Feds List Sanctuary Cities, But Consequences Are Still Vague

This week’s first official “detainer” report by Immigration and Customs Enforcement included a list of 118 self-declared immigrant sanctuary cities. President Trump has threatened to strip federal funding from the localities, but the consequences for those on the list are a mystery.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s first list of so-called immigrant sanctuary cities produced a lot of names — and not much clarity, reports the Boston Globe. The list, released this week as part of ICE’s first weekly “detainer” report, named 118 localities as self-declared sanctuaries but included no information about the Trump administration’s plans to respond. So what is the purpose of the list? One ICE official said it will be up to Trump and Congress to decide what the next steps will be. Trump has repeatedly threatened to strip federal funding from sanctuary cities. He issued an executive order on Jan. 25 directing the Department of Homeland Security to begin that process.

“We’re just complying with the executive order,” said the ICE official. The list of cities was drawn up based on public announcements and news reports and is not fully comprehensive. It will be up to DHS to officially define and identify sanctuary cities for the purposes of Trump’s order, the official added. Phil Torrey, an immigration lawyer, says the report has another purpose. “Trump is trying to shame localities into using their resources to help ICE arrest and deport individuals,” he said. He says the list is being used as a propaganda tool “to unfairly and inaccurately paint all immigrants as criminals.”

from https://thecrimereport.org

State Dept. Cables Spell Out ‘Extreme Vetting’ Action Plan

A series of memos from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has directed U.S. diplomatic missions to identify “populations warranting increased scrutiny” and toughen screening for visa applicants in those groups, including a “mandatory social media check.” The messages highlight the labor-intensive details involved in carrying out President Trump’s often-repeated campaign promise.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has directed U.S. diplomatic missions to identify “populations warranting increased scrutiny” and toughen screening for visa applicants in those groups, according to diplomatic cables seen by Reuters. He has also ordered a “mandatory social media check” for all applicants who have ever been present in territory controlled by the Islamic State. Social media screening is now done fairly rarely by consular officials, and the new action plan would be a broad, labor-intensive expansion of such screening, officials said.

Four cables issued by Tillerson in March provide insight into how the U.S. government is implementing President Trump’s campaign promise of “extreme vetting” of foreigners entering the U.S. The cables also demonstrate the administrative and logistical hurdles the White House faces in executing its vision. They provided instructions for implementing Trump’s March 6 revised executive order temporarily barring visitors from six Muslim-majority countries and all refugees. The flurry of cables to U.S. missions abroad issued strict new guidelines then retracted some of them in response to court rulings. The final cable seen by Reuters, issued on March 17, leaves in place an instruction to consular chiefs to convene working groups of law enforcement and intelligence officials to “develop a list of criteria identifying sets of post applicant populations warranting increased scrutiny.”

from http://thecrimereport.org

Black Pols Push Back Against Trump’s ‘Urban Carnage’ Views

At a White House sit-down, the Congressional Black Caucus presented Trump with a 130-page policy proposal with a taunting title: “We Have a Lot to Lose: Solutions to Advance Black Families in the 21st Century.”

Leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus met with President  Trump on Wednesday about infrastructure and reducing urban crime, calling the sit-down a “positive” first step toward finding common ground, reports Reuters. The lawmakers presented Trump with a 130-page policy proposal titled “We Have a Lot to Lose: Solutions to Advance Black Families in the 21st Century,” a reference to Trump’s repeated query on the campaign trail asking what did blacks have to lose by supporting him.

Many black leaders have criticized his depiction of urban areas as crime-ridden war zones and his false claims that the first black U.S. president, Barack Obama, was born abroad. At the start of the meeting, Trump said he was serious about his promise to help African-Americans. “Every American child has a right to grow up in a safe community, to attend great schools, to graduate with access to high-paying jobs,” Trump said during the portion of the meeting open to reporters. But the relationship between blacks and Trump is fraught. Caucus chairman Cedric Richmond, a Democrat from Louisiana, said many  constituents had urged him not to meet with Trump “because of the rhetoric.”Richmond said, “We expressed that to him, because we’re certainly very clear of the emotions of African-Americans around the country.”

from http://thecrimereport.org

Trump’s New Border Agents Would Cost Billions

The 15,000 new agents sought by the President would cost $1.38 billion to $1.48 billion annually. “What is the evidence that this is going to make the difference that you want to make? (That is what) is missing right now,” says Ryan Alexander of Taxpayers for Common Sense.

President Trump has called for the hiring of 15,000 new immigration and border agents to help carry out his orders to increase immigration enforcement inside the U.S. and along its southern border. Combined, the 15,000 new agents would cost $1.38 billion to $1.48 billion annually, or between $13 billion to nearly $15 billion over 10 years, according to estimates by the Migration Policy Institute, The Arizona Republic reports. Such a massive buildup in staffing would require approval from Congress, could take years to achieve, and could lead to changes in hiring standards aimed at preventing corruption and bribery by drug cartels.

What’s more, Trump’s plan would likely encounter strong resistance from Democrats and from fiscal conservatives in his own party. It comes as the president wants to build a giant southwestern border wall to curtail illegal immigration and is also calling for a sharp increase in military spending that would be paid for by slashing other areas of the federal budget, including education, the environment, and foreign aid. “This is very expensive. It’s clear that President Trump has a desire to shift resources towards Homeland Security, but shift them from where, because this is a lot of money,” asks Ryan Alexander of Taxpayers for Common Sense, an independent watchdog group. The 10,000 new ICE agents and 5,000 new Border Patrol agents appear to be an arbitrary “political number for a political promise,” Alexander said. It is not based on concrete research or analysis to accomplish specific goals or objectives. “What is the evidence that this is going to make the difference that you want to make? (That is what) is missing right now,” she said. Border Patrol apprehensions of Mexicans, however, in recent years have fallen to near historic lows, says the Pew Research Center.

from http://thecrimereport.org

President Trump, Your Base Wants Marijuana Legalized

Subtitles Trump, Jeff Sessions, Marijuana and Crime in America Mr. President, your base wants legal pot. They also want the government out of their lives. Author Leonard A. Sipes, Jr. Thirty-five years of speaking for national and state criminal justice agencies. Former Senior Specialist for Crime Prevention for the Department of Justice’s clearinghouse. Former Director […]

Subtitles Trump, Jeff Sessions, Marijuana and Crime in America Mr. President, your base wants legal pot. They also want the government out of their lives. Author Leonard A. Sipes, Jr. Thirty-five years of speaking for national and state criminal justice agencies. Former Senior Specialist for Crime Prevention for the Department of Justice’s clearinghouse. Former Director […]

from http://www.crimeinamerica.net

St. Louis Man Charged with Threats Against Jewish Venues

Juan Thompson of St. Louis faces federal charges for making more than half a dozen threats against Jewish community centers, schools and a Jewish history museum. He made some of the threats in the name of a former girlfriend.

Federal authorities have charged a St. Louis man with making more than half a dozen bomb threats against Jewish community centers, schools and a Jewish history museum, reports the New York Times. The man, Juan Thompson, made some of the threats in his own name and others in the name of a former girlfriend, apparently in an attempt to intimidate her, according to a federal complaint unsealed Friday by the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan.

In one threat, made on Feb. 1 against a Jewish school in Farmington Hills, Mich., the complaint said, Thompson claimed that he had placed two bombs in the school and was “eager for Jewish newton,” an apparent reference to the December 2012 school massacre in Newtown, Conn., in which a gunman killed 20 students and six school employees. The arrest comes amid heightened tension involving more than 100 threats that have been made against Jewish groups in dozens of states since the beginning of the year, which has led to a broad federal investigation.

from http://thecrimereport.org

Attorney General to Step Away from Campaign Investigations

Jeff Sessions said he would follow the advice of his department’s ethics officials and recuse himself from “any campaign investigation.” Sessions twice met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the campaign and did not disclose that during his Senate confirmation hearing.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Thursday that he will recuse himself from investigations related to the 2016 presidential campaign, which would include any Russian interference in the electoral process, reports the Washington Post. Sessions said he was following the recommendation of department ethics officials after an evaluation of the rules and cases in which he might have a conflict.

“They said that since I had involvement with the campaign, I should not be involved in any campaign investigation,” Sessions said. He added that he concurred with their assessment and would thus recuse himself from any existing or future investigation involving President Trump’s 2016 campaign. The announcement comes a day after The Washington Post revealed that Sessions twice met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the campaign and did not disclose that to the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearing in January.

from http://thecrimereport.org

Miami Judge Rules Against Immigrant-Detention Policy

Circuit Judge Milton Hirsch wrote, “We must protect our country from a great many things; but from nothing so much so much as from the loss of our historic rights and liberties.”

A Miami-Dade County policy to keep immigrants facing deportation in jail on behalf of the federal government violates the Constitution, a judge ruled on Friday. The Miami Herald reports that The Miami Herald reports Circuit Judge Milton Hirsch’s ruling was a rebuke of Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s decision – in the face of potential cuts in federal funding – to allow county jails to hold immigrants awaiting deportation by federal agents. The measure has sparked protests and anger by many immigration advocates in South Florida.

Hirsch wrote that the policy, adopted in response to an executive order by President Trump, violated the Tenth Amendment, which limits the reach of the federal government over states. The immediate impact of the ruling was unclear. The judge did not explicitly order Miami-Dade jailers to stop honoring requests by the federal government to hold people slated for deportation. Hirsch’s ruling could be delayed by an appeal, which the mayor’s office said would be filed immediately.

from http://thecrimereport.org

Make America Scared Again: Trump’s Flawed Crime Agenda

The president’s misinformed policies, plans and pronouncements may actually increase disorder. Criminologist James Alan Fox writes, “Trump’s exaggerated view of America’s crime problem may ultimately become prophesy.”

Were there a Doomsday Clock on criminal justice issues, President Trump would be pushing the dial’s big hand toward midnight, Northeastern University criminologist James Alan Fox writes in USA Today. He says Trump’s policies, plans and pronouncements may actually increase lawlessness and disorder. He cites five examples of “Trump’s flawed agenda on crime control.” 1) Immigration: Immigrants pose less of a threat in terms of crime and violence than the average American citizen, yet his creation of an office for Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement singles out and demonizes those coming to America. 2) Private Prisons: Not only are these institutional surrogates ineffective in terms of recidivism, but it is wrong to incentivize private industry to lock up more inmates longer.

3) Marijuana Enforcement: Doubling down on federal enforcement in progressive states that legalized recreational marijuana is a waste of resources and seems to be little more than mean-spirited punishment for the 2016 election results. 4) Violence Against Women: This federal initiative faces an uncertain future under a president who bragged, “No one respects women more than me.” 5) Guns: As part of Trump’s unholy alliance with the NRA,  “gun-free zones” in schools and military bases as well as limits on right-to-carry provisions may end.

from http://thecrimereport.org

Economic Criminology-Trump’s Crime Address To Congress

Observations An examination of Trump’s speech to Congress focusing on crime and justice issues. For those insisting that violent crime is not increasing, you risk being left behind in a national conversation. The rest of us have moved on to solutions. Trump understands that violent crime profoundly affects everything, including the economy and jobs. But […]

Observations An examination of Trump’s speech to Congress focusing on crime and justice issues. For those insisting that violent crime is not increasing, you risk being left behind in a national conversation. The rest of us have moved on to solutions. Trump understands that violent crime profoundly affects everything, including the economy and jobs. But […]

from http://www.crimeinamerica.net