Newark mayor fires back at Barr over ICE plan that ‘incites hatred’

Posted Feb 16, 2020

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka is defending the city’s sanctuary policies for undocumented immigrants, one day after the Trump administration announced federal agents who patrol the U.S. border will be deployed to cities across the country where local jurisdictions are hindering stepped up immigration enforcement.

In a statement issued Sunday, Baraka called the latest move divisive and disputed Attorney General William Barr’s assertion that “sanctuary cities” protect criminals living in the country illegally. Barr’s language “incites hatred,” Baraka said.

“The Trump Administration plan to bolster ICE enforcement forces with tactical units will undermine our efforts to build community trust," Baraka said in a statement released Sunday. “When (Barr) says sanctuary is ‘misguided ideology triumphing over common sense law enforcement,’ he undermines the common decency aspects of our policy."

Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Matthew Albence said additional forces are needed in so-called “sanctuary cities” because people without legal authorization to be in the country are being released from local jails in sanctuary cities and counties before his agents can take them into custody.

ICE then has to make “at large arrests” of these immigrants who have been released, Albence said.

According to the New York Times, Newark was one of the cities where the agents would be deployed, in addition to other major hubs like New York City and Chicago.

In 2017, Baraka signed a sweeping executive order aimed at protecting undocumented people in Newark, which, among its key points, pledged no local resources would aid federal immigration law unless required by a court order and barred municipal employees from investigating a resident’s citizenship status.

In addition, all Newark residents are given municipal ID cards for access to state and city services.

“Our policy protects undocumented victims," Baraka said in the statement. “This population is prey for criminals and we want them to feel safe and comfortable in the care of our police. Our efforts to have good community relations and build trust with all our residents, must include the undocumented population, otherwise it is incomplete.”

Do you like this post?

Be the first to comment