Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, Attorney General Sessions, and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) visited the border on Friday, delivering a tough message for “sanctuary cities”, which includes California.
Standing on an access road on the U.S. side of the border, Secretary Kelly began a press briefing by reaffirming the Trump administration’s commitment to border security, including a “physical barrier” along the southern border.
He also emphasized the importance of stopping human trafficking along the border. “There’s nothing the Attorney General and I want more than to put human smugglers out of business,” he said.
Kelly cited drastic reductions in the number of illegal border crossings, which he said were down 64% from the same period last year. The reason, he said, was that the Trump administration had shown “we’re serious about border security and enforcing our immigration laws.”
Attorney General Sessions spoke about the boost in morale among law enforcement staff, and praised the progress of the Trump administration. “It’s exceeded what I thought possible so far,” Sessions said.
He warned about the danger of infiltration by gangs like MS-13, “whose motto is ‘murder, rape, and control,’” he said.
And then the Attorney General launched a broadside against sanctuary cities — and the would-be “sanctuary state” of California.
“It was nearly two years ago that Kate Steinle was shot and killed, dying in her father’s arms, along Pier 14 in San Francisco,” Attorney General Sessions recalled. “The alleged shooter was an illegal immigrant with seven prior felony convictions who had been deported from this country five times. Only weeks earlier, the city had released him from custody, after being apprehended again, even though the federal immigration authorities had filed a detainer requesting that he be held in custody until they could remove him for deportation proceedings. Even worse, this man admitted he came to San Francisco in part because of its sanctuary policies.
“So today, the Department of Justice sent letters to nine jurisdictions that were identified — by the Obama administration — as having policies that potentially violate federal law and which receive millions in federal grants. These jurisdictions have until June 30th to send their legal justifications for why they are not in violation of federal law — and the state of California is one of these jurisdictions. … Sanctuary jurisdictions have put known gang members back on the streets.”
He concluded: “I urge New York, California, and other jurisdictions to reconsider.”
SHARE on Facebook and Twitter if you stand with Jeff Sessions!