Washington, D.C. – USCM CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran today issued the following statement on today’s remarks on Sanctuary Jurisdictions by Attorney General Jeff Sessions:

“Today U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions accused some states and cities of adopting ‘policies designed to frustrate the enforcement of our immigration laws.’  This statement is incorrect, unfortunate, and ignores both the Constitution and policing practices that have made our cities safer.

“The Attorney General urged states and local jurisdictions to comply with all federal laws – something that they are committed to doing. Mayors have taken oaths to uphold the law and defend the Constitution.  Further, Mayors, in conjunction with local law enforcement, are committed to ensuring that all criminals, regardless of their immigration status, are properly adjudicated by the criminal justice system. While mayors work diligently on building and preserving the trust of all the communities we serve, local law enforcement has a long history of working in cooperation with federal authorities to make our communities safe.

“The Attorney General said the Department of Justice will require jurisdictions seeking or applying for Department grants to certify compliance with 8 U.S.C. Section 1373 as a condition for receiving these awards.  This is not new.  Last year the Department began requiring such compliance under several key programs.

“The Attorney General referred to last week’s declined detainer report issued by the Department of Homeland Security.  Among other things, that report lists jurisdictions as non-compliant that are currently complying with federal law; ignored the Constitutional requirement under the 4th Amendment that there be a warrant for a jurisdiction to hold someone who would otherwise be released; and promoted the false narrative that immigrants are criminals when studies have shown that the incidence of criminality is less among immigrants than among the native-born population, and recent research has shown that communities with so-called ‘sanctuary’ policies are safer than those without them.

“On Wednesday mayors and police chiefs representing the U.S Conference of Mayors and the Major Cities Chiefs Association will be meeting with Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to discuss his Department’s role and policies relating to implementation of the interior enforcement executive order, particularly the portions governing sanctuary cities.

“We look forward to meeting with the Attorney General to discuss policies relating to sanctuary cities and other key issues.”