Biden's border conflict: Vows to deport felons while honoring sanctuary cities

Sanctuary cities shield felons from being arrested by ICE,

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Joe Biden at CNN Debate on Sunday.
Joe Biden speaks during the CNN Debate on Sunday.
(Mandel Ngan/Getty)
Last Updated:
March 17, 2020 - 2:27pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Former Vice President Joe Biden's leftward shift to appease the liberal wing of his party is beginning to create some conflicts.

Take for instance the dual promises on border security he made at Sunday's debate. He promised to deport illegal immigrants who have committed felonies while at the same time affirming he supports sanctuary cities, which do not turn over felons living illegally in the country to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

“In the first 100 days of my administration, no one, no one will be deported at all,” Biden said during the Democratic presidential debate on Sunday evening. "From that point on, the only deportations that will take place are commissions of felonies in the United States of America."

One of the moderators sought to clarify Biden’s position.

“Only felons get deported, and everyone else gets to stay,” the moderator said to Biden.

“Period, yes,” he replied.

Later in the debate, Biden was asked about his current position on sanctuary cities.

“Should undocumented immigrants arrested by local police be turned over to immigration officials?”

“No,” Biden replied.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) agreed with Biden’s position.

“One of the things that goes on when you have that process is that not only the psychological terror, and I have talked to these kids, kids are scared to death in America when they come from school that their mom or dad may not be there, may be deported,” Sanders said.  “What we need to do is to end, and I will end this on day one, the ICE raids that have been so harmful to so many people.” 

When jurisdictions such as sanctuary cities and counties “fail to honor an ICE detainer, it risks both public and officer safety, and unnecessarily expends ICE's already-limited resources,” according to a statement on the ICE website.

The agency explains that some local police departments “willfully decline ICE detainers and refuse to even provide timely notification to ICE of an alien's release” and felons living in the country illegally “are released into the community where they may potentially reoffend and harm members of the public.”

In a recent interview with Just the News, former acting ICE director Tom Homan called on sanctuary jurisdictions to allow ICE to access local jails and stop releasing criminals “every day to the street.” 

Homan said he’s “sick and tired of the left saying they [ICE] need to concentrate more on criminals” while localities refuse cooperation with ICE so they are unable to deport undocumented immigrants who commit crimes inside the country.

“If you want ICE to concentrate even more on criminals, then let us in the damn jail where your local and state law enforcement has chosen to lock [deportable alien offenders] in a jail cell because either they're a public safety threat or flight risk," said Homan. "There's a reason they arrest them and put them in a jail cell. All we're asking for is access to that jail cell." 

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