ICE Director: We Don’t Want To Hit Sanctuary Communities ‘Over the Head With a Federal Hammer’

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Sarah Saldaña said that she doesn’t want to “hit somebody over the head with a federal hammer” with regard to sanctuary communities and refused to state what negative consequences she would support placing on sanctuary communities in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

After Senator David Vitter (R-LA) pressed Saldaña on the lack of consequences for sanctuary communities, and what would happen to them, she answered she is “in the middle of looking at that.”

Vitter again followed-up on what would be the negative consequences for sanctuary communities, and Saldaña re-iterated that she was looking into it.

Vitter continued, “This has been going on for years and you still are not prepared to say that there is ever going to be any negative consequence to those [sanctuary] jurisdictions. When is that going to change?”

Saldaña answered, “I presume when you all address comprehensive immigration reform, perhaps it can be addressed there.”

Later, Vitter pressed Saldaña on whether there was a way to “stop sanctuary cities from flaunting federal law” under the current law, without passing immigration reform that the Obama administration supported. She answered, “And that’s what I understand you all are working on.”

Later in her testimony, Saldaña, when asked what negative consequences she would support, stated that she didn’t want to “hit somebody over the head with a federal hammer,” and advocated a “jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction” approach. However, she said she would be happy to work with the committee on whatever legislation it proposes.

The testimony concluded with Saldaña refusing to state what consequences she would support for sanctuary cities.

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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