The Republic/USA TODAY NETWORK

Newell: AG Barr outlines plan to combat sanctuary cities

Newell Normand
February 11, 2020 - 6:11 pm
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Attorney General William Barr delivered remarks at the National Sheriff’s Association’s Winter Legislative and Technology Conference, held annually in Washington D.C.  In his speech he outlined a new initiative in combating the designation of sanctuary cities. What does it ultimately mean to the safety and security of people who live in those places? Newell invited US Attorney Peter Strasser onto the program Tuesday morning to explain

“Sanctuary cities have been a very controversial issue all across the country,” Newell began. “It just seems that it really all comes down to the Supremacy Clause - the Federal government has taken on immigration policy in this country. It doesn’t reside in the individual states. As a result, there’s been all kinds of impediments to Federal law enforcement in trying to get information about certain things… tell us about this new directive.”

“Let’s start with the Supremacy Clause,” Strasser said. “The Founding Fathers divided responsibility and power between the Federal and State governments - the Supremacy Clause provides that the laws of the United States shall be the supreme law of the land. Immigration laws are the function of the national government, but no national government can enforce these laws properly if state and local governments are getting in the way. AG Barr gave instructions to all US Attorneys around the country to study the local situation and see what we can do to ensure there’s no impediments put in the way of the Federal government’s enforcement of our immigration laws.”

“He announced that they’ve filed for declaratory and some kind of summary relief in New Jersey, possibly New York and Seattle,” Newell continued. “Seattle doesn’t allow you to use the airport for deportations. That’s the breadth and depth of the impediments that are being put up.”

“Correct,” Strasser said. “The suit against Washington is not the only one. Yesterday suits were filed in a variety of jurisdictions - there’s one in California where they prohibit the Federal government from using private jail facilities. That means all the people ICE are rounding up that are in the United States illegally and are put in private facilities waiting for deportation or a hearing, they can no longer do that in California. And the law is so broadly drafted that it applies also to Federal criminal prisoners detained in private facilities, which applies to almost 50% of Federal pretrial detainees in California.”

“So California compels the Federal government to spend more money to house violators of the Federal criminal code, so they have to move those to another state and then transport them back and forth to the district of jurisdiction where the crime occured?” Newell asked.

“You nailed it.”

“So the taxpayers are just throwing dollars out like we’re at a strip joint? This is ridiculous!” Newell said. “The AG did not mince words when he spoke to the Sheriffs - he said ‘let us state the reality upfront and as clearly as possible. When we are talking about sanctuary cities, we are talking about policies designed to allow criminal aliens to escape.’ I’m glad he approached it that way, because that is the net effect… these people are wreaking havoc in their communities and that community is up in arms about it, frustrated with the police that nothing gets done, but they’re being prohibited from coordinating with ICE!”

Hear the entire interview in the audio player below.

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