The Trump administration criticized a new Oregon state regulation that inhibits the work of federal immigration agents in detaining illegal aliens.
The new state law was enacted on Nov. 14 and requires U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) authorities who want to enter a courthouse to have arrest warrants to detain illegal aliens who have committed crimes, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.
Critics of the proposal, enacted by Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice Martha Walters, argue that foreigners accused of crimes who are fugitives and detained for other reasons cannot be made available to federal authorities (unless they have an arrest warrant) and could therefore be released.
In this way, they expose the potential danger that could result in a criminal going free in the community, while ICE would only have the option of obtaining a search warrant for private property.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr and acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf disagreed with the measure and advised Judge Mary Fairhurst, chief justice of Washington state, not to follow in the same path as Oregon’s justice.
“We urge you both to reconsider this dangerous and unlawful course of action,” Barr and Wolf wrote in a letter dated Nov. 21.
Federal officials emphasized the need to coordinate across jurisdictions to strengthen community security.
“Cooperation among local, state, and federal law enforcement officers is in the public interest and promotes safe communities,” they explained in the text.
The danger of ‘sanctuary’ policies
The underlying problem lies in the so-called sanctuary policies. According to a Fox News report, under the argument of guarding the identity of foreigners residing illegally in the United States, local authorities that enforce those regulations prevent federal immigration agents from apprehending and deporting illegal aliens.
Since the early days of Trump’s presidency, his administration has struggled with the concept of the sanctuary city by seeing these cities as refuges for criminals and organized crime gangs like the MS-13 gang.
“Sanctuary city policies do not protect communities—they endanger them. They are an affront to the rule of law, our Constitution, and they go against every instinct we have as law enforcement professionals,” Secretary Wolf said a few days ago at the end of a meeting in Raleigh, the capital of North Carolina.
In that regard, Barr and Wolf explained in their letter that the federal government needs the cooperation of the states and local police to identify, temporarily detain, and ultimately deport criminal aliens who pose dangers to communities.
“Your states’ political branches have, we understand, adopted laws and policies that prevent cooperation with federal law enforcement in the area of immigration,” they said.
“Instead of permitting the safe transfer of custody of criminal aliens in a secure environment, these dangerous state laws and policies force federal law enforcement officers to locate and arrest criminal aliens at-large within communities at potentially great peril to the officers and the public,” they explained.
The officials stated that the application of sanctuary policies has resulted in the release of foreign criminals who are charged with serious and violent crimes, such as assaults with domestic violence and drug trafficking.
Moreover, in the brief they annexed a variety of cases of people who have committed “heinous crimes,” but were released under ‘sanctuary’ policies.
Oregon and Washington are called sanctuary states because of their ‘soft’ policies regarding illegal aliens. They are governed by Democratic politicians.
“Regardless of how one views our immigration laws, we should all agree that public safety should be of paramount concern,” federal officials Barr and Wolf said.
“Court rules that would purport to further restrict the lawful operations of federal law enforcement officials only serve to exacerbate sanctuary laws and policies that continue to place our communities at unacceptable risk,” they added.