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Mayors:Immigration Meddles With Cities 06/25 13:42

   Mayors are warning President Donald Trump that toughening immigration 
enforcement meddles with U.S. cities' affairs.

   MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Mayors are warning President Donald Trump that 
toughening immigration enforcement meddles with U.S. cities' affairs.

   More than 250 mayors are meeting at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Miami 
Beach to take a stance on issues from climate change to the federal budget and 
health care. They are reviewing resolutions that would strongly oppose Trump's 
crack down on illegal immigration.

   Mayors were struck a blow in January, when Trump ordered to cut funding to 
jurisdictions that deny in some way cooperation with federal immigration 
agents. Most cities have defied the order, and a federal judge blocked it in 
April, at least temporarily.

   "Some of us are proud to be places of sanctuary, to protect immigrants, but 
this idea that we're in violation of something, I think is a big charade," said 
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

   Garcetti argued that all he wants from immigration officials is that they 
conduct enforcement in a "lawful, constitutional, court-ordered way," referring 
to policies where sanctuary cities demand warrants to turn over suspects to the 
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

   "Police officers in Los Angeles do 20,000 to 30,000 requests for warrants 
from judges every year in the middle of the night when the judges are probably 
in their pajamas," Garcetti said. "The idea that ICE can't do the same thing 
seems ridiculous."

   Mayors from big cities say they fear the increased enforcement will push 
immigrant communities into the shadows, deterring them to report crimes or 
cooperate as witnesses. The police chief of Los Angeles, Charlie Beck, said in 
March that sexual assaults and domestic violence reports by Latinos had dropped.

   Miami-Dade County, which houses 34 municipalities including the conference 
host of Miami Beach, heeded Trump's January order and changed its policy so the 
corrections department honors all requests by ICE. Authorities have turned over 
124 people to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement since Jan. 27.

   But GOP-identified mayors from states such as Indiana and Florida disagreed 
this weekend on targeting non-criminal immigrants solely for being in the 
country illegally.

   Kent Guinn, mayor of Ocala, Florida, says that although he is against 
offering a pathway to citizenship to the 11.5 million immigrants who are in the 
country illegally, most immigrants he sees are "good."

   "I don't think people realize there are some bad people that are here that 
need to leave," Guinn said. He referred to the 2015 shooting death of a San 
Francisco woman often highlighted by Trump when attacking sanctuary policies 
because the man charged with her death was in the country illegally and had 
been released by local law enforcement. "But the ones that we encounter on a 
day-to-day basis, they're very hard-working individuals that do the things that 
they need to do and participate in the economy. They work on horse farms, in 
restaurants. We see them. They're good people. We're not going around looking 
for them."

   The Republican Mayor of Carmel, Indiana, Jim Brainard, who is also bucking 
his party on the climate front, says he opposes Trump's immigration views.

   "Punishing cities makes no sense," Brainard said. "Everyone who has come to 
this country, regardless of whether it was illegal, ought to have a pathway to 
legalization and then we can move to issues that really can help make our 
country better."

   Besides opposing the order on sanctuary cities, several mayors propose 
extending a deportation reprieve granted by former President Barack Obama to 
young immigrants who arrived illegally. Trump had vowed to end the program 
known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, calling it "illegal executive 
amnesty" but has not yet decided whether he will revoke it.

   ICE said it arrested more than 41,000 people on immigration charges in 
Trump's first 100 days in office, an increase of nearly 40 percent from the 
same period a year earlier. Nearly 11,000 had no criminal convictions, more 
than double the number of immigrants without criminal convictions that were 
arrested during a comparable period last year.


(KA)

 
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