(CNSNews.com) – Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry told the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday that he finds it “unconscionable” that illegal immigrants in New Orleans “cannot be held on anything less than a warrant or a court order” because of the Obama administration’s consent decree with the city.
“In my beloved New Orleans, the Justice Department entered into a consent decree with the city that mandated police officers not make inquiries into an individual’s immigration status or assist ICE unless there is a warrant or court order issued. As a former police officer and sheriff deputy, I find it unconscionable that criminals cannot be held on anything less than a warrant or a court order,” Landry wrote in his opening testimony at the committee’s hearing on the New Orleans sanctuary city policy.
“Let me be clear: I am not trying to do the job of ICE or DHS. Between catching child predators, rooting out public corruption, and fighting federal overreach, I have more than enough to do to make Louisiana an even better place,” Landry wrote, adding that he is “pushing for change because the administration has not only decided to not enforce the law, but they have also used their power to coerce local jurisdictions in my state to institute sanctuary policies.”
Landry noted that crime is up in cities with sanctuary policies. For instance, in Los Angeles, crime rose in 2015. Violent crime was up 19.9 percent. Homicides were up 10.2 percent. Shooting victims rose 12.6 percent. Rapes were up 8.6 percent. Robberies were up 12.3 percent, and aggravated assault was up 27.5 percent, he wrote in his opening testimony.
Furthermore, he pointed out, “Immigration and Customs Enforcement recently revealed that 1,867 illegals released by sanctuary cities were later arrested 4,298 times with 7,491 new crimes – including rape and child sex abuse.”
“Sanctuary policies encourage further illegal immigration and promote an underground economy that sabotages the tax base. Sanctuary policies also waste much-needed public resources as they force the federal government to find and arrest deportable criminals already taken into custody by local law enforcement,” Landry wrote in his written testimony.
Landry pointed out how unfair the sanctuary city policy was compared to what American citizens must endure by law enforcement.
“After all – American citizens are detained on reasonable suspicion, arrested on probable cause, and may not see a judge for 2 to 3 days. Illegal immigrants should not be given greater rights than our own citizens have,” he said.
“After hearing testimony in the Louisiana House that city of New Orleans deemed the DOJ consent decree as mandating their sanctuary policy, I wrote a letter to United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch asking for clarification. The response that this committee and I received was a lengthy, legally-worded non-answer that we have unfortunately come to expect from this administration,” Landry wrote.
“However, a recent report by DOJ’s own inspector general outlined the fact that sanctuary jurisdictions, like New Orleans, are in violation of federal law by prohibiting communication with ICE officials. Furthermore, it explicitly declared that local jurisdictions are required to be in compliance with all federal laws in order to receive federal grant dollars,” he added. “All the while, the administration has been rewarding sanctuary cities with hundreds of millions of dollars in federal grants.”
Landry said sanctuary cities also pose homeland security issues.
“Foreign terrorists – such as members of ISIS – have the ability to travel to a city like New Orleans, commit a minor offense, and remain protected from being identified – due to sanctuary policies,” he added.