For Immediate Release // Please Excuse Cross Posting
May 23, 2017
Trump Attempts Sweeping Changes to Immigration Law Through Obscure Budget Provision
If Enacted, Attack on Sanctuary Cities Would Further Entangle Local Police in Deportation Machine
Los Angeles—A major proposed change to long-standing immigration law is hidden on page 544 of the White House’s budget proposal released Tuesday. In an attack on sanctuary cities, the change purports to prohibit a wide range of state and local policies limiting collaboration in deportations. Coming in response to growing local opposition to the Trump deportation agenda, the change follows an apparent retreat yesterday from the Attorney General in the wake of a federal court decision enjoining Trump’s previous attempt to cut federal funding to sanctuary cities, which the court found likely unconstitutional.
In response to the proposal, Jessica Bansal, Litigation Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network issued the following statement:
“Scapegoating immigrants and sanctuary cities has been a centerpiece of Trump’s agenda since he announced his candidacy. But Jeff Session’s recent memo and the White House budget make several things clear: First, sanctuary policies that prevent police from collaborating in Trump’s deportation agenda comply with existing law. Second, to make Trump’s rhetoric about sanctuary cities a reality, the law would have to change. But the Trump Administration cannot change the law by fiat. Thankfully, neither a proposed budget nor a vituperative White House press release can alter the Constitution. The Tenth Amendment prohibits the President from conscripting state and local police into his deportation force. Third, the more the White House tries to shape local police in the image of Sheriff Arpaio, the more states and local governments will rebel by passing policies that protect immigrants and public safety. In California, lawmakers are well under way to doing just that.”