D.C. Stands Up to Feds on Immigration Checks

D.C. Stands Up to Feds on Immigration Checks


City officials in the District of Columbia are holding firm on immigration, daring the federal government to make them enforce what’s perceived as invasive immigration practices. Thumbing his nose at federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Mayor Vincent Gray signed an executive order instructing police officers and public service officials not to question the immigration status of persons with whom they have contact. The move makes the District stand out on the increasingly conservative national landscape over illegal immigration.

Washington, D.C.’s stance on illegal immigration is vastly different than that of some states including Georgia, Alabama, and Arizona. That’s not so surprising given the city’s dominant Democratic political machine and extremely liberal voting base, underscoring a local belief that they shouldn’t be conducting what they see as “witch-hunts” on immigrants. And the District rightfully lets federal officials handle the task that falls under their jurisdiction.

In the executive order, Gray promises that the city will not enforce ICE detainers or warrants stemming specifically from immigration violations. They are leaving those processes up to the FBI.

“In the spirit of ‘One City,’ and assuring the equal treatment of citizens and non-citizens alike, I am delighted to sign this,” the mayor said.

Recent arguments to crack down on illegal immigration have come primarily from conservatives seeking to slow or completely stop the flow of undocumented workers into the U.S. Politicians have played into voter fears, many of whom are struggling in the down economy, suggesting illegals are a primary reason for their problems.

As a way to deal with the over 12 million illegal immigrants currently in the U.S., conservative communities and states have overstepped the federal government in an effort to tackle the immigration issue. In Arizona, for example, the state government passed a law forcing police officers to detain anyone they thought may not be a legal citizen. The push back was so hard from Latino rights and civil liberties activists, and even the U.S. Justice Department, that a stay was issued preventing the law from taking effect.

Some observers, including some worried about labor shortage impacts on small businesses caused by aggressive immigration laws, see D.C.’s move as refreshing as it decides against following in the xenophobic footsteps of other jurisdictions across the country. While illegal immigration is an issue that can’t be left to fester because of obvious economic and national security risks. Many of these “tough” laws do not address the inherent profiling that comes with their enforcement.

How would an official differentiate between a bilingual citizen and an illegal immigrant without prejudice? Is there a specific look that would make someone “an illegal?” These are questions that hard-line immigration critics must answer and cities like D.C. don’t feel is worth wasting scarce resources on.

Opponents to Gray’s executive order cited similar arguments to those from conservative governors in the immigration fight. Kenneth Baumann, the chairman of the D.C. Fraternal Order of Police labor committee had a mouthful to say.

“Vince Gray right now is under such duress, he is willing to pander and fold to any group in order to take the scrutiny off himself,” said Baumann, as quoted in The Washington Post. “He has now decided to go out and jeopardize public safety. This is not about regular immigrants. This is about hard-core criminals and bad, bad guys,” he added.

Others noted the irony of the nation’s capital almost ignoring federal law. It wouldn’t be the first time, though, that actions related to the District were against a larger national narrative.

Despite any opposition, officials in Washington D.C. plan to move forward with their “equal treatment of all persons” they come in contact with. There is hope that offenders don’t see this as carte blanche to violate laws. However, D.C. is deciding it won’t be complicit in handling tasks reserved for federal officials.


  1. Why are these people pndering to the illegal aliens? Illegal aliens have NO RIGHT to be in this country.

    How's this for an idea? Make entering this country illegally a felony. Make the fine $2500 plus one year in Federal prison. Make this the same on overstayed VISAs. If drugs are involved, triple the fine. Then, apply this to all the illegal aliens in this country now. Leave or if you get caught, the fine will apply to them. Maybe, just maybe, this will take the place of a fence that is costly and doesn’t seem to work all that well. It may even cut down on the cost of deporting these illegal aliens. The other thing is this birthright citizenship. We MUST know through Congress or the Supreme Court if indeed a child born to an illegal alien is a U.S. citizen. I say they are not. If not, then, how do we REVOKE the birth certificates already issued. Boy, can you see the problems with this illegal immigration? Maybe Congress should allow states to enforce immigration laws, or at least a few of them. When is enough going to be enough? Tell me!

  2. It doesn’t seem to sink in to the majority of American minds, that illegal immigration is vastly encouraged by criminal business owners. A fence can only do so much, in holding illegal people desperate for a job; although this isn’t the majority of cases, because millions enter America to take advantage of US taxpayers and the welfare entitlement system. It seems quite acceptable that employers also bring in legal immigrant workers on H-1b visa’s, offering lower wages and fewer benefits that American job seekers expect. This is the avenue that companies are importing around a million immigrants a year legally. Taxpayers are forced by certain unfunded mandatory laws, to pay for the children’s schooling of illegal alien parents to k-12, free open house in the emergency rooms of hospitals for treatment. The illegal immigration invasion is getting worse and the cost rising from the $113 Billion dollar mark, as more cross the limited fencing at the border and the lies told to federal inspectors at airport entry. Incidentally there is no tracking mechanism once inside America, unlike Mexico or many other countries.

    Giving out $113 billion dollars annually is sheer madness and thanks to thousands of companies who invite this violation of our immigration laws, they are truly to blame for this growing population of non-status people and families. If I was a state prosecutor every business—large or small—that defies immigration laws, would initially be fined for each illegal hired, $25.000 dollars. The next offense $50.000, followed very closely be business asset confiscation and having more than one worker, two years in jail. But unlike most countries, where it is a felony for illegal entry, in our nation, you get deported; under President Obama’s watch today, you can walk away free. Women concealing their pregnancy are entering America by the thousands yearly, through our unsecured border and also arriving at international air terminals; bringing in their hidden fetus with no intention of returning and therefore adding to the massive expensive health care package thrown at taxpayers.

    Illegal Immigration has got so bad in states like California, Nevada, they have been designated as notorious—Sanctuary States. These states are overwhelmed by millions, but the Liberals ignore it, allowing them to access welfare. But by no means are they the only cities and other jurisdictions? Obama’s government must enforce our 1986 Control & Reform act, as this nation can no longer import the abject poverty or other countries. The Hermitage Foundation has the real statistics, which visa over-stays has raised to 49 percent.

    My blogs are now being banned unfortunately in the Liberal press, because the truth hurts and they prefer to offer e-newspaper readers propaganda or skirt around the issue. Many of the facts the public need to know, is to be found on the NUMBERSUSA website. Just type it into your browser search engine and learn about their commitment to American sovereignty. NumbersUSA and the TEA PARTY insistent on telling readers to contact the House Representative at the Congressional Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and bother them to sponsor the ‘Legal Workforce’ Act, specifically the ‘Ways and Means Committee, controlled by Majority Speak John Boehner (R-OH) to get his equal House Representatives and reluctant lawmakers and sponsor Bill H.R. 2885. This will end the national monopoly of illegal cheap labor and illegal aliens voting in 2012.

    We shouldn’t forget that that although most US citizens as voters attention is on the 2012 election, that this year a number of states are holding gubernatorial and state legislative elections. That many of the results in these individual states will determine if immigration policing and state enforcement is enacted in 2011. States directly affected are Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and West Virginia elect governors in 2011. In addition, 578 state legislative seats are available, with the majority of these in Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia where the fate of politicians are in the hands of voters.

    In voting precincts we must be truly on our guard and I hope that TEA PARTY members oversee the voting in all of these states? It’s very sad situation, when we cannot trust the election system anymore, because of the actions of organizations as ACORN. Should your state be holding an election this year, please study each candidate and then vote. Go to NumbersUSA for more details on what you can do to combat this illegal alien infection, and help stop it for good. ONLY CITIZENS HAVE THE VOTE, SO WATCH FOR VIOLATIONS OF THE LAW. IT MIGHT SAVE YOUR JOB AND MILLIONS OF OTHERS.

    Don’t STOP pushing for E-Verify to others, or it will never hinder Liberal propaganderists or others in both parties from derailing ‘The Legal Workforce Act’.