In January 2017, the city of Santa Ana declared it was a Sanctuary City and would not assist US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Additionally, the ICE contract to use the Santa Ana jail was also cancelled so they no longer hold ICE Detainees in the jail. It has since been replaced with a US Marshall’s contract to use the jail.
Many in our city praised the city council for protecting our undocumented committee. While others raised concerns that the city could be putting itself in danger of losing millions of dollars in Federal Funding and Grants that the city depends on to operate.
Now it looks like the Dept. of Homeland Security is asking the Dept. of Justice if any legal actions can be taken against Sanctuary Cities.
“Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen confirmed Tuesday that her department has asked federal prosecutors to see if they can lodge criminal charges against sanctuary cities that refuse to cooperate with federal deportation efforts.
“The Department of Justice is reviewing what avenues may be available,” Ms. Nielsen told the Senate Judicial committee.
What does this mean to the city of Santa Ana and the people who live here?
It’s not likely the Federal government will prosecute Sanctuary Cities for not enforcing Federal Immigration laws as it’s not cities responsibility to enforce immigration laws or verify people’s immigration status. If criminal charges were filed against the city of Santa Ana, the city council could revoke the Sanctuary City status by voting to remove it. With 3 city current council members terming out in November, it will make for an interesting election!