“A Significant Escalation”: Justice Department Sues Sanctuary Cities

In what Attorney General Bill Barr has called a “significant escalation,” the Justice Department is filing actions against sanctuary cities over what is alleged as interference with federal enforcement of immigration laws and removals. As discussed yesterday, both parties seems to be going “all in” on immigration from sharply opposing positions.

Suing sanctuary cities over ICE detainers is actually a difficult issue pitting state against federal authority. Many of these states maintain that they cannot be commandeered into working to enforce federal laws and that ICE should secure court orders. Barr specifically referred a lawsuit against New Jersey over its  New Jersey Attorney General Law Enforcement Directive 2018-6, which the DOJ says illegally bars officials from sharing the immigration status and release dates of individuals in custody.

The strongest challenge could come in a separate lawsuit against King County over the King County Executive Order PFC-7-1-EO, which forbids DHS from deporting aliens from the United States using King County International Airport. The Justice Department is arguing the order conflicts with the federal Airline Deregulation Act, which “prohibits localities such as King County from enacting or enforcing laws or regulations that relate to prices, routes, or services of air carriers.” Like the other filings, the thrust of the claims is the Supremacy Clause and the argument that states must yield to proper federal authority. Under 49 U.S.C. § 41713(b)(1), federal law preempts state and local government in any laws or orders “related to a price, route, or service of an air carrier that may provide air transportation.”

The DOJ states that

The Airport EO has both the purpose and effect of prohibiting federal immigration authorities from using Boeing Field to remove individuals with final orders of removal from the United States or to transport immigration detainees within the United States. Since issuance of the Airport EO, fixed-base operators (“FBOs”) at Boeing Field, which provide basic aeronautical services to charter flight operators, no longer will service flights by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) Air Operations (“IAO”).

That is a cleaner shot for DOJ on supremacy grounds than the detainer issue which triggers cases involving “commandeering” and federalism.

Here is the King County complaint: DOJ/King CountyLawsuit

Here is the New Jersey complaint: DOJ/NJ lawsuit

39 thoughts on ““A Significant Escalation”: Justice Department Sues Sanctuary Cities”

  1. Jonathan Turley should revisit the 2001-era Cointelpro tactics used by many federal agencies, from DOJ to the US Postal Service. It appears to be based solely on punishing “political speech” protected by the First Amendment and officials’ oath of office pledge. It’s a great coup by federal agencies to bypass the Bill of Rights. Taxpayers may be shocked at the scale of taxpayer dollars being fleeced from taxpayers on cases lacking probable cause of any crime. Federal agencies appear to create private fronts simply to punish legal political speech. It’s also a betrayal of their Article VI oath of office, that these officials voluntarily agreed to follow.

  2. Seriously? Mr. Deep Deep State, AG William Barr, is going to jawbone egregiously unconstitutional, nay, insurrectionist and rebellious “sanctuary status” while the bad guys ride off into the sunset with the treasure.

    Buh bye, Hillary.

    So longo, Obongo.

    The Obama Coup D’etat in America is the most egregious abuse of power and the most prodigious scandal in American political history.

    The co-conspirators are:

    Bill Taylor, Eric Ciaramella, Rosenstein, Mueller/Team, Andrew Weissmann, Comey,

    Christopher Wray, McCabe, Strozk, Page, Laycock, Kadzic, Yates, Baker, Bruce Ohr,

    Nellie Ohr, Priestap, Kortan, Campbell, Sir Richard Dearlove, Steele, Simpson,

    Joseph Mifsud, Alexander Downer, Stefan “The Walrus” Halper, Azra Turk, Kerry,

    Hillary, Huma, Mills, Brennan, Gina Haspel, Clapper, Lerner, Farkas, Power, Lynch,

    Rice, Jarrett, Holder, Brazile, Sessions (patsy), Nadler, Schiff, Pelosi, Obama et al.

  3. For the real Law & Order types. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that “non-citizens” also have constitutional rights on U.S. soul. For example: tourists visiting the USA from Europe are entitled to police protection and equal treatment, it’s not legal to Stop & Fisk a tourist on the street. It’s also a felony for an American farmer to rape undocumented farm workers just because they are non-citizens. Undocumented residents can also see a judge to contest any rights violations.

    The danger for allowing non-immigration officials to be deputized by federal officials, is that it leads to profiling (14th Amendment federal crime). Anyone, including legal citizens, with brown hair and dark skin is a “Suspect” or “Person of Interest” that leads to pretext stops by police. Legal citizens being harassed by police due solely to their physical appearance. Most white people have never experienced this treatment and not harmed by this practice.

    1. First paragraph. Yes– and even foreigners here are allowed to utter protected free speech! Such as Russians who may like Putin. Even them! We appreciate those protections and they protect us all.

      As to the “danger” of local police or state police profiling, that is not per se a 14th amendment crime, it is a legitimate police tactic in certain situations, when it is based on facts.

      So for example, if the “profile” of a suspect is “18 years old skinny black male with a big afro and baggy pants,” yes, that is an all-points-bulletin that is entirely legitimate for police usage

      Likewise if ICE finds a fellow hiding in the brush in the desert on the north side of the Rio Grande, it’s entirely appropriate for them to detain and ask him “Where were your born?”

      I would admit, there could be a constitutional difficulty in mass detentions of foreigners based on ethnic profile in many big cities. For example. If ICE were to arbitrarily invade Chicago and detain a thousand or so Nigerians driving cabs there. But, that is not happening. And that is not at all what has been asked for when it comes to specific perpetrators being identified in “Detainer requests” by ICE which get ignored by local municipalities who cut them loose to go commit crime again such as we heard in the SOTU speech

      Those of us who listened!

    2. This is like me and my friends, who are Asians, are avoiding Chinese restaurants and businesses in our neighborhood.

      Fun fact, these so called “undocumented” are very well documented. You can’t open bank account without any form of ID, you can’t get prescription drugs without ID, you can’t put your anchor kids in school with out an ID, you can’t get a job without an ID (even if they are fake IDs.)

      Also, when I was in college, I lived in a really bad neighborhood in Lower Manhattan. Two of my flatmates were art students and they are as white as they come. They get harassed by the cops on the daily basis because, the only white people you see in my hood at that time, were the ones looking to buy drugs. Myself, I’ve never experienced police harassment in all my life in NYC.

  4. 18yrs after 9/11 woke nation wants open boarders, constitutional rights for terrorists (hey Apple who’s side are you on). The rule of law means just that, respect the law of the nation or change them if you can.

    1. Yes Craig and the episode we call the “CIVIL WAR” means that federal law is Supreme, and local cities can’t ignore it.

      This will easily be settled in article III courts. But the political divide will remain.

      Some Americans are on the side of, um, America!

      Some are on the side of foreigners making unlawful entry

      Why? Because they go to the big cities where the social agencies and Demcrat voting machines enlist their raw demographic power to expand their command of resources

      Everything around you is groups vying for resources folks. Awaken and act accordingly.
      You are not an isolated individual,

      Alone never, together, forever!

  5. Sanctuary cities are irresponsible. They harbor known violent felons and warn them against ICE raids. They attract more illegal immigration.

    Unfortunately, supporters will neither acknowledge nor discuss the downsides to illegal immigration. Those who impose sanctuary cities have no regard for the welfare or safety of legal residents and citizens.

    A legal resident is an honored and invited guest of the United States, and should be shown every courtesy. The cartels have taken over human smuggling. Now, an illegal immigrant will pay $15,000 to a cartel to smuggle them across the border, and line jump. This mixes in good hardworking people along with gang members, child sex traffickers, and other criminals. I have no animosity whatsoever to illegal immigrants already here. Our policies encouraged them that this was a viable loophole in our immigration system. It’s not their fault they took us up on our offer. Look at all the programs for illegal immigrants in place that entice them. But from now on, we need to be responsible and cut off this major funding supply for the cartels. Criminals should be denied entry. All immigration should go through legal channels, and it should be managed to meet the jobs market, and availability of housing and benefits.

    I have never heard a good argument in favor of illegal immigration, only legal immigration.

  6. Excellent move. And how will the left counter? By calling for the removal and ejection of the DACA’s their former but abandoned guests from 2012? Likely or something similar as they are running out of rogue judges. and ACLUeless anti Constitutionalists

  7. I’d love to see some municipal councillors in jail or relieved of their real property. They’d deserve it.

  8. I can’t believe that you Constitutional scholars don’t understand that a State can’t sue the President’s Administration, and the President’s Administration cannot Sue a State or any part of a State.

    First the Federal Government is the united States in congress assembled, not the President’s Administration, and the place for the States to workout problems with their Federal Government is in Congress by the legislative processes established in the Constitution for that purpose. If after going through the legislative process there are still grievances, disputes, or conflicts that exist between the States, or between a State(s) and the Union, then that grievance is heard in the Supreme Court under original jurisdiction.

    All decision of the Federal Government are made in congress through legislative processes, and All means All, and All Legislative Powers herein granted are vested in Congress by Article 1 Section 1 if the United States Constitution. The Executive Department is for implementation and feedback only, not decision making, if there is information on matters concerning the United States that the President judges as necessary or expedient, the President must give that information to Congress for their consideration, assembling either branch of congress or both if they are at recess for that purpose.

    This means that the Executive departments don’t decide what action to take, the united States in congress assembled decides what actions to take, if any, and those disputes are first addressed in congress through established legislative processes, and then only if a State is aggrieved, then redress can be sought through the Supreme Court to settle the grievance.

    What the Constitution says is that the states will comply with decisions made by the united States in congress assembled, decisions which must first be legislated through the constitutionally established legislative processes for those categories of decisions which are made by the united States in congress assembled.

    I think the problem you geniuses have is you think that the parties are assembled in congress, and that the Executive “Branch” has Equal decision making powers with congress through coequal branches of government. Both of which are wrong. The Executive has absolutely no decision making powers or authority and is always under the direct control of Congress where strict protocols are established for the decision making process through assembly, distribution of Suffrage, and what constitutes a Majority Consensus for every decision made by the united States in congress assembled!

    This is the United States of America, not the United Parties!

  9. Did Americans know that the federal Executive Branch “assumes” authority to dictate that 100 miles from any US border is a “Constitution-Free Zone”. In other words Americans have zero rights within 100 miles of a national border, according to federal officials. The majority of US population resides within this 100 mile lawless zone. This should be of great concern to not only liberal civil libertarians but conservatives also. Don’t worry about 2nd Amendment rights, most of us already live in the “Constitution-Free Zone”. Article VI of the U.S. Constitution was never intended to exempt federal officials from violating individual constitutional rights.

  10. State’s Rights! Yeah. And the South Will Rise Again!
    People have “rights” ,. Not states. State’s have some “powers” but those powers are not existing or subordinate to the Federal powers.
    A state officer whether a cop, a judge, bailiff or mayor is an American citizen and has to obid by Federal laws and regulations. And federal court orders.

    1. People have “rights” ,. Not states.

      And here I thought it was the Bill of Rights, not the Bill of Powers.

      10th amendment states, The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

      This means the federal government has specific, enumerated powers provided by the people and the states. Everything not delegated to the federal government is to remain with the states, which also have specific, enumerated powers. What remains is the powers of the people themselves.

      I do agree that immigration is a federal power that every state is subordinate to. No state or municipality has the authority to establish sanctuary laws that prevent or obstruct the federal government from enforcing federal immigration policy.

    2. People have rights in their states, the states have rights in the Federal Government as member states in the Union.

      The Constitution was written for the states to form the collective decision making functionality of the states as the Union.

      Maybe you should actually read the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution in order of appearance, so you can understand your country and the government the States established to form distributed power and collective decision making for their Union!

  11. ITS ABOUT TIME TO TAKE BACK THE COUNTRY from these self appointed social justice warriors and allow for MAJORITY RULE and THE LAW.

    As well as go after the social justice warriors backed by SOROS – those AG’s in cities,counties and states. Like California, New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Washington state and etc.

  12. Judges for the 9th Circuit Federal Court may want to enforce the “Kidd v. Ashcroft” reprimand given to Ashcroft’s Justice Department. It appears Barr never ended those illegal practices abusing the federal “Material Witness Statute” (aka: employment tampering).

  13. Hey the Rule Of Law and Supremacy of the Constitution over political correctness. What could the Left possible have against that? Everything it seems.

  14. But Penn State, the ‘Sanctuary City for Paedophiles’, continues to ‘broom and groom’ small children for the sexual debauchery of the university, and the DOJ turns a blind eye.

    How much does Penn State, the ‘Sanctuary City for Paedophiles’ spend to continue their criminal child sex trade enterprise? JoePerv Paterno, whose paedophilia would cause Jeffrey Epstein to blush, for decades recruited and groomed young children for the sexual debauchery of well connected politicians, high ranking Paedophilia State administrators, and wealthy donors.

    Penn State, the ‘Sanctuary City for Paedophiles’, has for decades operated a child sex trafficking enterprise, grooming tens of thousands of innocent children for the sexual depravity of well connected politicians, wealthy donors, and high ranking university administrators. Penn State bribed former FBI Director Louis Freeh to whitewash the scandal, and then delivered several young boys to former Democratic Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell for his hideous depravity in exchange for the early release of Pedophile State from NCAA sanctions. Newly unsealed documents revealed George Mitchell’s connection to Jeffrey Epstein https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/08/new-details-in-unsealed-jeffrey-epstein-documents.

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