ICE director says Obama admin won’t take action on sanctuary cities until Congress passes amnesty

The senseless killing of 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle by Francisco Sanchez, a Mexican illegal, earlier this month has reignited a national debate over sanctuary city policies. Opponents of sanctuary cities argue that Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials should be allowed to seize criminal illegal aliens from city jails. However, during a congressional hearing Tuesday, ICE Director Sarah Saldaña stated that ICE has no plans to address controversial sanctuary city policies until Congress passes comprehensive immigration reform:

Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) repeatedly pressed Saldaña on why the Administration was taking no action against sanctuary jurisdictions that refuse to turn over dangerous criminal aliens from their prisons and jails to federal law officers.  Saldaña replied that Congress would first have to pass “comprehensive immigration reform.”

Vitter: “This has been going on for years and you still are not prepared to say that there is ever going to be any negative consequence to those [sanctuary] jurisdictions. When is that going to change?”

Saldaña: “I presume when you all address comprehensive immigration reform; perhaps it can be addressed there.”

Vitter described Saldaña’s answer as “ridiculous” and kept pressing: “And absent Congress passing that [Senate immigration] bill, that you and the Obama Administration prefer, you don’t think right now we can stop sanctuary cities from flaunting federal law? You don’t think right now there can be any negative consequences when they do not properly cooperate under existing federal law with immigration enforcement?”

Saldaña gave a muddled reply: “That’s what I understand that all of you are working on.”

Well, now we know where the ICE director’s priorities lie — and it’s not with America.