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Frank Sharry: ‘It’s about public safety, stupid’

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Trump’s relentless demonization of immigrants and communities that welcome them suffers setback in courts

Yesterday, a federal judge ruled against the Trump Administration’s efforts to withhold funds from sanctuary cities. In addition to legal setbacks, the nativist agenda of the President Trump, Attorney General Sessions and DHS Secretary Kelly is facing increased opposition from the public, and increased resistance from state and local leaders who are finding that public safety is harmed, not helped, by cracking down on immigrants. The bottom line is this: it’s about public safety, stupid. The Trump Administration doesn’t have the Constitution, the American public, or the facts on its side.

California leaders: Setback for Trump’s politics of fear

In response to the yesterday’s ruling, leading voices called it a victory for public safety and a defeat for the politics of fear:

  • California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said, “As California continues to abide by the Constitution, yet another court has ruled against the Trump Administration’s executive overreach. My office has been clear: we will not compromise our values to accommodate the new Administration, which seeks to hijack crucial resources, sow fear among California families and make our communities less safe. This injunction is consistent with the rule of law. In California, we will always fight to protect our people.”
  • California state Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León stated, “President Trump has tripped over the Constitution again … The state of California, along with our cities and counties like San Francisco and Santa Clara that value the contributions of their immigrant communities, will continue to protect all of our honest, hardworking residents against the cynical and destructive policies of this administration.
  • Dave Cortese, president of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, stated that, “The politics of fear emanating from the Trump White House has just suffered a major setback.”

WaPo: Public opinion is on side of courts

Meanwhile, in new analysis in the Washington Post, Philip Bump highlights that, “In Federal Courts v. Trump, public opinion is on the side of the courts”:

In the case of both the sanctuary cities decision and that second case mentioned, Trump’s it’s-not-a-ban travel ban, popular national opinion seems to lie with how the judges ruled.

Fox News Channel asked about both subjects in March. On the subject of funding for sanctuary cities, the poll was explicit, framing the idea in a very Trump-friendly way: “Some so-called ‘sanctuary’ cities refuse to assist federal authorities detain and deport illegal immigrants. Do you favor or oppose penalizing those cities by taking away their federal funding?” Nonetheless, more than half of respondents — including a plurality of independents and a majority of Democrats — opposed the move.

Law enforcement: Trump is making communities less safe

Meanwhile, law enforcement professionals are aghast that the Trump/Sessions/Kelly war on immigrants is undermining public safety in their communities by making immigrants less likely to report crimes and serve as witnesses.

  • In Denver, city attorney Kristin Bronson reported that she had to drop multiple domestic violence cases due to undocumented women refusing to serve as witnesses due to fears over immigration enforcement at courthouses.
  • In Los Angeles, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck recently reported that his department has seen a dramatic drop-off in reports of domestic violence and sexual abuse due to the fears of the immigrant community of increased collaboration between the justice system and immigration enforcement agents.
  • In Houston, the police department blamed fear over immigration enforcement for a dramatic decrease in the number of Latinos reporting violent crimes, including rape, compared to last year. AsHouston Police Chief Art Acevedo said, “We should all be concerned. A person that rapes or violently attacks or robs an undocumented immigrant is somebody that is going to harm a natural born citizen or lawful resident.”

Betsy Woodruff: Sanctuary cities more safe

And as Betsy Woodruff writes in a new Daily Beast assessment, “Biggest Murder Spikes Not in Sanctuary Cities”:

…a new analysis of preliminary data shows that in 2016, murder rates went up dramatically in many cities that cooperate with the feds on immigration. Immigration advocates say this means the attorney general is overstating the impact of ending “sanctuary city” policies as a way to fight violent crime.

Sanctuary cities are not connected to the 2016 increase in crime in some cities despite Attorney General Sessions’s ill-informed comments to the contrary,” said Alex Nowrasteh, an immigration expert at the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute. “Many of the cities with the biggest increase in crime are not sanctuary cities. There is no evidence that increased immigration enforcement reduces crime on the local level, thus there should be no increase in crime rates when cities reduce cooperation with the feds.

Frank Sharry: “It’s about public safety, stupid”

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice Education Fund:

When it comes to so-called sanctuary cities, our message to Trump and Sessions is simple: ‘It’s all about public safety, stupid.’ Demonizing immigrants, dividing communities and pitting local police against victims and witnesses is contrary to the goal of encouraging all residents to come together to forge safe neighborhoods, schools and public spaces.

The Trump Administration’s idea of keeping America safe is to build a wall, ban refugees and Muslims, bully immigrant-friendly jurisdictions, and deport millions of people. Fortunately, the Constitution, the courts, public opinion, and law enforcement professionals stand in opposition to this radicalism. State and local officials are determined to bring communities together and enhance public safety, and are accountable to their voters and taxpayers for delivering. Their job would be easier if Trump, Sessions, and Kelly stopped targeting immigrants and the communities that welcome them.