A day after announcing a “significant escalation” in the Trump administration’s campaign against cities that do not cooperate with federal immigration authorities, U.S. Attorney General William Barr doubled down Tuesday on his criticism of local prosecutors in those jurisdictions, saying they “are putting everyone in danger” by refusing to enforce a host of laws.
VOA News Barr’s strident criticism of local prosecutors came a day after he announced that the Justice Department had filed lawsuits against California, New Jersey, and King County in Washington state, over policies that the federal government says make it difficult to crack down on illegal immigration. The announcement marked a sharp escalation in the war between the federal government and local jurisdiction over immigration policies.
The highly critical comments were aimed at prosecutors in so-called sanctuary cities, counties and states as the Trump Administration has struggled to clamp down on the more than 10 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.
Barr, addressing a meeting of sheriffs in Washington, railed at what he called “rogue DAs (district attorneys)” who he says have taken on a new role of “judge-legislator-prosecutor” and fail to protect law enforcement officers.
“These self-styled ‘social justice’ reformers are refusing to enforce entire categories of law, including laws against resisting police officers,” Barr said.. “Their policies are pushing a number of America’s cities back toward a more dangerous past.” At a time when nationwide crime is trending lower, Barr said, the crime rate in cities with “progressive” prosecutors remains historically high.
“Innocent people are threatened and hurt by criminal aliens whom local jurisdictions have set free in the face of federal immigration detainers,” Barr said. “Law enforcement officers in the field are put in harm’s way when criminals are freed rather than deported.