Mayors, Police Chiefs Meet with Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly

The leadership of the United States Conference of Mayors, Major Cities Chiefs Association and Police Executive Research Forum met with Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly on March 29 in Washington, D.C. to discuss the President’s January 25 interior enforcement Executive Order.  They requested the meeting shortly after the President signed the Executive Order.

Mayors and police chiefs present characterized the meeting as the beginning of what they hope will be a strong partnership with Secretary Kelly and the Department of Homeland Security.  Among topics discussed:

  • Local law enforcement agencies uphold both federal law and the Constitution and cooperate with federal authorities, including ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) on a regular basis.
  • “Sanctuary” cities is a political term, not a legal term, and there is no definition of it.
  • The Constitution requires that there be a warrant or finding of probable cause for a local law enforcement agency to honor an ICE detainer and that jurisdictions which hold people without a warrant are violating the 4th Amendment and so are subject to challenges in court.

These are among the issues that the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Major Cities Chiefs Association, and partner organizations hope to work on with Secretary Kelly and the Department of Homeland Security going forward.

Participating in the meeting for the Conference of Mayors were  President Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, Vice President New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Second Vice President Columbia Mayor Stephen Benjamin, Latino Alliance Chair Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Immigration Reform Task Force Co-Chair Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza, Criminal & Social Justice Committee Chair Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, Austin Mayor Steve Adler, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, and Conference CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran.  Police chiefs at the meeting were Tom Manger, Montgomery County (MD), President, Major Cities Chiefs Association; Scott Thomson, Camden County (NJ), President, Police Executive Research Forum; Charlie Beck, Los Angeles; Kathleen O’Toole, Seattle; and Chuck Ramsey, former Washington, DC and Philadelphia Chief.  Also present were the Executive Directors of three partner organizations: Chuck Wexler, Police Executive Research Forum; Clarence Anthony, National League of Cities; and Matt Chase, National Association of Counties

About the Author:

Laura Waxman is the Conference of Mayors’ Director of Public Safety, focusing on criminal and social justice issues, immigration, human rights, and policing.