On Wednesday, January 25, in his third day in office, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order that would withhold federal funding for cities that refused to actively search, detain and deport undocumented immigrants.
The Center for Immigration Studies defines a sanctuary city as the following:
“These cities, counties, and states have laws, ordinances, regulations, resolutions, policies, or other practices that obstruct immigration enforcement and shield criminals from ICE — either by refusing to or prohibiting agencies from complying with ICE detainers, imposing unreasonable conditions on detainer acceptance, denying ICE access to interview incarcerated aliens, or otherwise impeding communication or information exchanges between their personnel and federal immigration officers.”
Simply put, sanctuaries ignore most if not all of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s regulations that distinctly target undocumented immigrants.
As of February 28, 2016, New Orleans is deemed a sanctuary city.
The executive order was created to assist the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to more effectively manage undocumented immigrants in the United States.
Check out the White House briefing video below.
How Does this affect New Orleans?
As of February 28, 2016, New Orleans enacted regulations that mandate bias-free policing, according to Nola.com. Under these laws, officers are prevented from inquiring and acting on an individual’s citizenship status, and it also restricts the City’s communication with ICE.
The City previously practiced routine immigration raids and reported any undocumented immigrant to the ICE authorities. However, the new policy prevents bias actions like those through the NOPD.
Over 300 jurisdictions across the United States are deemed sanctuaries, according to the Center of Immigration Studies.
While there are no official numbers on how many undocumented immigrants are in New Orleans, there is an estimated 64,500 undocumented immigrants in the state of Louisiana who collectively earn $1 billion and pay $136 million in taxes, Nola.com reports.
New Orleans Responds
On Wednesday, January 25, Mayor Mitch Landrieu released a public statement that denounced President Trump’s action.
"First and foremost, the City does now and will continue to follow federal laws, and we will continue to make sure that we arrest and convict violent criminals, regardless of their immigration status. But the NOPD will not be President Trump’s deportation force,” Landrieu said.
“The City of New Orleans is a welcoming city, and we will continue to be a place whose racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity contribute to our growing economy, rich culture, resilience, and commitment to equity and inclusion,” he added.
In his statement, Mayor Landrieu said President Trump’s executive order was an attempt to build a “deportation army,” by using section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
The act establishes a partnership between ICE and a state, or local police force, which puts some officers under ICE supervision with the sole purpose tracking, and detaining undocumented immigrants. In response, especially with sanctuary city regulations, many cities, including New Orleans, have limited communication with ICE.
Mayor Landrieu insisted that New Orleans’ federal funding would not be impacted by President Trump’s executive order.
To read Mayor Landrieu’s full statement against President Trump’s executive order, click here.
- Trump orders clamp down on immigrant 'sanctuary cities,' pushes border wall [USAToday.com]
- Map: Sanctuary Cities, Counties, and States [Center for Immigration Studies]
- 'Sanctuary city' policy puts an end to NOPD's immigration enforcement [Nola.com]
- How many undocumented immigrants are living in Louisiana? [Nola.com]
- Mayor Landrieu's Statement on President Trump's Executive Order on Sanctuary Cities [Office of the Mayor]