A Washington, D.C., councilwoman who blamed the governors of Texas and Arizona for turning the U.S. capital into a “border town” wrote the city’s sanctuary city policy instructing officials not to comply with federal immigration law.
On Thursday, as Washington, D.C., officials declared a public emergency after nearly 10,000 people have been bused from the southern border to the U.S. capital, councilwoman Brianne Nadeau blamed the governors of Texas and Arizona, saying they “created this crisis.”
“We’ve learned from border towns like El Paso and Brownsville [Texas] and in many ways the governors of Texas and Arizona have turned us [Washington, D.C.] into a border town,” Nadeau said. “We don’t know how long this will take to resolve. We don’t know how long they will continue busing.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott argued the “crisis” was created by President Joe Biden and “demands immediate and decisive federal action.”
He’s asked Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser to “call on President Biden to stop dismissing the crisis and honor his duty of preserving America’s national security.” He’s also invited Bowser to Texas to observe an exponentially greater crisis at the Texas-Mexico border, a request that remains open but which she’s ignored.
Texas has bused over 7,600 people to Washington, D.C., since April. It will continue to do so until Biden secures the border, Abbott said.
Washington, D.C., has a history of refusing to comply with federal immigration law.
In 2019, when Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers tried to enforce federal immigration law, Nadeau said: “The District is a sanctuary city, which means our law enforcement does not cooperate with ICE. The Metropolitan Police Department’s policy is that it will not enforce civil immigration laws, which only create a strong divide between the police and community members. MPD officers are also prohibited from asking about residency and immigration status.”
As a council member, she’s also called “for an abolition of ICE and wrote DC’s law to establish a permanent immigrant legal services fund.”
Sanctuary communities refer to those where government policies discourage law enforcement officials from complying with federal immigration law, according to the Franklin County Law Library, located in Columbus, Ohio, which has implemented sanctuary city policies.
Such communities generally refuse to cooperate with ICE officials to detain and remove foreign nationals who are in the U.S. illegally.
According to data compiled by the Immigration Reform Law Institute, some of the most dangerous cities in the U.S. are sanctuary communities.
“Data overwhelmingly shows that sanctuary policies lead to more crime, fear and death,” said Dale Wilcox, IRLI’s executive director and general counsel. “The leaders of these communities should not escape accountability for the damage they have caused. Their residents deserve much more.”
In 2016, Bowser affirmed the city’s sanctuary status, saying, “We celebrate our diversity and respect all DC residents no matter their immigration status. We are a sanctuary city because we know that our neighborhoods are safer and stronger when no one is afraid to call on our government for help, and when our police can focus on protecting and serving.”
Bowser’s commitment to sanctuary status while also declaring an emergency is an example of “ultimate hypocrisy,” Navy JAG officer and national security law analyst Jonathan Hullihan told The Center Square.
“As a sanctuary city, Washington, D.C., has purposefully refused to cooperate with federal law enforcement on detainers and removal processes.”
Bowser declaring a public emergency was “a direct result of Gov. Greg Abbott’s efforts to bring awareness to the border crisis and the failure of the Biden Administration to protect American sovereignty,” Hullihan added.
“One of President Trump’s many efforts to stop the border crisis was the issuance of Executive Order 13768, which would have removed the ability of so-called sanctuary cities to receive federal funds,” he said. “One of the Biden Administration’s first acts was to rescind Executive Order 13768 on January 20, 2021, which only added fuel to the border crisis.
“As long as the border remains effectively open, sanctuary cities exist, and federal immigration law is underenforced, every city in the United States is now a border town that will continue to feel the effects of the invasion of fentanyl, rising crime, and a drain on resources while American citizens suffer the consequences.”
Abbott’s press secretary, Renae Eze, told The Center Square, “Every town is a border town thanks to President Biden’s open border policies.
Instead of complaining about a few thousand migrants being bused into their sanctuary city, these hypocritical D.C. officials should go down the street to the White House and call on President Biden to do his job to secure the border — something the President continues failing to do.”
A version of this article first appeared at The Center Square.
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