This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, August 17, 2017:
Attorney General Jeff Sessions took the opportunity during his visit to Miami (traffic circle shown) on Wednesday to praise the decision of Miami-Dade County officials to reverse the area’s three-year-old “sanctuary city” policy. He also used the time in front of a crowd of 150 law-enforcement officials to bash Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his city for its failure to do the same.
I’m here to announce that Miami-Dade is now in compliance — full compliance — and eligible for federal law enforcement grant dollars. This is good news for law enforcement and for the citizens of Miami-Dade. It means more money for crime fighting. It means we are partners — partners together — in keeping everyone safe.
The policy in force for three years was reversed just weeks after President Trump announced his policy of enforcing federal compliance with immigration law through withholding of federal funds to those jurisdictions calling themselves “sanctuary cities.”
Then Sessions shifted gears and leveled his attack on Chicago, first indirectly and then directly:
Sanctuary jurisdictions provide safe harbor for some of the most dangerous criminals in our country. That makes a sanctuary city a trafficker, smuggler, or a predator’s best friend.
The people of Miami-Dade know that the rule of law guarantees equality and opportunity … protecting this guarantee is why the government of Miami-Dade made its decision, and is working with federal law enforcement, not against us.
Full compliance means that the Florida county can now receive $481,347 this year, and a similar amount each year the county stays in compliance.
Sessions moved on to Chicago:
Unfortunately, some cities — like Chicago — refuse to follow your example.
Respect for the rule of law has broken down. In Chicago their so-called “sanctuary” policies are just one sad example. Chicago’s leaders have made this a political issue and direct their police to refuse [federal requests]….
Every year too many Americans’ lives are victimized as a result of sanctuary city policies — whether it be theft, robbery, drugs, assault, battery or even murder. We want to do everything we can to help state and local law enforcement, which is why we have federal grants to cities designed to aid in crime prevention.
But we cannot continue giving federal taxpayer money to cities that actively undermine the safety and efficacy of federal law enforcement and actively frustrate efforts to reduce crime in their cities.
So if voters in Chicago are concerned about losing federal grant money, call your Mayor!
Sessions raised the volume even higher, linking Emanuel to the dictator currently ruling Cuba and tying Emanuel’s decision to the crime wave engulfing his city:
Americans — all Americans — have a right to full and equal protection under law. No one understands that better than the Cuban Americans here in Miami-Dade.… They understand that no single person, whether a dictator or a mayor, should determine whose rights are protected and whose are not….
This state of lawlessness [in Chicago] allows gangs to smuggle guns, drugs, and even humans, across borders and around cities and communities. Sanctuary jurisdictions provide safe harbor for some of the most dangerous criminals in our country … respect for the rule of law has broken down.
Mayor Emanuel shot back:
In a week in which the Trump administration is being forced to answer questions about neo-Nazis, white supremacists and the KKK, they could not have picked a worse time to resume their attack on immigrants who see America as a beacon of hope.
Chicago will continue to stand up proudly as a welcoming city, and we will not cave to the Trump administration’s pressure because they are wrong morally, wrong factually, and wrong legally.
Eddie Johnson, Emanuel’s police superintendent, said that illegals weren’t driving the crime wave in the city:
I have said it before and I will say it again, undocumented immigrants are not driving violence in Chicago.… That’s why I want our officers focused on community policing and not trying to be immigration police.
This reflects the warm and fuzzy approach Chicago police were going to be required to adopt under the Obama administration’s Justice Department in an agreement for federal oversight of the city’s local police. However, implementation of that agreement stalled with the election of Trump and his nomination of Sessions as his attorney general. Sessions immediately called for a “review” of all such pending agreements, which review is ongoing.
The rhetoric has reached painful levels as Sessions and Emanuel (and mayors of other sanctuary cities such as San Francisco) square off on the primary issue: whether a city gives illegals sanctuary, or deports them.