that we hold dear as a nation applies to us all. The ILRC’s Searching for Sanctuary report provides county-level analysis on sanctuary policies and their implications and is accompanied by a national interactive map of law enforcement participation in immigration enforcement.
“This attempt to round up millions of our neighbors, friends, classmates and coworkers, to deny immigrants the same due process and access to a fair day in court to the citizens that cycle through our criminal legal system, flies in the face fairness – the very value our justice system rests upon,” said Angie Junck, Supervising Attorney at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center. “It is unjust and un-American to deny someone liberty because of where they came from or how they arrived here, and we are prepared to fight this abuse of civil liberties and uphold the rights afforded by our Constitution to ALL persons living in the United States.”
Mr. Trump was propelled to office in a campaign fueled by hate speech and political threats directed at immigrants and refugees who brought their families to this country in search of safety and a better life for themselves and their children.
On the heels of decades of hard-fought positive advances on immigration law and policy, we will not let the tremendous progress we have made be erased overnight. We’re rolling up our sleeves to ensure that immigrants, their families and their communities are safely included and fairly treated in our American democracy. We’ll make our voices heard in the courts, on the streets, in our local governments and in the halls of Congress.
Above all else, as these attacks on our communities continue, we’re ensuring that all immigrants – citizens and noncitizens alike – know (and exercise if necessary) their constitutionally given rights. Our work is about far more than law and policy. It is about keeping families and communities of all backgrounds where they rightfully belong – together.
About the Immigrant Legal Resource Center
The Immigrant Legal Resource Center is building a democratic society that values diversity and the rights of all people. And we believe that immigrants have a right to participate in that democratic society —and that our democracy is strengthened because of that participation. We work with immigrants, community organizations, legal professionals, law enforcement, and policy makers to protect and defend the legal right and fundamental dignity of immigrant families and communities. www.ilrc.org