27 Dec 2016
Suffolk County, NY

A New York sheriff has announced that it will be reversing its sanctuary policy just ahead of President-Elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Suffolk County Sheriff Vincent DeMarco announced that his county will no longer demand a judge’s order before detaining an illegal immigrant wanted by federal immigration officials, a major shift away from its previous sanctuary city policy, according to Newsday.

DeMarco said his policy reversal is not because of the incoming Trump administration’s expected legal fight against sanctuary city policies. Instead, he said the shift came after careful “legal analysis.”

Already, between December 1 and December 21, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had taken seven illegal immigrants into custody who were living in Suffolk County.

DeMarco echoed Trump’s call to deport illegal immigrants who have been accused and convicted of crimes in the country, saying “I do believe this is good public policy because it focuses on criminals.”

“We’re talking about people who entered the country illegally and have committed crimes and have been convicted of crimes,” DeMarco continued.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone also supported the new, Trump-like measures, saying “I opposed open-ended detainer requests because, among other things, they placed an enormous burden on local government to spend millions on incarceration to cover unfunded mandates.”

“However, Suffolk County works closely with federal law enforcement, and a limited, 48-hour detainer represents a step in the right direction,” Bellone told Newsday.

The move comes just a month before Trump is set to be inaugurated and is expected to take down sanctuary city policies, with incoming Attorney General Jeff Sessions likely to set legal battles with locales that refuse to comply with federal immigration law.

Dan Cadman with the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) told Newsday that with Trump’s planned fight against illegal immigration, he expects more cities and counties to reverse their sanctuary policies.

“I mean, let’s face it . . . a new administration is coming in and the new administration has said, unambiguously, they’re going to take an entirely different and harder approach toward sanctuaries,” Cadman told Newsday. “I don’t think that many counties and many county sheriffs and some police departments want to be between the hammer and the anvil.”