Immigrant rights advocates are denouncing an “appalling and disqualifying” proposal by the acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to charge with federal crimes elected officials who lead sanctuary cities, which often refuse to turn over or identify undocumented residents to the government’s immigration agents.
The ACLU said Wednesday that acting director Thomas Homan’s “outrageous threat” to bring charges against local politicians who enact and carry out sanctuary city policies “should disqualify [him] from consideration for the permanent ICE director post.”
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After California made history earlier this week when it became the nation’s first-ever sanctuary state, Homan responded in an interview with Fox News on Tuesday by warning that “California better hold on tight” and vowing to “vastly increase our enforcement footprint” by upping the number of ICE officers in the state.
“There’s no sanctuary from federal law enforcement,” he said. “For these sanctuary cities that knowingly shield and harbor an illegal alien in their jail and don’t allow us access, that is, in my opinion, a violation of 8 U.S. Code § 1324.”
Homan revealed that he is currently working with the Department of Justice to look into whether the federal government can “charge some of these sanctuary cities with violating federal law” and “hold these politicians personally accountable.”
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