By Brandon Moseley
Wednesday, February 1, 2017 the Jefferson County Republican Party Executive Committee approved a resolution condemning the Birmingham City Council’s vote to designate Alabama’s largest city as a “Sanctuary City”.
Jefferson County Republican Party Chairman Sallie Bryant said in a statement, “Not only are the actions of the Birmingham City Council expressly against established state law, after speaking with several lawmakers and business leaders, it’s clear this move will have a negative effect on our county’s economic development efforts to recruit new businesses to the area,” Chairman Sallie Bryant said.
The Republican group said that a 1996 a federal law was passed called the Illegal Immigration
Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIR) that requires local governments to cooperate with Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Whereas, contrary to this law, many of these governments are officially or
The party said in the resolution that over the past eight years, the Justice Department has shown reckless disregard of the rule of law and has often made the decision to not enforce the law, therefore allowing Sanctuary Cities to thrive but that the current administration has made it clear the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act will be vigorously enforced and cities acting as Sanctuary Cities will see federal funding impacted.
The resolution concluded, “That the Republican Party of Jefferson County strongly condemns the action of the naming of Birmingham as a “Sanctuary City” by the Birmingham City Council. Be it further resolved that if the City Council truly strives to be a city free of hostilities and aggressions and be a city free of prejudice, bigotry and hate, the Council remove this designation which will foster hostility and aggression and affect the safety and well-being of the citizens.”
The Birmingham City Council unanimously passed their “welcoming resolution” ordering the Birmingham Police Department not to cooperate with federal law enforcement efforts to identify and round up persons who are in the country illegally. The move could potentially cost the City of Birmingham millions of dollars in federal funding. The City of San Francisco, which is also a sanctuary city, sued the Trump Administration on Wednesday attempting to thwart the President’s policies in the courts.
The state legislature was not pleased and on Thursday the House Republican Caucus (which holds a commanding super majority in the Alabama House of Representatives) announced that they would be addressing the issue of sanctuary cities in their ‘Alabama Proud’ legislative agenda in the 2017 legislative session. The GOP caucus wrote on Thursday, “House Republicans understand that our laws must be enforced, our borders must be protected, and our citizens must be shielded from those who come here illegally and drain our resources. For those reasons, our “Alabama Proud” agenda includes legislation that would reinforce and strengthen existing law by withholding funding from any cities, counties, or public colleges and universities that defy immigration laws and declare themselves “sanctuary” areas that harbor illegal aliens.
President Trump’s choice for U.S. Attorney General, U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R from Alabama) has a long record of opposing sanctuary cities and it is expected that as AG he will defend the President’s policy. Sessions cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee in an 11 to 9 vote on Wednesday and could be confirmed by the full Senate as early as Friday.
Alabama Governor Bentley (R) said on Tuesday that, “President Trump has already taken decisive and necessary action to enforce our nation’s immigration laws. Alabama will not support sanctuary cities or institutions that harbor or shelter illegal immigrants, and are in clear violation of the laws of the nation.”