(UnitedVoice.com) – On Monday, Attorney General Bill Barr announced that he was significantly escalating new sanctions against far-left wing local and state governments.
At the National Sheriff’s Association 2020 Winter Legislative and Technology Conference in Washington, DC, Barr said that sanctuary cities are protecting illegal immigrants, jeopardizing domestic security, and obstructing the “lawful function of our nation’s immigration system.”
As a result, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed numerous lawsuits against sanctuary cities, counties, and states for interfering with federal immigration enforcement.
Barr further stated that these actions were not about those who come to the United States illegally and are peaceful, productive members of society. He said that sanctuary cities intentionally give criminal aliens protection from deportation. In many instances, local law enforcement has arrested criminal illegal aliens for multiple crimes.
“This is neither lawful nor sensible,” Barr said.
What Jurisdictions Are at Risk of Sanctions?
The following far-left jurisdictions are being initially singled out by the DOJ for sanctions:
- New Jersey
- King County, Washington
- New York
On Monday, the DOJ filed a civil complaint against the State of New Jersey asking for “declaratory and injunctive relief.” The suit claims that “New Jersey has no authority to enforce laws and policies that obstruct or otherwise conflict with federal immigration enforcement efforts.”
The complaint seeks to force New Jersey to provide information it has about criminal aliens and to enforce its cooperation with federal immigration laws.
The DOJ filed a separate complaint against King County, Washington. Local officials amended lease practices to ban chartered flights of immigration detainees by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The complaint states that under federal law, states and local governments do not have the authority to enact or enforce laws related to air carriers that provide air transportation.
Prosecutors Are Looked at as Well
For years, prosecutors have charged illegal immigrants with lesser crimes to avoid federal immigration laws.
Barr said that their actions are based on an unfounded idea of equal justice. In doing so, prosecutors are violating the law and potentially discriminating against American citizens unlawfully.
The Attorney General further said that state and local politicians were undermining fair justice and going so far as to develop “schemes” to circumvent immigration laws.
National Government Is Responsible for Immigration Laws
Barr acknowledged that the Constitution does not require states to assist the federal government in the implementation and enforcement of immigration law. However, it does prohibit states from actively undermining and sabotaging the federal government’s efforts to enforce said laws.
Citing the Supremacy Clause in Article VI of the US Constitution, Barr said that the nation’s immigration laws are an essential function of the federal government. Additionally, the federal government cannot enforce those laws if state and local governments are purposely undermining and interfering with enforcement efforts.
Barr Says Escalation With Sanctuary Cities Will Continue
In concluding remarks, Barr reiterated that the federal government will continue to confront sanctuary cities and work to keep Americans safe. He further added that this is just a first step and that the DOJ will take any action necessary against those who unlawfully prevent the federal government from enforcing federal immigration laws.
By Don Purdum, Freelance Contributor
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