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Sheriff Mark Garber says Lafayette is not a sanctuary city

Posted at 11:15 PM, Apr 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-23 00:15:20-04

Lafayette Sheriff Mark Garber is responding to questions about Lafayette being a sanctuary city.

“We are not a sanctuary city, so the people of this parish need not fear that if that plan is implemented, there would be no reason for the federal government to send people here,” Garber said.

Garber said his office has been bombarded with phone calls after a recent immigration idea was floated by President Trump.

Garber says neither Lafayette Parish nor any municipality in the parish is classified as a “sanctuary city.” He says his administration doesn’t plan on having that change.

“California is certainly always saying we want more people, and they want more people in their sanctuary cities. Well, we’ll give them more people. We can give them a lot. We can give them an unlimited supply,” President Trump said in a news conference.

Ever since President Trump said that in a recent speech and posted a tweet about immigration and sanctuary cities, the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office has received an influx of calls about the parish.

“Ever since I took office, we have not been a sanctuary city. I changed the policies. We work with ICE. ICE comes and goes from our jail freely, and they take custody of suspected illegals,” Garber said.

Garber said before he took office, Lafayette was considered a sanctuary city by Center for Immigration Studies, a think tank not affiliated with the federal government.

Garber says the difference between a sanctuary and a non-sanctuary is the willingness to work with ICE.

“One-hundred percent of the time, under this administration, ICE has come and picked up every suspected illegal immigrant. They’ve come on the weekends. They’ve come at night. They have full access to the jail. We cooperate fully with our federal partners in combating illegal immigration,” Garber said.

Garber says parish residents shouldn’t worry about President Trump’s statements.

“I sat down with ICE, literally face to face, and said, ‘I want you people to come and pick up these suspected illegal immigrants from my jail within 48 hours like things are supposed to work,” Garber said. “The system is working like it’s supposed to work. Local government and federal government are working together and we are taking care of this problem.”

Garber said he and his administration will continue to enforce immigration laws within the parish.