Tags: Immigration | mitch landrieu | white house | mayors | sanctuary cities

Landrieu: WH 'Decided to Drop a Bomb' on Mayors Over Sanctuary Cities

Landrieu: WH 'Decided to Drop a Bomb' on Mayors Over Sanctuary Cities
(Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 25 January 2018 12:10 PM

Mitch Landrieu, the mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana, said that an announcement about sanctuary cities by the Justice Department ahead of a meeting with a conference of U.S. mayors was "very troubling."

"It was really weird. I'm in Washington, D.C., right now with the nation's mayors at our annual leadership meeting, and we had been negotiating with the White House for a couple of days, and ostensibly, it was about infrastructure, it was about jobs, it was about the whole plethora of issues mayors are concerned about. About, I don't know, an hour before we were going to go into what we thought was going to be a constructive discussion, the White House and the Department of Justice decided to drop a bomb on 23 mayors, some of whom were supposed to be in that meeting, about a subject that we weren't supposed to talk about that, of course, you know, is very volatile and has been part of the immigration debate," Landrieu, the president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, said Thursday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

The Justice Department on Wednesday issued a warning that so-called sanctuary cities could be legally forced to prove that they are cooperating with federal immigration authorities. That move led to the conference canceling the meeting with Trump.

"First of all, if Congress and the president would do their job and get comprehensive immigration reform done, the mayors would not be in the middle of this. Secondly, the White House has had a very difficult time having a constructive and transparent and reasonable discussion with anybody about anything," Landrieu said.

"And thirdly, it's just bad manners to invite somebody for lunch to have a discussion about one thing, and smack them over the head before they walk in the door."

Landrieu added that the meeting would have been "destructive."

"It was wiser for that meeting to take place at another time.

"We viewed this as a stunt," he said about the reaction of the mayors' group.

The mayor said that cities work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) all the time and it's unclear what actions the administration wants cities to take about sanctuary cities.

"The attorney general himself cannot define what a sanctuary city is, so they keep moving the ball. And by the way, everything they've asked for, cities have done… if the attorney general and Homeland Security would put a definition down on the paper, we can actually help them," Landrieu said.

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Mitch Landrieu, the mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana, said that an announcement about sanctuary cities by the Justice Department ahead of a meeting with a conference of U.S. mayors was "very troubling."
mitch landrieu, white house, mayors, sanctuary cities
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2018-10-25
Thursday, 25 January 2018 12:10 PM
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