- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Homeland Security added dozens of jurisdictions to its latest name-and-shame list of sanctuary cities, released Wednesday, including Baltimore, where the police commissioner has said officers would not work with federal agents to enforce immigration laws.

The shame list — a part of President Trump’s new get-tough immigration policies — showed a large drop in the number of known illegal immigrants shielded by sanctuaries during the second full week of operations. Just 47 detainer requests were refused between Feb. 4 and Feb. 10, down from more than 200 the week before.

But the number of jurisdictions that have policies deemed to be uncooperative spiked, from 117 the first week to 150 the second week, according to the list from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

A number of Iowa cities listed the first week were pulled from the list, as were Bedford and Franklin counties in Pennsylvania, Nassau County in New York and Clay, Florida.

But the entire states of Connecticut and California were added, as were dozens of cities inside California.

“ICE is continually reviewing this report. It’s a living document, and as we become aware of more public-facing policies, more jurisdictions will be added to the list,” an ICE spokesperson said.

Since the first report was issued last week, ICE has had some jurisdictions question their listing. ICE said if jurisdictions show they’ve changed their policies, they can be dropped from the list.

At the same time, residents or activists are reporting their own localities to ICE as sanctuaries. As those reports come in, the list will likely continue to change — and grow.

Baltimore, one of the new additions this week, was added to the list based on police Commissioner Kevin Davis’ comments signaling his policy of noncooperation, ICE said.

Commissioner Davis has said his officers won’t ask legal status of those they encounter, nor will they work with federal agents for the sole purpose of enforcing immigration law.

A police spokesman referred questions about the policy Wednesday to City Hall. A spokesman for Mayor Catherine Pugh didn’t provide a comment for publication.

The 150 cities on ICE’s list are far less than some other public counts of sanctuaries. The Ohio Jobs and Justice Political Action Committee, which has been tracking sanctuaries for more than a decade, lists nearly 500.

ICE says its list is confined to policies that actively deny cooperation.

Defenders of sanctuary cities say they are no more dangerous than other communities and foster better trust between law enforcement and immigrant and Hispanic neighborhoods — residents of which are more willing to report crimes if they don’t fear being turned over to federal agents.

Los Angeles police say sexual assault reports among Latinos in their jurisdiction dropped 25 percent at the beginning of the year, while domestic violence complaints fell 10 percent. No other ethic group saw those kinds of changes.

The police chief blamed the change on Mr. Trump, saying people were too scared to report the crimes.

The new weekly ICE reports list both sanctuary jurisdictions and the specific number of illegal immigrants that the immigration agency learns have been released rather than turned over to deportation agents.

The first week there were 206 such declined “detainer” requests, including a convicted arsonist and a murder suspect. This new report showed just 47, and the charges and convictions were less dramatic, with a large number of immigrants sought on domestic violence and assault charges.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide