President Trump will now publish a list of crimes committed by illegals in sanctuary cities on a weekly basis. But experts think the move is just a “fear tactic” to intimidate mayors since it is virtually impossible for the federal government to track crimes within the said safe havens.
Trump signed the controversial executive order Wednesday. He argued that the list will enable law-abiding citizens be aware of the “public safety threats” linked to undocumented immigrants residing illegally in cities that decline to cooperate with federal immigration agencies.
The order states that the Secretary will issue a “comprehensive” weekly list of criminal activities done by aliens and any city or county that fails to detain “such aliens.” The White House will make the list by cropping info from the Declined Detainer Outcome reports.
It is still unclear what type of information will be publicized from the federal reports as a White House spokesperson has yet to reply to a request for comment. Cecillia Wang of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) thinks the move is designed to “shame” sanctuary cities’ mayors for their refusal to apprehend illegals for the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
“It’s basically a fear tactic,” Wang said in an interview with Buzzfeed.
The lawyer added that the list is part of a larger plan to coerce and intimidate the counties, cites, and even states that shield undocumented immigrants from deportation.
The ACLU expert added that detainer outcome reports are often inaccurate because there is no way to prove a particular case is deportable. In addition, many people have been wrongfully detained in the process, including American citizens, Wang noted. For instance, Tuesday, a federal judge ruled that Rhode Island and federal immigration authorities trampled on an American citizen’s constitutional rights by arresting her without merit.
Another expert – Prof. Michael Overing of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism – thinks the executive action could open a Pandora’s Box. The federal government could be slapped with libel lawsuits but that will largely depend on what type of information is made public.
Overing said a person could sue the government if his or her name features on the list as a “removable alien” when it is not the case. The professor explained that previous laws that had “vague provisions” ended up in the nation’s courts.
Another reason for concern is what the American people would do with the list. Some zealous citizens could join militia-like groups to hunt down illegals and turn them in to authorities.
Overing however doesn’t think sanctuary jurisdictions would “give a rat’s ass,” in the professor’s own words, about the list. He thinks the cities will see it as a political issue and simply ignore it.
Late last month, president Trump took another executive action designed to discourage sanctuary cities. On Jan. 25, he signed an executive order which threatened sanctuary jurisdictions with federal funding cuts if they failed to comply with federal immigration policies.
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