Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Blogger Candidate Forum: "Anti-Sanctuary" Cities

http://www.citylab.com; August 27, 2017

Hello Everyone:

Time for the weekly addition of Blogger Candidate Forum.  Once again, a couple of reminders: First, you can text donations to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma relief at 90999.  Second, today is September 13, 2017, only a few weeks left to renew your DACA application.  In order to protect yourself from possible deportation, you must renew by October 5, 2017.  Please go to uscis.gov for all the latest information.  This reminder is a nice segue way into today's subject: anti-sanctuary cities.

There is no question in Blogger's mind that Mr. Donald Trump's pardoning for former Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio was one of the most egregiously unconscionable acts of his presidency.  In a tweeted (naturally) statement, the president said,

Throughout his time as sheriff, Arpaio continued his life's work of protect the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration... (http://www.twitter.com/chiraagbains; 5:21 pm Aug. 25, 2017; date accessed Sept. 13, 2017)

In a few words, Mr. Trump signaled his approval of the former sheriff's outrageous, abuse-laden crackdown on undocumented immigrants (http://www.twitter.com/phoenixnewtimes; 7:01PM Aug. 25, 2017; date accessed Sept. 13, 2017) and his persistent defiance of a federal court order to stop racial profile (http://www.npr.org; July 31, 2017; date accessed Sept. 13, 2017).  Tanvi Misra writes in her CityLab article, "'Anti-Sanctuary' Cities Continue to Multiply Under Trump," "The presidential pardon is likely to encourage other local governments to abandon any fears of litigation and sign-up to engage in similar behavior."  It could also increase the number of "anti-sanctuary" cities, which have been steadily multiplying since the president took office (http://www.citylab.com; March 1, 2017; date accessed Sept. 13, 2017).

During his tenure as sheriff, Mr. Arpaio participated in the 287(g) program-Delegation of Immigration Authority Section 287(g) Immigration and Nationality Act (http://www.ice.gov; date accessed Sept. 13, 2017).  This act invests local police and sheriff's deputies immigration enforcement powers, either in jails or in the field, or both.  The former sheriff spent who know how much taxpayer money (http://www.eastvalleytribune.com; date accessed Sept. 13, 2017) tracking down undocumented immigrants (and the lawsuits that followed [http://www.azcentral.com; March 28, 2017; date accessed Sept. 13, 2017]).  Mr. Arpaio was also infamous for the in humane and humiliating treatment of his immigrants in his custody (http://www.newyorker.com; July 20, 2009; date accessed Sept.13, 2017) clearly a violation of the Eight Amendment which forbids cruel and unusual punishment.  Ms. Misra cites some of the ways the former sheriff would treat his inmates: "...He'd move hundreds of male detainees to a new jail in nothing but pink underwear.  When the jails became overcrowded, he moved his prisoners to "concentration camps" [http://www.phoenixnewtimes; Aug. 2, 2010; date accessed Sept. 13, 2017]-tent cities with no respite from the temperatures as high as 135 degrees."  Inmates were physically abused (Ibid; July 2, 1997; date accessed Sept. 13, 2017) and deaths occurred at alarming rates (Ibid; Nov. 24, 2015; date accessed Sept. 13, 2017). 

Ms. Misra reports, "In 2011, a Justice Department Investigation [http://www.justic.gov; Dec. 15, 2011; date accessed Sept. 13, 2017] confirmed his civil rights violation and DHS revoked its agreement to let his officers carry out immigration enforcement in the field."  The results of this investigation came a year after two government watchdogs (oig.dhs.gov; March , 2010; date accessed Sept. 3, 2017) concluded that the 287(g) program operated without Immigration and Customs Enforcement oversight.  She continues, "For these reason, the program was scaled back in favor of other forms of cooperation under the Obama administration.  However, President Barack Obama is no longer in office and the current administration has revived and enhanced it (http://www.citylab.com; March 1, 2017), and actively encouraging municipalities to embrace it.  Not in Los Angeles.  Yay Mayor Eric Garcetti

Breaking news: according to the Phoenix New Times Motel 6 in Latino neighborhoods allegedly share their guest lists with ICE.  (twitter.com/phoenixnewtimes; Sept. 13, 2017; 8:00 AM)

In July, ICE announced that it signed new 287(g) agreements with 18 Texas counties (http://www.ice.gov; July 31, 2017; date accessed Sept. 13, 2017). This brings the total to 60 counties (Ibid), double the number from the previous year.  Tanvi Misra writes, "So far, these counties have opted for the 'jail enforcement model,' in which only jailers can carry out ICE's responsibilities."  This is a tamer version of 287(g) than the Arpaio iteration-it equally criticized for being cost ineffective (isa.unc.edu; Feb. 2010; date accessed Sept. 13, 2017) and counter productive (http://www.migrationpolicy.org; Jan. 2011; Sept. 13, 2017).

CityLab has generated an inter-active map of the counties that signed up or renewed a 287(g), which can be viewed at http://www.citylab.com.  Most of the counties that signed up are clustered in the Houston area.  Something to be aware of if you are a DACA-recipient seeking hurricane relief.  The full list is available at the ICE website.  Yours Truly is happy to report that Los Angeles County is not the list but the Orange County, California Sheriff's Office is on the list of places that practice jail enforcement of 287(g).

Tanvi Misra observes, "It seems that what Trump is selling, many sheriffs are willing to buy."  The sheriffs are are still on the fence about it (http://www.thedailybeast.com; Aug. 19, 2017; date accessed Sept. 13, 2017) may be offered a workaround (http://www.nytimes.com; Aug. 21, 2017; Sept. 13, 2017).  According to a New York Times report by Caitlin Dickerson, the workaround agreement,

...intended to circumvent court decisions that have thus far limited the role of local law enforcement in immigration.  It involves a legal move regarding detainers, which are requests by Immigration and Customs Enforcements to local sheriffs or police departments to hold people who are suspected of being in the country illegally, even after they have posted bail, finished their jail sentence or otherwise resolved their criminal cases.

In short, this plan circumvents court decisions that found the detainers  violation of the Fourth Amendment-unreasonable search and seizure.

The plan calls for the federal government to "contract" sheriffs' department to detain people's suspected of being undocumented immigrants.  What is not clear is what form these new agreements will take, but they are in the same vein as the 287(g) agreements (http://www.twitter.com/juliemaoster; 7:04 AM Aug. 21, 2017; date accessed Sept. 13, 2017.  Ms. Misra spoke with Daniel Stageman, director of research at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at City University of New York, who has been following these agreements.  On November 2, 2016, he post this article on The Crime Report,

...The parameters of such agreements, or the training that local law enforcements officers requires under them, are left ambiguous.  Notwithstanding the established practice of ICE under the Obama administration (the GW Bush administration prior to that), it is certainly conceivable that a Trump administration could severely reduce the rigor of established training requirements, along with the strictures laid out in ICE's current Memorandum of Agreement template [http://www.ice.gov; date accessed Sept. 13, 2017], leaving a loose and undemanding structure to induce local law enforcement agencies to join.  (http://www.thecrimereport.org; Nov. 2, 2016; date accessed Sept. 13, 2017)

Just as Mr. Stageman predicted, smaller Southern counties close to a large undocumented immigrant population are lining up to join, powered by the prospect of political and economic gain.  This makes it even more imperative for current DACA-recipients to renew their applications by October 5, 2017 because this current form of "anti-sanctuary" cities is also growing in number