Rep. Ralph Abraham: I Will Put an End to Sanctuary Cities in Louisiana

U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham, a GOP candidate for Louisiana governor, speaks at a business event hosted by the Republican Governors Association on Monday, March 18, 2019, in Baton Rouge, La. (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte)
AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte

When Louisianians overwhelmingly voted for President Trump, they were sending a clear message to our political leaders: stop ignoring our immigration crisis.

I’ve been to the border and I’ve seen the crisis with my own eyes. In Congress, I’ve stood behind President Trump as he’s fought to build the Wall and secure our Southern border.

But, despite the efforts of President Trump and the support of the American people, we’ve been obstructed at every turn by a Democratic party that has moved in a direction on immigration that’s not just wrong, it’s dangerous. This extremism was on full display last week when nearly every Democrat running for president promised to decriminalize crossing our border and to enroll illegal aliens into free, government health care.

We expect this from national Democrats. What’s even more disturbing is that we’re seeing this same radical agenda from Louisiana Democrats.

Under Democrat leadership, New Orleans has become a sanctuary city. This has made our state a “magnet” for illegal immigration and crime. In 2018 alone, New Orleans Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested more than 10,000 illegal immigrants. Eighty-nine percent of these illegal immigrants “had either a prior criminal conviction or a pending criminal charge.” Many of these illegal immigrants have committed horrible crimes in our state.

Meanwhile, our liberal Democrat Governor John Bel Edwards and his allies have opposed every attempt to do something about it because he doesn’t want to offend the open-borders Democrats that support his campaign.

While John Bel Edwards sits by and does nothing, I’ve decided to do something about it. Last week, I cosponsored legislation to strip federal funding from sanctuary cities.

On the state level, Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has already shown how we can put an end to sanctuary cities. In recent weeks, Governor DeSantis signed a bill that blocks sanctuary cities and mandates that local governments cooperate with federal immigration enforcement.

When I’m governor, we will bring similar legislation to Louisiana to ensure that liberal activism never overrides public safety. We will ensure that Louisiana law enforcement officers are able to cooperate with federal immigration officials, we’ll encourage inter-agency cooperation in establishing best practices, and we’ll give them the resources they need to carry out their duties. It is dangerous (and foolish) for a city or municipality to ban it’s law enforcement officers from communicating with other law enforcement officers.

Without safety and security, nothing else matters. It’s time to start putting Louisiana Families First.

Dr. Ralph Abraham is a U.S. Congressman who represents Louisiana’s fifth congressional district. He is the leading Republican candidate for governor of Louisiana.

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