Debate on whether a city decides to be a sanctuary city or not getting heated in Dallas. Our main attorney Jack KIM spoke before Dallas county commissioners asking them to approve this resolution. It was featured in a national TV. This is a debate going on across the cities in Texas and States.
On February 7, 2017, Dallas county decides to adopt a non-binding resolution called “Welcoming community”(welcoming the documented or undocumented) The real issue at hand with this resolution is one phrase: Local law enforcement agencies to end nonessential collaborations with Immigration and customs Enforcement (ICE).
Attorney KIM argued that Dallas county should be “a welcoming community” (“sanctuary county”….I think “sanctuary city or sanctuary county is a misnomer. It is not like a sanctuary city (city of refuge) in the Old testament where unintentional “criminals” were protected). All I was asking that local cop do its job and ICE cop do their job right and legally.
Trump has been threatening to defund “sanctuary cities”. Most of cities get some federal funding (usually millions) to help with federal program and maintain federal buildings or highways etc. Cities all across the nations have debates regarding whether they risk of termination of “federal funding” should they maintain as a sanctuary city.
In Texas, Austin, Houston, and LA, San Francisco, New York, Seattle, Washing DC, and Seattle are good example of “sanctuary city”.
There is no exact definition of being a sanctuary city. Practically it seems clear: what “turns” a city into a sanctuary is its willingness to use its local law enforcement to do the job of ICE. (Immigration custom enforcement) which is a federal agency.
Practically what it means is that local cop (like Dallas or LAPD) when it arrests a person for speeding, and find that a person’s driver license was expired. If it is a sanctuary city, cop will give him just a citation for speeding and driving with “expired license”. But if it is not a sanctuary city, cop will arrest him for suspicion that “they are here illegally” and they put “immigration hold” on such a person so that ICE would come and take him to its custody.
As an immigration attorney, I’ve seen a lot of abuse on “immigration (Ice) hold”. There are a lot of people who are here legally but do not have any documents to prove they are here legally mainly because USCIS oftentimes takes so long (years) to process their paper. They got pulled over for something like public intoxication or DWI or speeding and they get arrested and put on ICE hold, and they get detained in a jail for a week or so before ICE comes and clears them and release them.
I believe such a practice is unconstitutional—denying of equal protection under the 14fth amendment and (prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure) of 4th amendment. But it seems clear that Trump does not believe “equal protection” for immigrants and undocumented. It seems clear that Trump wants to pick up and deport millions of people using such a bullying tactic (defunding sanctuary city).