Did the Obama Justice Department push the City of New Orleans to adopt sanctuary city policies?
According to Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, as legislation cracking down on sanctuary cities works its way through the state legislature, “several persons” have testified that the Justice Department “mandated” the Big Easy enact the very sanctuary city policies the legislature is considering banning.
In a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Landry detailed how the alleged mandate arose out of a Consent Decree the Justice Department and City of New Orleans entered into on July 24, 2012.
Due to the Consent Decree, Landry explained, the city published rules prohibiting city law enforcement from inquiring about an person’s immigration status and working with immigration enforcement officials.
“I am perplexed by the implication that the U.S. Department of Justice would require – through a federal Consent Decree – any city or law enforcement authority or officer to not cooperate with federal authorities,” Landry wrote.
“Nor, can I believe that a Federal Court would approve language in any Consent Decree that would force a municipality or its law enforcement agency or officials to knowingly and intentionally violate unambiguous federal law,” he added.
Landry noted that the Consent Decree did not appear to mandate the broad and far reaching sanctuary policies New Orleans adopted. He requested that Lynch and the Justice Department respond to the recent claims and, if true, detail where the department derives the authority to mandate policies in violation of federal law.
“It seems likely that some miscommunication between the U.S. Department of Justice and the City of New Orleans regarding these issues occurred,” he wrote.
In a statement, Landry reiterated his personal opposition to sanctuary city policies.
“Sanctuary policies undermine justice and the rule of law. They jeopardize public safety and have a burdensome financial toll on government,” Landry said.
“Sanctuary policies encourage further illegal immigration, undermine anti-terrorism efforts, and promote an underground economy that sabotages the tax base,” he continued. “They 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.”