San Bernardino, CA
Immigrant rights activists joined religious leaders from the Inland Congregations United for Change at a press conference last Friday.
The gathering showed a united front in response to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement that he plans to withhold much-needed crime fighting funds from the City of San Bernardino because of the city’s stance on immigration.
The city applied for funding through the federal Public Safety Partnership (PSP) program. PSP is a training and technical assistance program designed to enhance the capacity of local jurisdictions to address violent crime in their communities. The City of San Bernardino has experienced a spike in violent crime in recent months.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has accused San Bernardino of being a Sanctuary City—it is not. The DOJ has also faulted the city for not cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement regarding requests to hold inmates scheduled for release for up to 48 hours, to give ICE time to arrange to pick them up—but the City of San Bernardino does not operate any jails. It appears the DOJ may need to go back to the drawing board on both these issues before it denies PSP funding to San Bernardino.
Among the nearly 75 individuals who attended the gathering on Friday, about ten were anti-immigration protesters—some carried American flags and many wore Trump attire, including “Make America Great Again” caps and “Trump” T-shirts.