For Immediate Release 9/5/2017
Baltimore—Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby joined 22 other elected prosecutors and law enforcement leaders – including District Attorneys, State Attorneys, Sheriffs and former Police Chiefs from 17 jurisdictions representing more than 13 million people around the nation – by filing a brief with the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, urging the Court to stop the Department of Justice from coercing local jurisdictions into enforcing federal immigration duties and responsibilities by imposing new Department of Justice conditions on federal grants that support local law enforcement initiatives.
“At a time in our city when we are working hard to repair the breach between the criminal justice system and the community we serve, I felt compelled to join with fellow prosecutors and law enforcement leaders around the country in filing an amicus brief with the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, in the Chicago v. Sessions litigation,” said State’s Attorney Mosby.
State’s Attorney Mosby joined 13 other elected prosecutors from diverse parts of the nation and a wide range of jurisdictions signed onto the brief, including District Attorneys Sherry Boston (Atlanta, GA), Mark Dupree (Kansas City, KS), Stan Garnett (Boulder, CO), Sim Gill (Salt Lake County, UT), Mark Gonzalez (Corpus Christi, TX), John Hummel (Bend, OR), Dan Satterberg (Seattle, WA), David Soares (Albany, NY), and Cy Vance (New York, NY); Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez (Brooklyn, NY); State Attorney Aramis Ayala (Orlando); Prosecuting Attorney Carol Siemon (Lansing, MI); and City Attorney James D. Smiertka (Lansing, MI). These elected prosecutors were joined by Sheriffs Jerry Clayton (Ann Arbor, MI), Bill McCarthy (Des Moines, IA) and Joe Pelle (Boulder, CO), as well former Police Chiefs Chris Burbank (Salt Lake City, UT), William Landsdowne (San Diego, CA) and Brendan Cox (Albany, NY). Taken together, the elected prosecutors and sitting law enforcement leaders represent over 13 million people. (A full list of signators is provided below.)
These prominent elected prosecutors and law enforcement officials came together to add the perspective of leaders charged with protecting public safety in a friend of the court (amicus) brief supporting Chicago’s lawsuit against the Department of Justice (DOJ).
In the brief, the City of Chicago seeks to block the DOJ from placing harmful and unnecessary conditions on federal grant money to local law enforcement disbursed through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program (Bryne JAG). Byrne JAG funding supports vitally important law enforcement, prosecution, corrections, courts, crime prevention and education, drug and mental health treatment, and victim-witness initiatives.
“In joining this action, I affirm the principle that Baltimore is a ‘welcoming city,’ and it would be counterproductive to our efforts to improve public safety if we are distracted by the implementation of this flawed policy of the Trump administration,” continued State’s Attorney Mosby.
As new conditions for receiving the grant, the Department of Justice is demanding that cities and local law enforcement generally provide 48 hours’ advance notice to DHS regarding the scheduled release of detained aliens, and permit DHS personnel access to city jails and other detention facilities for the purpose of investigating suspected aliens and determining if they should be allowed to remain in the United States. The brief argues that these restrictions would “dangerously impact local communities by requiring jurisdictions to prioritize civil immigration enforcement over public safety and by potentially stripping jurisdictions of funding for important public safety and community initiatives.”
“Study after study show that immigrant communities are less willing to report crimes and cooperate with law enforcement and prosecutors when they fear deportation,” noted Miriam Krinsky, one of the signators on the brief and the Executive Director of Fair and Just Prosecution. “Prosecutors and law enforcement leaders need to stand together and speak out in the face of federal policies that threaten to deepen the divide between law enforcement and the immigrant communities they are entrusted to protect.”
That divide has manifested itself in a number of troubling ways. As the brief illustrates, some violent crimes have gone unreported, and pending prosecutions have disappeared from courts’ dockets. Local court systems have been used as levers for federal immigration enforcement in ways sure to discourage others from participating in the justice system. In one especially vivid example, a woman arrived at a courthouse seeking a protective order against her abusive boyfriend, only to leave under arrest—likely due to a tip from her abuser.
“As a matter of policy, detention facilities in Baltimore are run by the state and not the city, but I still felt it was imperative that as the State’s Attorney, I remain consistent in my efforts to advance the work of bringing our city together and rejecting any attempts to further divide our community,” concluded State’s Attorney Mosby.
A full list of signatories to the brief is below:
Roy L. Austin
Former Deputy Assistant to the President for Urban Affairs, Justice and Opportunity, White House Domestic Policy Council
Former Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice
Former Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Columbia
State Attorney, Ninth Judicial Circuit (Orlando), Florida
District Attorney, DeKalb County, Georgia
Chief Chris Burbank
Former Police Chief, Salt Lake City, Utah
Director, Law Enforcement Engagement, Center for Policing Equity
Sheriff Jerry L. Clayton
Washtenaw County, Michigan
Chief Brendan Cox
Former Police Chief, Albany, New York
Mark A. Dupree, Sr.
District Attorney, Wyandotte County, Kansas
District Attorney, Boulder County, Colorado
District Attorney, Salt Lake County, Utah
Acting District Attorney, Brooklyn, New York
District Attorney, Nueces County (Corpus Christi), Texas
District Attorney, Deschutes County (Bend), Oregon
Miriam Aroni Krinsky
Executive Director, Fair and Just Prosecution
Former Assistant U.S. Attorney, Central District of California; Criminal Appellate Chief and Chief, General Crimes
Chair, Solicitor General’s Criminal Appellate Advisory Group
Chief William Landsdowne
Former Police Chief, San Diego County, California
Former Police Chief, San Jose County, California
Former Police Chief, Richmond, California
Sheriff Bill McCarthy
Polk County (Des Moines), Iowa
Former U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of Michigan
Marilyn J. Mosby
State’s Attorney, Baltimore City, Maryland
Sheriff Joe Pelle
Boulder County, Colorado
Prosecuting Attorney, King County (Seattle), Washington
Carol A. Siemon
Prosecuting Attorney, Ingham County, Michigan
James D. Smiertka
City Attorney, Lansing, Michigan
District Attorney, Albany County, New York
Cyrus R. Vance Jr.
District Attorney, New York County (Manhattan), New York
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