Report: Obama-appointed judge rules Florida’s ban on sanctuary cities is “unconstitutional”

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According to reports, a judge has ruled that Florida’s ban on sanctuary cities, which help shield criminal illegal immigrants from arrest and deportation, is unconstitutional because it is discriminatory. 

Judge Beth Bloom, appointed by former President Barack Obama, permanently enjoined the law signed by Governor Ron DeSantis (R) in June 2019, that banned Florida cities and counties from protecting criminal illegal immigrants from federal immigration law carried out by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). 

In a tweet back in June 2019, DeSantis wrote:

“Earlier this year, I made a promise that we would ban sanctuary cities in Florida and today we are delivering on that promise. I am proud to sign the bill presented to me by the FL legislature to uphold the rule of law and ensure that our communities are safe.”

In a ruling issued during the third week in September, Bloom wrote:

“Defendants are permanently enjoined from enforcing Fla. Stat. § 908.103 and Fla. Stat. § 908.104 because these statutory provisions are unconstitutional.”

The city of South Miami, along with pro-sanctuary groups, filed the lawsuit in June 2019. Bloom also ruled unconstitutional a provision of the sanctuary city ban that allows local and state law enforcement agencies to transport criminal illegal immigrants wanted by ICE to federal facilities around the state or outside the state. Bloom wrote:

“Consistent with the Court’s Omnibus order on the parties’ cross-motions for summary judgment, Defendants are PERMANENTLY ENJOINED from enforcing the Transport Requirement, Fla. Stat. § 908.104(4) because this statutory provision is preempted by federal immigration law and is therefore unconstitutional.”

As part of her ruling, Blooms accuses DeSantis and Florida Republican Party Chairman State Sen. Joe Gruters (R) of having “discriminatory motives” in their efforts to pass the sanctuary city ban. She wrote:

“Here, prior to SB 168’s enactment, there was a rise in proactive policing measures addressing immigration issues across the country, which was fueled in part by the perpetuation of an immigrant threat narrative and the need to crack down on undocumented immigrants.

Indeed, similar immigration enforcement bills had been presented in the 2017 and 2018 legislative sessions, but had ultimately failed. Notably, then-Representative Gruters had been in favor of these prior anti-sanctuary bills.”

The judge added:

“Similarly, while running for his current position, Governor DeSantis also perpetuated the immigrant threat narrative through his campaign advertisements, which depicted him building a wall with his son and his public statements associating ‘illegal immigrants’ with ‘lawlessness’ and voicing his support for eliminating sanctuary jurisdictions.”

Bloom concluded that:

“These discriminatory effects were both foreseeable and known to the Legislature at the time of SB 168’s enactment.”

DeSantis’s office said they will be appealing Bloom’s decision. Taryn Fenske, a spokesperson for DeSantis, said in a statement:

“We disagree with the ruling of the Obama judge and we expect to win on appeal.”

In response to the ruling, Gruters said the “judge was misled as that opinion is not based on facts,” adding:

“This bill was always about public safety and ensuring that illegal aliens are not treated better than Americans when it comes to the judicial system. I look forward to this ruling being overturned.”

The case is South Miami v DeSantis, No. 1:19-cv-22927-BB in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

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Report: Texas judge strikes down Biden’s “sanctuary country” orders for illegal immigrants

August 21st, 2021

TEXAS- In a ruling on Thursday, August 19th, a Texas judge struck down President Joe Biden’s “sanctuary country” orders for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.

These orders, which were first announced back in February, have allowed countless criminal illegal immigrants from local, state, and federal custody to be released into the United States.

At the time, the new guidance instructed agents not to pursue illegal immigrants for arrest and deportation until they have been convicted of aggravated felonies against Americans or identified as terrorists or gang members.

Aggravated felonies include crimes such a rape, murder, child pornography, sexual abuse or a minor, trafficking firearms, and theft.

In his recent ruling, Judge Drew Tipton issued a preliminary nationwide injunction sought by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry (R) that prevents the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from implementing the orders that have kept several criminal illegal immigrants in the U.S. since Biden took office. 

As a result of the orders implemented back in February, illegal immigrants who were not recently convicted of an aggravated felony in the U.S. were released into American communities instead of being turned over to ICE agents for arrest and deportation.

Tipton’s recent ruling, however, blocks DHS from continuing to implement the orders. He wrote, he part:

“Although this case involves many issues of administrative and immigration law, its core concerns whether the Executive Branch may implement a policy that directly conflicts with laws that Congress enacted.

The answer is no. In the end, through all their detailed explanations of the Executive’s seemingly unending discretion, the Government substantially undervalues the People’s grant of ‘legislative powers’ to Congress.”

The judge added:

“Because the States have demonstrated that there is a substantial likelihood that portions of the Memoranda direct Executive Branch officials to act in a way that is contrary to Sections 1226(c) and 1231(a)(2), those actions of the Memoranda cannot stand and are hereby enjoined.”

He continued:

“Additionally, the Court enjoins the sections of the Memoranda described above because the States have demonstrated a substantial likelihood that the policy concerning detention of certain aliens set forth in the Memoranda is arbitrary and capricious under the [Administrative Procedure Act] APA and the Memoranda fail to comply with the APA’s notice and comment requirement.”

The judge concluded:

“This Preliminary Injunction is granted on a nationwide basis and prohibits enforcement and implementation in every place the Government has jurisdiction to enforce and implement the January 20 and February 18 Memoranda.”

Additionally, Tipton ordered the Biden administration to provide a monthly report on the number of illegal immigrants who were released into the U.S. the previous month after ICE agents did not detain them.

The court asks for each illegal immigrants’ name, the crime they are charged and were detained for as well as the reason they were not detained by ICE agents and the ICE official who made the decision not to detain them.

Tipton ordered the nationwide preliminary injunction to remain in effect pending a final resolution in the case or “until a further Order from this Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, or the United States Supreme Court.”

The case is Texas v. U.S. No. 6:21-cv-00016 in United States District court for the Southern District of Texas. Other states, such as Florida, Montana, and Arizona have also filed lawsuits against the Biden administration.

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House Democrats pushing to defund a police program, effectively allowing criminal illegal aliens to evade deportation

May 7th, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC – Democratic members are asking the House Appropriations Committee to defund a vital and effective ICE and police cooperative program in order to assist illegal aliens evade apprehension and deportation.

Dozens of House Democrats led by Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) in sending a letter to the Committee asking that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) 287(g) program be defunded.

“Squad” members Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ayanna Presley (D-MA), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) joined 28 other Democrats in signing the letter.

The 287(g) agreements allow local law enforcement agencies to enter into agreements with ICE allowing local departments to identify illegal aliens and hand them over to ICE for processing and eventual deportation.

https://twitter.com/JxhnBxnder/status/1390461401844625408

ICE describes the 287(g) program as “mutually beneficial”:

“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) 287(g) Program enhances the safety and security of communities by creating partnerships with state and local law enforcement agencies to identify and remove aliens who are amenable to removal from the United States.

The 287(g) Program continues to receive overwhelmingly positive feedback from its partners. The mutually beneficial agreements allow state and local officers to act as a force multiplier in the identification, arrest, and service of warrants and detainers of incarcerated foreign-born individuals with criminal charges or convictions.”

Some of the criminal illegal aliens arrested by local police and subsequently turned over to ICE agents included those charged with drug trafficking, child rape, domestic violence, carrying a firearm without a license, aggravated assault, and felony embezzlement.

In 2019, the 287(g) program encountered 775 illegal aliens convicted for assault, 704 convicted for dangerous drugs, 145 convicted for sexual offenses/assaults, 173 convicted for obstructing police, 110 convicted for weapons offenses, and 21 convicted for homicide.

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Despite the success of the program, the lawmakers wrote that the 287(g) program should be defunded in the upcoming federal budget because it “degrades community trust in local law enforcement.”

Democratic House members wrote:

“As you begin to craft the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill, we write to ask you to eliminate funding for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agency’s 287(g) program.

“It is critical for our nation to have humane immigration laws and systems that seek to build trust between immigrant communities and local law enforcement, compared to a system of distrust and fear.”

The House members have joined an effort that began last month when Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL), and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) sent a letter to Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, asking him to terminate the agency’s 287(g) agreements with local law enforcement agencies.

The Democratic lawmakers wrote to Mayorkas, telling him that he must terminate the agreements:

“We write to you to urge you to immediately terminate all existing 287(g) agreements. These agreements undermine public safety and result in the racial profiling and harassment of immigrant communities.

“In order for our immigration system to properly represent our American values, it is paramount that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) implement critical changes in how it seeks to enforce federal immigration law.”

In the letter to House Appropriations, the members said that continuing the program would be “irresponsible”:

“We are pleased that the 287(g) program did not receive any significant increases in funding from FY 2017 to FY 2020.

“However, with the lack of oversight, no clearly defined strategy for the 287(g) program, and a continued degradation in public trust of local law enforcement, it would be irresponsible for the federal government to continue funding this program. As such, we ask that all funding for the 287(g) program be zeroed out for FY 2022.”

President Biden, whose administration is struggling to control an immigration crisis at the southern border, has not addressed the Democrats’ call for termination of Section 287(g) agreements.

In February, a group of 60 House Democrats urged the President to end programs at the Department of Homeland Security that allowed for state and local police to assist in immigration enforcement.

Despite claims by Democratic leaders that the program needs to be defunded, those tasked with protecting the border and Americans disagree.

In his 2019 fiscal year report to Congress regarding the 287(g) program, Deputy Director and Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Director U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Matthew T. Albence wrote that the program has been highly successful:

“ICE firmly supports the 287(g) Program, which is a successful force multiplier in the identification and processing of aliens subject to removal from the United States.

“Participating state and local agencies allow ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations to refocus its jail screening assets in those jurisdictions to other at-large threats.”

Republicans have been critical of the administration’s handling, or failure to handle, the immigration crisis. A group of 12 Republican Senators led by Sens. John Thune (R-SD) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) urged the Biden administration to reconsider its immigration agenda in light of the rapidly expanding border crisis.

Elliot Spagat,  a journalist for the Associated Press, wrote in April that border encounters have soared since President Biden took office:

“Border encounters — a widely used but imperfect gauge that tells how many times U.S. authorities came across migrants — rose sharply during Donald Trump’s final months as president, from an unusually low 17,106 last April to 74,108 in December.

“They soared during President Joe Biden’s first months in office. Encounters totaled more than 172,000 in March, up from about 100,000 the previous month and the highest since March 2001.”

 

 

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