Janet Napolitano, former homeland security secretary for President Barack Obama, said Thursday that there is “no law” requiring local police forces in so-called sanctuary cities to cooperate with federal authorities when it comes to deporting illegal immigrants.
“Won’t you be breaking the law if you don’t cooperate with federal authorities?” CNN host Carol Costello asked Napolitano, who now serves as president of the University of California and has vowed not to cooperate with any law enforcement agencies to investigate students who may be in the U.S. illegally.
The former secretary responded, “No, there’s no law that says you must cooperate with federal authorities. And, indeed, it is done consensually between law enforcement departments.”
“Many, many, many law enforcement departments around the country are now saying, ‘Look, we are not here to be [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement] agents; we are here to focus on, in our case, safety on our campuses and to be adjunct immigration officers would be contrary to that primary mission.”
But that brought Costello back to Napolitano’s previous comment — that it’s OK for the UC campus and other law enforcement bodies to just pick and choose what laws they obey. “So, if I don’t cooperate with federal authorities, that’s OK?” the CNN anchor asked, clearly bewildered.
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