Above the Law
By Elie Mystal
April 04, 2017
Sessions’s Orders To Local Police Are Contradictory, Until You See The Racism That Ties Them Together
Out of one side of his mouth, Jeff Sessions tells local law enforcement that they must do their police work in the manner that the federal government mandates. The heart of this “sanctuary cities” fight is a question of local control. Police in urban areas don’t want to make checking federal immigration status part of their jobs, because it hurts their ability to police their communities effectively. The federal government, under Sessions, wants to impress local law enforcement into performing federal tasks. Cities aren’t fighting for immigrant rights, they’re fighting to control their own police departments.
Out of the other side of his mouth, Jeff Sessions wants to pull back from consent decrees entered between the Justice Department and local law enforcement. “Local control and local accountability are necessary for effective local policing,” Sessions wrote in a Justice Department memo. “It is not the responsibility of the federal government to manage non-federal law enforcement agencies.”
Why the two orders, Mr. Attorney General? Why isn’t it the federal government’s responsibility to ensure that local police are operating within the parameters of the Constitution, but it is okay for the federal government to MANAGE how local police address federal immigration concerns? Why is it okay for the federal government to pull funding from cities who don’t police in the way the federal government wants them to, but it’s NOT okay for the federal government to enter into an agreement with local police about how to lawfully do their jobs?
If your primary concern is effective local law enforcement, then Sessions’s sanctuary-city saber-rattling makes no sense. If your primary concern is having police follow federal standards, then Sessions’s decision to scale back on consent decrees makes no sense.
If your primary concern is making it easier for police officers to harass, terrorize, and murder vulnerable minority communities, voilà, Sessions’s logic snaps into focus.
The war Jeff Sessions wants to fight isn’t against ISIS or NATO or “the deep state.” Jeff Sessions isn’t here to chase down President Trump’s 5:00 a.m. Twitter hallucinations. Like so many Trump supporters, Jeff Sessions is here for the racism. The old-school, Jim Crow, we need to “control” the non-white population racism.
These two orders work in concert to accomplish Sessions’s true goals.
On consent decrees:
“This is terrifying,” said Jonathan Smith, executive director of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, who spent five years as the department’s chief of special litigation, overseeing investigations into 23 police departments such as New Orleans, Cleveland and Ferguson, Mo. “This raises the question of whether, under the current attorney general, the Department of Justice is going to walk away from its obligation to ensure that law enforcement across the country is following the Constitution.”
On sanctuary cities:
“It’s simply outrageous that the Trump administration and their ICE agents are putting politics and scapegoating of immigrants ahead of public safety and the ability of local communities to decide how best to keep their communities safe,” said Frank Sharry, the executive director of America’s Voice Education Fund.
Sessions wants a world where police can violate your civil rights, and ask you to prove your status while they’re doing it. He wants to choke off funding to urban areas, then use savings to send in deportation troops to bust up communities.
Sessions wants a race war. Don’t you see it? He WANTS to drive urban communities to the breaking point until they violently boil over. Then he’ll use the violence as an excuse for even more draconian policies.
He’s not an idiot, he didn’t issue two orders that philosophically conflicted. He issued two orders that work together perfectly, if your true philosophy is to bring pain to minority communities, by any means necessary.
Elie Mystal is an editor of Above the Law and the Legal Editor for More Perfect. He can be reached @ElieNYC on Twitter, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He will resist.
For more information, go to: www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com