By Kelly Cohen
September 27, 2016
The Washington Times
Louisiana's chief legal officer said Tuesday that crime has increased in so-called "sanctuary cities" that pledge not to pursue or prosecute illegal immigrants.
In prepared remarks to the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said sanctuary city policies "allow illegals to commit crimes, then roam free in our communities."
The remarks came in a hearing on New Orleans, and how the city has become a "sanctuary city" following new policies that went into effect on Feb. 28 that forbid city police from inquiring into an individual's immigration status. Those policies were written by the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division following a request in 2010 by Mayor Mitch Landrieu for the agency to help reform the city's police department.
Landry, a former House member, cited recent statistics from Los Angeles, another sanctuary city, to show that crime jumps in these jurisdictions.
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"Los Angeles saw all crime rise in 2015: violent crime up 19.9 percent, homicides up 10.2 percent, shooting victims up 12.6 percent, rapes up 8.6 percent, robberies up 12.3 percent, and aggravated assault up 27.5 percent," Landry said.
Landry added that sanctuary cities "encourage further illegal immigration and promote an underground economy that sabotages the tax base."
In the "sanctuary city" policies in New Orleans, police officers are unable to communicate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement and are forbidden to share knowledge of someone being an illegal immigrant with anyone. The Department of Justice's inspector general recently said the policy is in violation of federal law — something the DOJ itself allows to continue.
During opening remarks, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., called the DOJ's push for New Orleans police to enforce sanctuary city policies "an effort to futher their political agenda."
Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., echoed those comments, saying the policies have "resulted in thousands of criminal aliens being released to commit more crimes."
By Kelly Cohen