In response to Attorney General Jeff Sessions ultimatum to cities who uphold the constitution and enact protections from Trump’s unleashed deportation force, Tania Unzueta, legal and policy director for Mijente, released the following statement:
“Session’s ultimatum is a line in the sand for cities that call themselves a ‘Sanctuary’ and for the immigrant rights movement. It is time to call for our cities to stand up to the federal government and resist any attempts to make our cities complicit in Trump’s deportation machine.
First, Jeff Sessions does not have the power to make ultimatums out of thin air. Before considering compliance, cities and advocates must question Session’s authority and motives to make such ultimatums.
Jeff Sessions should stop perpetuating the lie that ICE is a public safety agency. In fact, when its own agents are beginning to blow the whistle on an unchecked culture of discrimination, ICE is the agency that should see its budget cut, not our cities. Raids do not make us safer. Tearing apart families does not make us safer. No one is safer by ICE agents breaking Wilmer Catalan-Ramirez’ arm in his home in Chicago and denying him medical care in detention, for example. And city officials giving in to bullying to be complicit Trump’s deportation force will not make us safer either.
Finally, the ultimatum from Sessions points to threats of funding for policing. At a time when police are already receiving half of most cities budgets, this should be used to rethink where we are investing instead of used to make city leaders cave to the Trump administration.”