Despite Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser declaring the nation's capital a "sanctuary city" for those who violate federal immigration law, one city councilman believes that additional legislation is needed to prevent Immigration and Customs Enforcement from removing illegal aliens from the city.
WTOP reports that Ward Six Councilman Charles Allen has called for an emergency meeting this Tuesday to discuss a new bill that he says would stop all city agencies from cooperating with ICE unless given an explicit court order. This means that local police and other D.C. government officials would be barred from "sharing information with ICE, complying with detainer requests or allowing ICE agents to enter city facilities, such as the jail, juvenile justice facilities and St. Elizabeths Hospital," according to Anagha Srikanth.
D.C. correctional facilities are currently required by law to notify ICE at least 48 hours before releasing an illegal alien from custody. Allen argues that this infringes upon people's liberties.
"The District has a responsibility to ensure that all residents are respected and able to interact with public safety officials without fear of adverse civil immigration action," Allen's bill argues.
Other council members agree with Allen.
"For 2 years I've asked DOC abt its cooperation with ICE because I believe we need to fully live up to our #sanctuarycity status. I'm proud to be a co-introducer of emergency legislation the Council will take up next week to further limit cooperation w/ICE," council member-at-large David Grosso tweeted.
For 2 years I've asked DOC abt its cooperation with ICE because I believe we need to fully live up to our #sanctuarycity status. I'm proud to be a co-introducer of emergency legislation the Council will take up next week to further limit cooperation w/ICE: https://t.co/1OZsg1SvTm— David Grosso (@cmdgrosso) October 4, 2019
ICE has long argued that policies like those in D.C. endanger American lives. By ignoring detainer requests, acting New England ICE field director Michael Lyons said last December that law enforcement is "always two steps behind any criminal alien."