Immigration and Customs Enforcement director Sarah Saldana acknowledged on Thursday that “sanctuary city” polices put federal immigration officers at risk, but she declined to support measures that would force local law enforcement agencies to scrap them.
“Does the sanctuary city program put your field personnel at more risk than they would be otherwise?” South Carolina Rep. Mick Mulvaneyasked the Obama appointee during a contentious House Oversight Committee hearing.
“Yes, having to go into a jurisdiction, into somebody’s home, when we could have gotten them at a local sheriff’s or police department, yes, it does put them at risk,” Saldana acknowledged.
Hundreds of cities and counties in the U.S. have the controversial laws, which prohibit local law enforcement agencies from cooperating with federal agencies in immigration cases. That means that the local agencies refuse to give ICE custody of illegal aliens that the federal agency wants to deport.