Louisiana AG Calls out Obama’s Justice Department

UsdepartmentofjusticeIn an April 27, 2016 letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Louisiana’s Attorney General, Jeff Landry, questioned the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) role in the City of New Orleans’ sanctuary policy.

New Orleans’ sanctuary policy has garnered much attention in the state capital of Baton Rouge these days thanks to two bills seeking to end sanctuary cities in Louisiana: HB 1148 and HB 453.  HB 1148 would restrict localities with sanctuary policies from receiving state funds for new infrastructure projects.  HB 453 would allow the victims of criminal aliens released by sanctuary cities in the state to sue the city or parish with such policy.

The Louisiana House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed these bills last week.  Opponents of the measures, however, have tried to derail their progress by claiming that the state’s largest sanctuary jurisdiction, New Orleans, is only a sanctuary city due to a federal consent decree.  They then go on to claim that the legislature should not pass these bills because it would cause the city to be in violation of the consent decree.

What is this consent decree you may ask?  Years ago, the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) got into some hot water with the feds over its police practices.  To fix things, in 2012 the NOPD entered into a federal consent decree (or agreement) with the DOJ, which governs the NOPD’s interactions with suspects and the public.

Page 50 of this 129 page agreement with the DOJ contains a section on how the NOPD should handle immigration matters.  In it, the agreement states that among other things, “Officers shall not take law enforcement action on the basis of actual or perceived immigration status, including the initiation of stops or other field contacts.”

Long story short, the NOPD has interpreted (or at least used as its excuse) the federal consent decree as its justification for its sanctuary policy.  In pertinent part, the NOPD’s sanctuary policy reads:

3. NOPD members shall not make inquiries into an individual’s immigration status, except as authorized by this Chapter.

5. The NOPD shall not engage in, assist, or support immigration enforcement except as follows

(a)    In response to an articulated, direct threat to life or public safety; or

(b)   When such services are required to safely execute a criminal warrant or court order issued by a federal or state judge.

6. Unless authorized by Paragraph 5, members are not permitted to accept requests by ICE or other agencies to support or assist in immigration enforcement operations….In the event a member receives a request to support or assist in a civil immigration enforcement action he or she shall report the request to his or her supervisor, who shall decline the request and document the declination in an interoffice memorandum to the Superintendent through the chain of command.

As such, opponents of the anti-sanctuary bills have been pointing their fingers at the federal consent decree, using it as an argument against the measures by claiming that passing them would force New Orleans to violate their agreement with the feds.

This immigration provision in the consent decree, however, violates federal law.  Pursuant to 8 U.S.C. 1373, local governments are prohibited from restricting its employees – including law enforcement officers’ – from communicating with federal immigration agents.  That section reads:

(a)    In general

Notwithstanding any other provision of Federal, State, or local law, a Federal, State, or local government entity or official may not prohibit, or in any way restrict, any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.

(b)   Additional authority of government entities

Notwithstanding any other provision of Federal, State, or local law, no person or agency may prohibit, or in any way restrict, a Federal, State, or local government entity from doing any of the following with respect to information regarding the immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual:

(1) Sending such information to, or requesting or receiving such information from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

(2) Maintaining such information.

(3) Exchanging such information with any other Federal, State, or local government entity.

Being the true immigration reformer that he is, Attorney General Landry has made this contradiction clear to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and is now seeking her clarification.  “I am perplexed by the implication that the U.S. Department of Justice would require – through a federal Consent Decree – any city or law enforcement authority or officer to not cooperate with federal authorities.  Nor, can I believe that a Federal Court would approve language in any Consent Decree that would force a municipality or its law enforcement agency or officials to knowingly and intentionally violate unambiguous federal law.”

You can view more of Attorney General Landry’s letter, as well as the NOPD policy and consent decree here, to decide for yourself who is to blame for the policy.  Because surely, the Obama administration’s Justice Department would never ask localities not to help enforce our immigration laws.

Related:

Sanctuary Policies in America

“Sanctuary” Policy is Bad Public Policy (2015)

FAIR Letter Urging New Orleans Police to Reject Sanctuary Policies

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The State and Local staff executes FAIR’s state and local legislative strategy and develop FAIR’s position on proposed state and local legislation. State and Local staff work closely with the Field Team and other FAIR staff to closely monitor legislative activity around the United States regarding immigration issues.

Comments

  1. avatar yvonne says:

    Send them all to California and then give California to Mexico. Idiot Governor Moonbeam can’t give enough taxpayer money to illegal aliens.

  2. avatar Fierce Look says:

    It never stops but keeps growing exponentially, TYRANNY by this Muslim-Marxist jihadist and his lezbo and homo commie regime! Here is the answer to tyranny:

    They are not idiots, they are communists – we are the idiots for putting up with this ****! REVOLUTION will be the SOLUTION! The latest edict sent out by the Muslim-Marxist jihadist and his homo and lezbo commie regime that all public schools must adopt his debauched and dangerous transgendered policy is an excellent opportunity for the sheeple to hold out their good little future commies from attending these indoctrination camps! The REVOLUTION can and MUST start here, peaceful at first but violent at worst – ultimately it will be up to this Godless Satan worshipping regime which one they want!

    >>>> If plastic water bottles are okay, but plastic bags are banned, =E2=80=94=
    > you might live in a nation (state) that was founded by geniuses but is run b=
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    >>>> WE DO LIVE IN SUCH A DUMB COUNTRY!!
    >>>> =20
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    > t for entering and remaining in the country illegally =E2=80=94 you might li=
    > ve in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.
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    > hool is perfectly acceptable =E2=80=94 you might live in a nation that was f=
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    > you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiot=
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    >>>> =20
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    >>>> =20
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    >>>> =20
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    >>>> =20
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    >>>> =20
    >>>> IF YOU CROSS THE NORTH KOREAN BORDER=20
    >>>> ILLEGALLY YOU GET 12 YEARS HARD LABOR. =20
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  3. avatar NoLawWriiten says:

    I don’t recall Congress passing a law stating these provisions. Is this another case of making and/or changing law without the consent or sanction of lawmakers (Congress). It seems as though this procedure has been forgotten and the process of making laws by the Constitutional established means has been abused again by those assigned with the enforcement of the laws as written.

  4. avatar NotThatStupidYet says:

    Liberalism is a disease destroying this great country, but like cancer it can be cured, though I doubt the disease is going to like the cure.

  5. avatar Barbara Kaur says:

    ALL sanctuary cities need to be STOPPED… this is beyond insane protecting anyone here illegally and especially those who commit worse crimes. Obama has created a huge nightmare and no one in our congress has the backbone to stop his madness…
    I do NOT understand why people can’t understand the word “ILLEGAL”!!!!! getting these illegal aliens OUT Of our country is NOT being racist.. it is about obeying our laws… these illegal aliens flood this country and the citizens foot the bill and some pay with their lives because of the criminal illegal aliens.. we have enough problems with born American criminals, we do NOT need more where who do NOT belong here…
    ALL illegals should be deported.. if they want to be here, they need to come LEGALLY…

    • avatar Jim says:

      They do understand the word illegal. That’s why the left changed to the term “undocumented immigrants”. It feels more compassionate in their utopian world where no one bears responsibility for their actions and everyone gets a participation trophy so their feeling aren’t hurt.

  6. America is Indeed in a Sad Shape

    When sovereign nation rules and laws already on the book need to be revisited and spelled out “so we can possibly [not] implement them….

    • It’s absolutely ridiculous to have cities where if you’re a criminal, you can go there to escape your crimes! Why is it SO hard for liberals to grasp the difference between “legal” and “illegal”? Seems pretty cut and dried to me and millions of other Americans!