Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) says that mayors of cities that do not comply with some federal immigration requests should be arrested.
As BuzzFeed pointed out, Jindal told Boston Herald Radio on Monday that the mayors of so-called “sanctuary cities” — local governments that do not comply with federal requests to detain immigrants living in the US without permission — should be jailed.
“I would hold them as an accomplice. Make them criminally culpable,” Jindal said on Monday.
“I’d also make them civilly liable so that families, victim’s families could sue. Especially if the prosecutor isn’t taking action or the mayor’s not changing their ways, I’d allow the families to go to court as well to recover damages.”
“Sanctuary cities” refer to the hundreds of cities in the US that don’t obey Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention requests.
Jindal’s suggestion would be difficult to execute, primarily because his threat would essentially put local governments in an uncomfortable position of deciding what the federal government wants and what courts have ruled.
Over the past several years, multiple federal courts have ruled that holding immigrants for ICE without probable cause is unconstitutional. Local agencies are at risk of violating the Fourth Amendment if they hold people in jail indefinitely on ICE requests because they have no probable cause to do so.
Some cities go further than others, barring local police from asking for proof of citizenship and from arresting immigrants who lack documentation unless they are suspected of committing other criminal offenses. Other cities also allow immigrants in the US illegally to avoid deportation by serving jail time or paying fines if they are caught committing low-level crimes.
The rationale, according to supporters and law enforcement advocates, is that keeping cops from becoming surrogates for ICE builds community relationships and encourages immigrants to come forward if they witness crimes without fear that they will be deported.
Sanctuary cities have become a contentious campaign issue following the death of a woman in San Francisco who was allegedly killed by a man living in the US without permission.
The majority of the Republican presidential field has since condemned “sanctuary cities.” Candidates and US Sens. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) are currently pushing legislation that would block some federal funding to cities that do not comply.
“Our nation now has whole cities and states who stand up and willingly defy federal immigration laws in order to protect illegal immigrants who have broken our nation’s laws,” Paul said. “This must end, and it must end now.”
Jindal — who is polling around 1% and is unlikely to make the cut for the first Republican debate on Thursday — has recently been vocal on a slate of hot-button issues.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.