WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Trump administration’s policies and rhetoric regarding immigrants risk sowing fear and making community safety more difficult.
The Department of Justice released new guidelines Tuesday to crack down on so-called sanctuary cities, announcing that it would award grant money only to jurisdictions that allow federal immigration authorities access to jails and notify them when someone in the country without proper authorization is about to be released.
Most jurisdictions already follow these requirements. Policies that threaten to take away grant funding could interfere with jurisdictions’ abilities to craft their own community trust policies.
The new DOJ guidelines preceded a speech by Trump in Ohio Tuesday night, where he described certain immigrants as “predators” and “animals.” Trump is planning a visit to Suffolk County, New York, next week to discuss efforts to undermine the transnational gang MS-13. Law enforcement in the area previously have spoken out about how Trump’s policies actually could harm their efforts to fight gangs.
“Fighting fear with fear only creates more fear,” said Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum. “Our safety and security are paramount. The administration should work with state and local law enforcement so they can build trust and keep our communities safe. Undermining trust does nothing to enhance our safety.”