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  Jessica Vaughn and William Stock Discuss Immigration Policy in the Trump...  CSPAN  December 15, 2016 12:05am-12:41am EST

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immigration policy, and so-called singular cities. we will hear from jessica vaughn of the center for immigration studies, and william stock of the american immigration lawyers association. this event was held at the national press club. >> please and gentlemen, welcome to the national press club's newsmakers on think you are cities. i am with the newsmakers committee at the national press club. the world's largest organization for professional journalist. if you are interested in joining, please see me afterwards. sanctuary cities is an extremely
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important issue today. we have 300 of these jurisdictions. the governor of new york is proposing that new york become a sanctuary state. san francisco is proposing funding legal fees for undocumented workers. with that, i think i have spoken long enough, and will have each speaker speak 10 to 12 minutes , and then we will have questions and answers. jessica vaughn represents the anti-immigration city side. she is the policy director for the center of immigration studies. william stock is with the american immigrant lawyers association. sheepresents the pro se and satisfied. with that, jessica, and then
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william, then you get a one minute rejoinder. ms. vaughn: thank you so much, thank you all for having me today. definitely a hot topic. i'm pleased to have this opportunity to visit these issues in a format that's going to promote discussion and give ofs a chance to explore some the details, and the arguments. sanctuary cities, yes or no? the answer is very clearly no. i will be telling you why. mainly because they are illegal and because they create public safety problems. also, because they don't help in establishing trust between immigrants and the community, and authorities. , i will alsosh
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tell you what i think should be done about them. have heard that sanctuary policies are fine, that they are even necessary. the reasons people give for supporting or promoting sanctuary policies are basically one of two reasons. one positive, one negative. reason is this so-called trust issue. we all heard it said that if local quote -- authorities cooperate with federal immigration authorities, then immigrants in the community, especially illegal immigrants, will be afraid to report crimes because they're afraid they will then be turned over for deportation. this is something that authorities genuinely should be concerned about, if it were true. but it turns out that it is not. and i will be delving into that later. the other main reason that you're going to hear about in favor of century cities is a negative reason. it's what i call the "you can't make me" argument, that the federal government can't force states to enforce federal law or make them spend their money on
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this, or force local officers to become immigration officers. either, uponold up examination. cooperation between local authorities and federal authorities is clearly within the constitutional framework of immigration enforcement. so, i am going to address these arguments. first, i want to give you the three reasons why i think that federal government must address the problem of sanctuaries. first of all, sanctuary policies obstruct legitimate enforcement of immigration laws and they are illegal. it is important to remember that immigration law is not some obsolete relic of a law that is not worth enforcement. it protects job opportunities for americans and for illegal legal immigrants, especially those legal workers who don't have a drop -- college degree. their job prospects have not improved whatsoever the last 10 years.
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not even close to improving. these are the americans and legal workers who are hurt most by illegal immigration. that needs to be more of a consideration for our policymakers. also, immigration law protects resources for education, health , and welfare that should be reserved only for citizens and people who are here legally. illegal immigration is a net fiscal drain on the federal budget to the tune of about $50 , billion a year. that's not insignificant. perhaps most important immigration law enforcement , protects the security and safety of our communities. and that's because the main target for deportation is and always has been that small fraction of the illegal alien population who are criminals and causing problems in our communities. since ice doesn't patrol the streets looking for people to arrest, it depends on local law enforcement to help identify which illegal aliens are causing
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the problems. it turns out that that is to the sanctuaries and a protecting, the criminal aliens. that is because the most common and problematic part of sanctuary policy is one that tells law enforcement agencies not to incorporate when the feds -- cooperate when the feds try to remove someone who has been arrested for a stay in local crime. 90% of the people being removed by ice nowadays have a criminal conviction. that is who ice is targeting and that is who is protected by think you a policies. congress that it was so important for law enforcement agencies to have this cooperation that it -- that they passed a law in 1996 that made sanctuary policies illegal. a code says no local government can have a policy that in any way restricts local officials from communicating or exchanging information with the feds, which is exactly what the most egregious sanctuaries do, and that is the exact policy that was in place when the san francisco sheriff's office
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released the manhood leader killed kate steinle and that infamous case. in addition, another code says no one may harbor illegal aliens or shield them from detection by federal authority. so any place that has a century -- thank you a policy that goes against these laws is not only putting the people of the community at risk, but they are putting themselves at risk for consequences from the federal government. aside from the legal and constitutional issues, century policies cause public safety problems. this is because the practical effect is that they end up releasing criminal aliens back to the community who should be deported. starting in january 2014, when the number of sanctuaries started to proliferate, ice started keeping track of exactly which jurisdictions were not cooperating. the number of detainers that were rejected because of sanctuary policies who the , subjects of the detainers were , and what happened after they were released. i was able to obtain a copy of
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this report through a foia request, and we posted it on our website and this is what i found. over that eight-month period, sanctuaries released about 8000 individuals were the subject of an ice detainer. by june 2015, it was 17,000. 63% of those released already had a serious criminal record, meaning a felony or violent misdemeanor. within eight months, already 23% had re-offended just within , those eight months. and they were charged with 4000 new crimes. of those, ice was able to only rearrest about 40%, and the rest are at large. the sanctuary supporters say they have no responsibility for the problems created by these said --, and that ice should just go arrest them. this is easier said than done. if you had to arrest and illegal
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drug dealer, where would you rather do it? where they are already arrested on other charges or in their -- when they are already in jail? them to arrest them when they are out in the community is dangerous for the communities, and it is also upsetting to the public and creates this climate of fear that the immigrant advocates say that they are opposed to. some say that they understand and deplored the public safety problems created by the sanctuaries, but nevertheless, have no choice but to let the criminal aliens go. they say that because courts have ruled that holding the alien for ice is a civil rights violation. most sheriffs don't agree. 90% of them are complying with ice detainers. i estimate that 250 of the 300 centuries is this now erroneously maintaining that they cannot hold someone for
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ice. what i say to them is ice does , provide warrants. administrative warrants. they are not required to provide criminal warrants. ice has offered to pay any additional costs for holding the alien, and has established rapid response teams to get officers there quickly to minimize the cost of the local jurisdictions. but there are still some of these places that will not cooperate on any terms. cook county, illinois, san francisco, contra costa, and santa clara counties in california, and king county in washington state, still do not cooperate, even with all of the accommodations that ice has offered them. and the reason is, it is not because of legal issues or cost issues. the reason they have the sanctuary policy is because they want to obstruct immigration enforcement, because they disagree with it. but the federal government can't just look the other way at this obstruction. these sanctuary policies are illegal and they are dangerous. to top it off, they don't even
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accomplish the goal that they allege is their main reason for having them, which is to encourage immigrants to report crimes, and to trust authorities. first, there is no evidence whatsoever that immigrants report crimes any less than others. not recording -- reporting crimes is a problem in a lot of places, and the reasons are complex. but as i mentioned in the report that we are putting out today, which is available on our website, the national level data on crime reporting show no signs of less reporting of crime by immigrants. the data from a lot of law enforcement agencies that i have looked at shows no sign of a decline in crime reporting by immigrants when there is robust cooperation between the police and ice. including a very detailed study that was done not far from here
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in prince william county, virginia a few months ago. , there have been some surveys done in the academic literature. what they found is that when immigrants are asked if they did not report crimes and what was the reason, what they say is that it's because they faced a language barrier. or, the second reason was that they don't know how to report the crime, or they didn't think what happened to them was a crime not because they were , afraid of eating turned over -- afraid of being turned over to ice. so to the extent that there are access problems to police services, then local police should adopt tried and true community policing policies that directly address those problems. officers whoe speak the limited the community. have anonymous tip lines. have nonuniform personnel taking crime reports. do outreach to the community to build ties. and most importantly, what they need to do is get the message out that innocent victims and
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witnesses are never targets for immigration enforcement. that is the message that all of these groups should be spreading. that, instead of the message that immigrants have something to fear from police. none of the community policing tactics i mentioned involved suppressing immigration enforcement. what can be done by the trump administration to address the sanctuary problem? it is reasonable to expect this will be a focus for the new administration, because the has said so, and he clearly took to heart the stories of the americans who've lost family members to crimes by illegal aliens. addressing the sanctuaries has to be an important part of the trump administration's plan to boost the deportations of the estimated 2 million criminal aliens who are now in the country. and again, 90% of the jurisdictions are cooperating. it is the 10% who are not, but they happen to be in places that do have a lot of criminal aliens.
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the first thing the new administration should do is address the legal concerns of the jurisdictions that make up the majority of the sanctuaries, this 20050i mentioned. one easy step is to agree to 250e administrative -- this i mentioned. one easy step is to agree to issue administrative warrants where requested. they are going to have to do it anyway in the processing for anyone for deportation. they might as well do it when they issue a detainer, and meet those long for some agencies halfway. help them out. this is a solution that has allowed suffolk county on long island, which is a big community, has a lot of rooms with illegal alien crime. -- has a lot of problems with illegal alien crime. they reverse their sanctuary policy last week.
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hundreds have been resettled into long island and those communities. the next thing i would do if i were in the trump administration , would be, the to publish a weekly list of all of the criminal aliens released by sanctuaries. i would call it denny's list, after dennis mccann, who was killed by an illegal alien drunk driver in chicago 2011. that illegal alien was one of the first people released under the cook county sanctuary policy, which is one of the most extreme in the country. he has never faced charges, because he fled to mexico, because cook county released him, because of the newly adopted ordinance that said they will not turn over anyone to ice or hold anyone for ice. that kind of a list would give you folks here at the press club something to write about on a weekly basis. no question. in addition, the new administration should continue the process that has already
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begun, to cut federal funds to the sanctuaries. the department of justice has recently determined that certain sanctuary policies are inconsistent with federal law and if you are not complying , with federal law, then you cannot receive federal funds. in 2016, the 10 jurisdictions that were identified by the department of justice as having a policy that's a problem, received $96 million this year that they might end up having to , pay back if they don't change their policies by june 30, 2017. this is not unconstitutional coercion as some have claimed. , it is proper for the federal government to do this, if local governments are violating federal law. it's been done before. i think, even after taking those steps of meeting the jurisdictions halfway on the legal concerns about warrants, and withholding federal funds to
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the noncompliant jurisdictions, there is still going to be some diehard sanctuary jurisdictions that are going to cling to their policy. if that's the case, of course, the federal government should look at withholding other kinds of grants. if they persist with these policies, the government is going to have to look at possible litigation to enjoin some of the sanctuary policies , or possibly even prosecution in certain circumstances and selectively, because this continued egregious obstruction of ice is going to cause more horrific consequences, as we've already seen have happened. i have to say, if i were a police chief or sheriff watching what is happening, i certainly would not want to be on the other end of that kind of a case, on the other end of a microphone like this, trying to explain to the family members of
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the victims or to the citizens in my community why i did not do everything possible to get that person turned over to ice. i certainly would not want to deal with the potential legal liability either. it's going to be interesting to watch this play out over the coming year. i think right now, some of these diehard sanctuary jurisdictions are playing a game of chicken with the federal government. i'm not sure how long the public is going to tolerate it, and the federal government should not tolerate it either. thank you very much. >> thank you. before we go on, we noticed a number of people in the back. we are very lonely up here. can you please come up? please? there are plenty of seats up here. and with that, william stock. he will speak for an equal
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amount of time, and then she will have a chance for a rejoinder. mr. stock thank you very much. : it is a pleasure to be here with you today. sanctuary cities, the phrase is made to make you think of state officials standing between the immigration authorities and immigrants who are subject to removal somehow shielding them , from removal and in spite of their unlawful status. but in over 300 jurisdictions, there is no policy that instructs officers to actively thwart the enforcement of immigration law. what we are talking about then , is policies that instruct state officials to stand aside from the federal agencies that are responsible for enforcing immigration laws. so let federal law enforcement do their job of enforcing federal laws, while the state's law-enforcement re-force -- resources remain focused on enforcing laws in their communities and keeping their communities safe. the question before us today is
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not whether or not state and federal law enforcement is allowed to assist with immigration law enforcement. clearly, they are if they wish , to be so. the question is whether state and local law enforcement can be compelled to provide assistance in federal law enforcement matters in a civil immigration law enforcement. in my remarks today, i'd like to briefly address how this current question of immigration enforcement relates to past disputes between states and the federal government over how much the states are supposed to be involved in enforcement of federal law. you have to go back all the way into the founding of the republic, when you find that one of the first arguments between the states and the federal government was how much states in the north had to cooperate with states in the south who were trying to return fugitive slaves. when african-americans would be
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kidnapped out of new york, or massachusetts, or other states what assistance did those , states' legal systems have to provide the southern agents who were coming up to capture individuals and take them back? that was the first set of issues that the supreme court had to decide. in fact, the state of pennsylvania was involved in a case where it said that the state of pennsylvania cannot make it illegal for federal agents to be able to work under the fugitive slave act in the state of pennsylvania because of the supremacy of federal law. but at the same time, they did not have to make their own state law enforcement resources avai to e ohibition. everybody remembers the 18th amendment to the constitution made it illegal to manufacture, distribute, sell alcohol in the united states. but the federal government did not have anywhere near it -- near enough law-enforcement resources to enforce that throughout the united states.
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so states and cities were passing laws that allow them to also concurrently enforce the 18th amendment. but cities and states also decided not to. the entire state of maryland, for the entire duration of prohibition, never passed a law allowing the enforcement of that. of course, alcohol remained available on a much greater basis in the state of maryland than in other places. the city of new york had more places where you could get alcohol during prohibition than it had before prohibition. again, because city and local officials did not support the federal law, and did not cooperate. the federal government was not able to compel them to do that. the we talk about whether federal government should be allowed to compel a state or city to go along with its priority, i think we need to be careful to think that any
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precedent that is set in the area of immigration law could be equally applied in other areas of law. so for example, the federal firearms act requires the registration of certain kinds of firearms, sawed-off shotguns, for example, that may be perfectly legal to possess under state law. but many of those weapons which were involved in terrible crimes are not registered properly under the federal regulations. so should there be a law that says no state shall get federal says no state shall get federal , funding if they refuse to turn over to the alcohol tobacco and firearms any unregistered , federal weapon that their police encounter? well, it is not very dissimilar from what happened in the brady act in 1993 when congress said , that because there wasn't a national background checking system, state law enforcement officials had to run a background check of any handgun purchaser. all the way to the supreme court in the prince versus united states case, the supreme court said the federal government
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could not commandeer those local resources to enforce a federal purpose. and so that's an important precedent. federal law enforcement is responsible for the enforcement of the immigration laws. if an individual comes into the united states, and they do not have a proper status, if they have a proper status and let it lapse, and have a certain list of crimes, they are eligible for removal from the united states and the federal authorities are responsible for removing them. but to say that a state law enforcement officer has to hold on to that individual while a federal officer is coming to get them, while a federal officer is determining whether or not the person is subject to removal , raises serious constitutional concerns. while it is true that it may be
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a relatively short. of time it may be 48 hours or , less -- in some cases it is not. more importantly, the supreme court has already said that the minimus requirement of running a background check on a handgun purchaser is not something the federal government can compel the state to do. so to require them to hold and house and feed and transport someone who is a person -- this is not just a background check. keeping this is physical control of a person for a period of time, goes well beyond what the supreme court has already said is something not allowed to be required by the federal government. so then, we get to the question of funding for removing funding as a sanction for refusing to cooperate and provide assistance to the federal government in this matter. well the supreme court has , already made that decision as well, quite recently, in the case of obamacare, where justice
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roberts said that it was unlawful for the federal -- for the obamacare statute to threaten to remove medicare payments unless they adopted obamas medicare expansion. in the same way, if a federal act were to say that states would be deprived of more than the directly relevant law enforcement grant, all right, the grants, for example, that provide states assistance for the cost of housing persons who are undocumented who commit crimes, to go beyond that, to threaten federal funding more broadly would be, again, and unlawful coal, a violation of the 10th amendment. why are we here? we are here at least in part because we have allowed immigration to be different from every other kind of law enforcement.
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the city of philadelphia, where i am from, has a policy that has been labeled a century policy. --sanctuary policy. our mayor has been quite clear that every other law enforcement agency that wants to take custody of someone in the philadelphia jail system can get a judicial warrant and produce that warrant. the montgomery county police can do it. the other federal law enforcement officials can do it. but ice believes it does not have to. they believe that they can rely on something called a myth an administrative warrant, which is not a ward at all. the fourth amendment to the constitution says that if someone is to be taken into custody, it must be done upon a warrant proven by probable cause to an independent magistrate. none of those elements are necessarily required of an immigration detainer. in an immigration detainer, our immigration officers will look in a database or decide that
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someone is potentially subject to removal. maybe not even that there is probable cause at their subject -- that they are subject to removal. they will then ask for the person to be detained. if the person is detained -- so it is a warrantless arrest, similar to when a police officer encounters someone driving around, right? they have to have a probable cause that a crime is being committed. but this is not even a crime. this is a civil violation of the immigration laws. so requiring these procedural protections is not about protecting criminals. requiring these procedural protections is about protecting lawful residents and american citizens because situations like in my own state of pennsylvania, when the lackawanna county sheriff's department was served with an immigration detainer for a u.s. citizen who was then kept in detention for longer than 48
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hours, are cases for why these procedural protections are necessary. why is it not require that ice bring a person before a neutral magistrate within a reasonable period of time, 48 hours according to the supreme court? why is that such a big requirement that the immigration service cannot meet but every other law enforcement in the united states somehow manages to? so i want to conclude with a story about community trust because what our members tell us is that these kinds of issues are fundamental to the relationships that police in their communities are trying to set up with their broader communities of legal immigrants. and there may be undocumented immigrants who live within these communities of recent immigrants to the united states, but the community policing efforts are about establishing relationships. and as a practical matter, what happens when local police become
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enmeshed in the enforcement of immigration laws are cases like what one of our members reported from washington state. now, mirabella, just not her actual name, was arrested in a domestic violence incident. she was the victim of domestic violence by her u.s. citizen husband. she had never called the police before because, of course, her theand was telling her that police would be on his side and she would be deported. when the police came to the house because of this incident, she only speaks spanish and her husband was able to convince the police officers that she had been the aggressor. and so she was arrested. , she was taken into removal. she had no relief from removal. she was deported from the united states. so this is a situation where an individual who was the subject of a criminal investigation at a local level became enmeshed in
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this deportation system, and this is what will happen. if you have a car which gets pulled over that has four people in it, it won't matter that there was only probable cause to stop the car because of what the driver was doing. everyone in the car may become subject to immigration enforcement. and so, these are the reason why we say that each community needs to be able to make its own decisions in these matters. there are communities that will decide to fully participate and cooperate with immigration enforcement. there are communities that will decide to partially do so, and there are communities that will decide to honor federal requests, to comply with federal law, that is consistent with the constitution, but to go no further. so that is what we are asking should be able to continue. [applause] >> one minute.
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vanessa: clearly, -- >> clearly what we are talking about is they are not just standing aside. they are standing between the federal government and an individual that they are trying to deport and who should be deported from this country. jessica they are not the : compelled to enforce immigration laws. they are being asked to hand over an individual for a legitimate enforcement purpose, just like every other law-enforcement agency does routinely. this analogy does apply. when the washington, d.c. police hand over someone who is wanted by the state of california on a warrant, they are not in forcing california law. they are cooperating. and that is what ice is asking for. and ice is really the only
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agency that is blocked in this way. and the other reason that we know that these issues of constitutionality and costs are not really the purpose for sanctuary policies is because e then offered to pay any costs to that agency for holding that individual, the sanctuaries still say no. ice has done everything it can to try to overcome these suppose d excuses for not cooperating and they still don't cooperate. , why doesn't ice give criminal warrants? number one, there's not such thing, and any agency that asks for a criminal warrant with a detainer might as well ask to have it delivered by a blue unicorn because it doesn't exist. they know it does not exist. it is a way to give themselves some cover. what this debate is really about is who gets to decide when the immigration laws will be
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enforced. our constitution clearly gives authority over immigration matters to congress. and congress has laws that gives ice the tools they need and says -- they need to enforce the law and also says that sanctuary policies are illegal. so sanctuaries are substituting their judgment for the federal judgment, and that is the problem. that is what is unconstitutional. >> william, you will be able to answer her unless you want the first question. william: that is fine. i would be happy to take the first question. >> i will call them. and please identify who you are with. name and who you are with. >> thank you. i cover immigration. before i asked my question, i really need to clarify that, as
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immigration journalists in congress, we cover all sides. we don't refer to people who support sanctuary cities as being pro-immigrant, and we do refer to people who are supposedly undocumented who allegedly have false documents as illegal immigrants. my question, as i understand, the letters would be mainly to convicted felons who have served their time, know they will be deported, their families know they will be deported, and it is no surprise, that everybody knows at the end of their sentence, ice will come in and secure them. and yet for some reason, they , say, no, we will not allow