Efforts to Undermine Sanctuary Cities

In the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) ramped up raids, arrests, and deportation proceedings across the country. Some cities have welcomed ICE and CBP’s activities, while others have employed sanctuary policies to resist federal law enforcement’s immigration crackdown. Trump administration officials have praised cities that cooperate with ICE and CBP and condemned those that don’t—and may have even coordinated with politically-friendly cities and states to undermine sanctuary policies.
En Español

Background

The enforcement activities of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have skyrocketed during Donald Trump’s presidency. ICE has conducted surprise sweeps in communities across the country, often arresting hundreds of undocumented immigrants in a single raid. ICE arrests rose nearly 40 percent between 2016 and 2017, and the agency has stopped prioritizing undocumented immigrants with criminal records. CBP has similarly increased its reach, carrying out random searches in non-border areas.

Trump and some in his cabinet have been vocal in expressing their support for cities that cooperate with ICE and CBP. Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in an August 2017 news conference in Miami, praised the city’s mayor for reversing sanctuary policies and cooperating with ICE and CBP. Conversely, Sessions threatened to withhold millions of dollars in federal funding from cities that resist federal immigration crackdowns.

In January 2018, five months after Sessions’s Miami speech, Florida’s House of Representatives passed a bill banning sanctuary policies. The bill coincided with an increase in ICE and CBP activities in Florida, including ICE raids in 7-Eleven stores in Orlando and Fort Myers and a CBP raid on a Greyhound bus, in which agents boarded the bus, demanded identification from all passengers, and arrested a woman who refused to comply. In October 2019, another Florida anti-sanctuary bill went into effect, requiring local law enforcement and state agencies to work with federal immigration officials in detaining suspected undocumented immigrants.

American Oversight seeks to find out whether officials in Florida and other states have coordinated with federal law enforcement agencies to target undocumented immigrants — and whether officials are using Florida as a testing ground for expanded immigration crackdowns nationwide.

Our Requests

  • Communications between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Florida officials, including Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida attorney general’s office, related to sanctuary cities;
  • Communications between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including ICE, and the Florida attorney general’s office related to sanctuary cities;
  • Communications among DHS, ICE, and CBP related to federal or state-specific sanctuary policies;
  • Communications between DOJ and DHS officials and the governors of Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Maine, Arizona, Texas, Massachusetts, and Maryland regarding immigration, sanctuary cities, and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program; and
  • Communications regarding President Donald Trump’s proposal to bus migrants to sanctuary cities.

 

Esfuerzos para Debilitar a las Ciudades Santuario

El Fondo

Las actividades de la Oficina de Inmigración y Aduanas (ICE, por sus siglos en inglés) y la Oficina de Aduanas y Protección Fronteriza (CBP) han entrado en vigor durante la presidencia de Donald Trump. ICE ha conducido barridas sorpresa en comunidades a través del país, a menudo arrestando cientos de inmigrantes indocumentados en una sola redada. Los arrestos subieron casi 40 por ciento entre 2016 y 2017, y la agencia ha parado la priorización de inmigrantes con antecedentes penales. CBP ha incrementado similarmente su alcance, con búsquedas arbitrarias en áreas no fronterizas. 

Trump y algunos de su gabinete han sido vocales en expresar su apoyo para las ciudades que cooperan con ICE y CBP. El ex Procurador General Jeff Sessions, en una conferencia de prensa en agosto 2017 en Miami, felicitó al alcalde de la ciudad por revertir las políticas de santuario y cooperar con ICE y CBP. Por el contrario, Sessions amenazó a retener millones de dólares de recursos federales de las ciudades que resistieron las medidas severas de inmigración del gobierno federal. 

En enero 2018, cinco meses después del discurso de Sessions en Miami, la Cámara de Representantes de Florida aprobó una propuesta de ley para la prohibición de políticas santuario. La propuesta de ley coincidió con un aumento de actividad de ICE y CBP en Florida, incluyendo redadas de ICE en tiendas de 7-Eleven en Orlando y Fort Myers, y una redada de CBP en un autobús de Greyhound, en el cual agentes abordaron el bus, demandaron identificación de todos los pasajeros, y arrestaron a una mujer que se rehusó a cumplir. En octubre 2019, otra propuesta de ley anti-santuario entró en vigor, requiriendo a cuerpos policiales locales y agencias del estado a trabajar con oficiales federales de inmigración para detener a presuntos inmigrantes indocumentados. 

American Oversight busca descubrir si los oficiales en Florida y en otros estados se han coordinado con agencias de seguridad para enfocarse en los inmigrantes indocumentados – y si oficiales están utilizando a Florida como un campo de pruebas para la expansión de redadas y medidas represivas de inmigración por todo el país. 

Lo que Estamos Buscando

  • Comunicaciones entre el Departamento de Justicia y oficiales de Florida, incluyendo el Gobernador Rick Scott y la oficina del procurador general de Florida, relacionados a ciudades de santuario;
  • Comunicaciones entre el Departamento de Seguridad Nacional (DHS), incluyendo ICE, y la oficina del procurador general de Florida sobre las ciudades de santuario;
  • Comunicaciones entre DHS, ICE, y CBP relacionados a específicas políticas federales o estatales de santuario;
  • Comunicaciones entre oficiales de DOJ y DHS y los gobernadores de Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Maine, Arizona, Texas, Massachusetts, y Maryland sobre inmigración, ciudades de santuario, y el programa de Acción Diferida para los Llegados en la Infancia (DACA, por su sigla en inglés); y 
  • Comunicaciones sobre la propuesta del Presidente Donald Trump para llevar inmigrantes a las ciudades santuario en autobús. 

Related Documents

December 10, 2019

No Records Response from DHS for Communications Regarding Proposals to Release Detainees in Sanctuary Cities

Department of Homeland Security
Agency Reply
September 26, 2019

FOIA to DHS Seeking Communications Regarding President Trump’s Proposal to Bus Migrants to Sanctuary Cities

Department of Homeland Security
FOIA Request
September 25, 2019

No Records Response from Civil Rights Division of DOJ Regarding Communications with Governors and Attorney Generals

Department of Justice
Agency Reply
September 25, 2019

No Records Response from Civil Rights Division of DOJ Regarding Communications with Congress about Immigration

Department of Justice
Agency Reply
September 25, 2019

No Records Response from Civil Rights Division of DOJ Regarding Communications with Congress on Immigration

Department of Justice
Agency Reply
April 16, 2019

No Records Response from DHS Regarding Communications with FL Gov Rick Scott or the Florida Attorney GeneralÕs Office Concerning Immigration Law Enforcement

Department of Homeland Security
Agency Reply
March 29, 2019

No Records Response from CRT Regarding Immigration Communications with Congress

Department of Justice
Agency Reply
October 22, 2018

No Records Response from DHS Regarding Communications with Particular States Regarding Immigration

Department of Homeland Security
Agency Reply
October 9, 2018

No Records Response from DHS for Communications With State Officials On Immigration Issues

Department of Homeland Security
Agency Reply
March 30, 2018

No Records Response From DOJ Regarding Immigration Policies and Upcoming Elections

Department of Justice
Agency Reply
March 26, 2018

FOIA Seeking Communications between DOJ and Senators and Representatives Regarding Immigration Policies

Department of Justice
FOIA Request
March 26, 2018

FOIA Seeking Communications Between DOJ and Senators Up for Re-Election Regarding Immigration

Department of Justice
FOIA Request
March 26, 2018

FOIA to DOJ Seeking Communications Related to Immigration

Department of Homeland Security
FOIA Request
March 26, 2018

FOIA to DOJ Seeking Communications with Governors Regarding to Immigration

Department of Homeland Security
FOIA Request
March 26, 2018

FOIA to DHS Seeking Communications with Governors Regarding to Immigration

Department of Homeland Security
FOIA Request
March 26, 2018

FOIA to DHS Seeking Communications with Governors Regarding to Immigration, DACA, and Raids

Department of Homeland Security
FOIA Request
March 2, 2018

FOIA to DHS Seeking Communications Related to Sanctuary Cities and Immigration policies

Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement
FOIA Request
March 2, 2018

FOIA to DHS Seeking Communications Related to Sanctuary Cities in FL

Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement
FOIA Request
March 2, 2018

FOIA to DOJ Regarding Sanctuary Cities

Department of Justice
FOIA Request