Trump Can't Unilaterally Convert New York Police Into Immigration Agents -- Schneiderman

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Schneiderman

Following President Trump's so-called deportation memo and recent well-covered raids by department of Homeland Security agents, New York's attorney general has issued a defiant statement that challenges the authoritarian president.

“President Trump does not have the legal authority to unilaterally transform state and local police officers into federal immigration enforcement agents," Schneiderman said. "As the legal guidance issued by my office in January makes clear, state and local law enforcement agencies cannot be forced to participate in President Trump’s destructive and ill-advised deportation policies. No one is better at keeping New York neighborhoods safe than the local law enforcement agencies that do so every single day. As we have learned from local law enforcement agencies across the country—including NYPD, which polices the safest big city in the country—effective policing depends on building and maintaining trust with the individuals and communities these officers serve. That trust is undercut by draconian deportation policies that place divisive political agendas and flashy rhetoric over proven law enforcement strategies."

The attorney general added: "I am pleased that local governments across New York State, including Rochester, Syracuse, and many others, continue to analyze and pursue policies that are consistent with localities’ rights under the law, and that advance smart, proven law enforcement strategies to keep our communities safe. My office will continue to be a resource for all New York local governments and law enforcement agencies that wish to consider these proven and effective strategies that help keep New Yorkers safe.”

Last month, Schneiderman issued legal guidance for “sanctuary” jurisdictions, providing local governments and law enforcement agencies with legal tools to protect their immigrant communities.

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