Attny.Gen. Jeff Sessions visits Portland, calls for proper cooperation in enforcing immigration law

Article date: 
Thursday, September 21, 2017
Article category: 
Oregon Issues
Article Body: 
Attorney General Jeff Sessions came to Portland on Tuesday, September 19, to speak to state and local law enforcement about the importance of better cooperation between state and federal authorities in controlling immigration.
Here are excerpts from Sessions’ remarks
The fundamental duty of this government is to protect the safety and the rights of its citizens. President Trump is a law and order President. …
A key concern is that some jurisdictions have undertaken to undo our immigration laws through so-called “sanctuary policies.”
Such policies undermine the moral authority of law and undermine the safety of the jurisdictions that adopt them.
In Portland and all over Oregon, here’s how it works right now: once the police arrest an illegal alien and charge him with a crime, they fingerprint him and book him into their jail.
When federal immigration authorities learn that this criminal alien is in a jurisdiction’s custody, our ICE officers issue a detainer request accompanied by a civil arrest warrant and ask the city to either notify them before they release the criminal or to hold the criminal alien long enough to transfer him to federal custody in a safe setting.
But political leaders have directed state and local officers to refuse these requests. Cooperation has been a key element in informed crime fighting for decades.
The result is that police are forced to release the criminal alien back into the community without regard to the seriousness of his crimes or the length of his rap sheet. Think about that: Police may be forced to release pedophiles, rapists, murderers, drug dealers, and arsonists back into the communities where they had no right to be in the first place. They should according to law and common sense be processed and deported.
These policies hinder the work of federal law enforcement; they’re contrary to the rule of law, and they have serious consequences for the law-abiding residents of Oregon. …
These policies do far greater damage than many understand. At its root, they are a rejection of our immigration laws and a declaration of open borders.
These lawless policies do more than shield individual criminal illegal aliens – they also shelter lethal gangs like the Latin Kings and MS-13.
These predators thrive when crime is not met with consequences. This state of lawlessness allows gangs to smuggle guns, drugs, and even humans across borders and around cities and communities.
That makes a sanctuary city a trafficker, smuggler, or gang member’s best friend. …
They will say that forcing police officers to release criminal aliens back onto the streets will somehow increase community trust. But that does not make sense to me. Would releasing someone who had been arrested 10 times this year into your community give you more confidence in law enforcement?
Would learning that your local district attorney actually charges illegal aliens with less serious crimes to evade federal deportation make you believe they are trying to make your neighborhood safer? Would forcing federal officers to track down criminal aliens on your street instead of safely in the jails make you believe we value your community? …
The problem is the policies that tie your hands. Sanctuary policies endanger us all, and especially the federal immigration officers who are forced to pursue criminal aliens outside of jails and prisons.
Yet, rather than reconsider their policies, these sanctuary jurisdictions feign outrage when they lose federal funds as a direct result of actions designed to nullify plain federal law. Some, including Portland, have even decided to sue this administration so that they can keep receiving taxpayer-funded grants while continuing to impede federal immigration enforcement.
These grants are not an entitlement. We strive to help state and local law enforcement.
But we cannot continue giving such federal grants to cities that actively undermine the safety of federal law officers and actively frustrate efforts to reduce crime in their own cities.
Our duty is to protect public safety and protect taxpayer dollars and I plan to fulfill that duty. …
The American people rightly want a lawful immigration system that keeps us safe and serves the national interest. … 
The Oregonian has a detailed report on Sessions’ visit to Portland.