The Trump administration is ready to light a fire under Democrats’ feet.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen confirmed in a Tuesday appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee that her department asked the Justice Department to examine options for bringing criminal charges against elected officials who refuse to enforce federal immigration law.
“The request was made,” Nielsen said. “The Department of Justice is reviewing what avenues might be available.”
The DHS head emphasized: “The context is, of course, not only putting my ICE officers at risk, but also finding an efficient and effective way to enforce our immigration laws.”
Nielsen’s remarks were a response to Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), who asked about comments Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Thomas Homan made on Fox Business network.
Homan told Neil Cavuto sanctuary city leaders should be held “personally responsible” for crimes committed by illegal aliens.
“We’ve got to start charging some of these politicians with crimes,” said the ICE chief.
Homan contended that jurisdictions which harbor illegal immigrants in their jails are in violation of 8 US Code 1324, and stated he had spoken with the Justice Department about charging officials in those areas.
California’s “sanctuary state” law went into effect earlier this month. ICE has vowed to counter the state’s lack of cooperation by increasing its operations, personnel, and resources there.
The Sessions Justice Department has moved to cut funding to sanctuary cities, but a federal judge blocked the effort last September.
Many conservatives welcomed the possibility of charging politicians who violate immigration law.