Call of the Day: Protect Sanctuary Cities

The Trump administration is making another assault on sanctuary cities by expanding requirements on Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants (which go to state and local governments for a range of crime fighting programs and issues like drugs, gangs, and domestic violence).  You may recall that the President signed an executive order in January threatening to withhold this federal funding for sanctuary cities, which a federal judge largely blocked.

The new and expanded requirements add demands on cities that go beyond what is mandated in law.  They require letting federal authorities access detainees in jails to inquire about immigration status, and to give the federal government 48 hours notice before any inmate they're interested in is released.  Please read the full text of the CNN article from which this information has been taken.

While this is happening, recall that the House passed the 'No Sanctuary for Criminals Act (H.R. 3003) late last month, which was passed to the Senate on July 10th.

New Orleans is not technically a Sanctuary City, however we are under a federal consent decree, which requires the NOPD to not discriminate, and thus we have “sanctuary policies”.  In order to receive federal funding, compliance with his bill would tie up our valuable law enforcement resources we desperately need to fight that little crime problem you may have heard about.  Oh that’s right, we’re the murder capital of America!  And we need every available officer on the streets fighting crime, not on a political witch hunt acting as the President’s deportation force.

Now is the time to let your senators know: This bill is bad for New Orleans!

WHO TO CALL:

Senator Cassidy and Senator Kennedy

Senator Bill Cassidy - DC OFFICE: (202) 224-5824 and METAIRIE OFFICE: (504) 838-0130 (NOTE: If you can't get through to Metairie, try one of the other offices, such as Monroe: (318) 324-2111, Lake Charles: (337) 493-5398, or Alexandria: Phone: (318) 448-7176)

Senator John Kennedy - DC OFFICE: (202) 224-4623 and MONROE OFFICE (318) 361-1489

Reminders: Identify where you're calling from (town and zip code is fine) so they know you're an actual constituent.  Be concise - the office will get through more calls that way.  Be polite and don't argue with the staffer - they don't set policy.  If you get a voicemail, then leave a message.  And if you get a busy signal -- call back later!

Sample script:

Hi, my name is [Your Name] from New Orleans, zip code 70118 [or wherever you live].

I'm calling to ask the Senator to oppose the “No Sanctuaries for Criminals Act."

This bill will require cities to comply with federal immigration orders, or risk losing federal funding. In New Orleans right now, we are dealing with a very serious crime problem, and this legislation would tie up the valuable resources we desperately need to fight it. Immigrants are far less dangerous than the urban gang problem New Orleans is facing, and we need all our law enforcement resources available to best protect the citizens of the city.

 Thank you for your time, and your hard work answering the phones.  Stay safe out there.