Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Assembly Work Session on Anti-Sanctuary Ordinance

[1:42 pm. The meeting is over, the subcommittee voted to recommend not passing this ordinance. This is a very rough live blog that was updated now and again during the meeting. I will try to clean it up later today.]

Live Blogging Assembly Work Session
Assembly Work Session on Local Enforcement and Anti-Sanctuary

Assemblymember Matt Claman opened the meeting at 12noon. Assembly member Paul Bauer is making a presentation with power point. The first slide was a set of pictures on Al Queda people who entered the US illegally.

Now a list of defininitions - illegal immigration
Qualified Alien - definition - lawfully permitted ....
Alien who has been battered or subject to extreme cruelty

Reasons for Illegal Immigration
War, reunite families, prostitution

Illegal Immigration is NOT victimless crime

Misdemeanor vs. Felony
sedond and subsequent times becomes felony

Recognize concerns about profiling. 50% of illegals are of Mexican origin and 24% are of non-Mexican South America

Gateway states - California, Washington, Oregon - laws that allow immigrants to come
Cal 2.83 million, Wash - 280,00, Oregon Sanctuary State, as is Alaska - because of Anti Patriot act resolution

Health Costs to US - people get health benefits but tax payers pick up the burden, and they spread diseases long ago wiped out in US

Mexico's defense of illegal immigrants - 20 Billion dollars to Mexico - they will not enforce their borders, release valve for them

Alaska Justice Center numbers - estimate 7-10,000 in AK

12:25 - Bauer finishing up his presentation - talking about the ordinance he is introducing
Where people indicate he is not a citizen, ...

Official Use of Individual Immigration Status Information - federal rules, no one can be prohibited

If we pass this we just say you come to agreement with homeland security. This does not preempt our laws.

12:36pm Continued live coverage Municipal Attorney says he does not think the ordinance is unconstitutional. Though there is something that could raise questions about separation of powers. The assembly makes law and the administration implements them. We are not sure the assembly can tell the administration what it must do is a potential problem.


Claman -whether the resolution turned Anchorage into a Sanctuary City?
Attorney: Not exactly sure what the popular press means when it uses the word Sanctuary City. But based on the legal research, this did not make law. This resolution did not change the legal environment of the municipality of anchorage.

[I'm learning how to do this - taking pictures, trying to upload, etc. The Library wifi is slow, so bear with me]

12:00 Matt Claman opening the meeting
Bauer will present first, then others

Teshe - I appreciate Mr. Bauer’s presentation, I’d like a copy of the slides.
I would like to make a statement at the end. There are a number of people here who want to address this. Thank you to Mr. Bauer for his presentation.

Claman: Only question. Dr. Selkregg? I handed out a copy of the Muni Attorney’s memorandum. The Question I had that is based on the 2003 statement that Anchorage is a sanctuary city. A resolution is an opinion and does not have affect of a law. Hard to understand how that changed us to a sanctuary city?

Bauer: since this became a big issue, cities have made themselves sanctuary cities. The state started in in May and in July the city did. The situation growing so much, the Congressional Research Service, when they asked about enforcing immigration law, a list of cities that they called sanctuary.

Claman: Did you write the ordinance yourself?

Bauer: I’m not a lawyer, it comes from a public interest group attorneys that used this as a model. This is very minor compared to what is out there.

Claman: Is the group you are discussing the Immigration Law Insittute?
The next person I’ve asked to make a presentation is the Municipal Attorney

M. Attorney:

Selkregg - Question about outcome of the law. Could you explore that with us? I think it’s a critical issue.

Attorney- Footnote 2 - refer to CRS report. Katie, Texas - even though a law may be permissable on its face, sometimes laws are extremely difficult to apply in the field on a day to day basis. The expeirences that happen in the field attract law suits. Racial discrimination suits, wrongful arrest, defamation. I think about APD and have no questions they won’t try to carry out the law impeccably. This kind of law regularly attract constitutional claims about the way they are applied.

Selkregg - I’d like to know more about what is happening in other cities as the outcomes of this kind of law. Laws may look like ok, but the actual impact may be bad - such as laws that affect who can vote.
Selkregg - concerned that Bauer said not everyone would be asked about their citizenship
Bauer - In your view - how do you view the ordinance yourself? What do you think it means. Ms. Selkregg says its the end of the world, we'll get all sorts of law suits
Attrny: We haven't said it unconstitutiona. By and large, it passes muster. It imposes some responsibilities on APD.
Bauer: Specifically/
Attrny: ob - responsibility to ask about citizenship of detained person; cooperate with federal forces. We've said there is nothing on the face of that that is unconstitutiona. It requres APD to enter a cooperative agreement with Homeland Security. But we did say there was a separation of powers.
Claman: Sorry you had your three questions, lots of other people, I may have to limit questions

added 1:13pm
Municipal Prosecutor: Some concerns about how this will affect our office. Similar to concerns APD has. Law enforcement needs to have close ties to community to do its job. These are the people we protect. They are also important sources of information, which we need as evidence to prove our cases. AT times this is hard to get, no one wants to talk to the cops. This requirement to enquire about people’s immigration status, it would deter immigrants from coming forward to cooperate with police to solve crimes. Concerns about domestic violence victims not filing because of concerns about their immigration status or their batterer will no longer be their sponsor. I should note there are special provisions for specific types of visas for victims of domestic violence under federal policy. Important to place emphasis on protecting victims of domestic violence. Anything that could deter immigrants from reporting domestic violence concerns me.

Finally, effect on workload in my office. We are source of information on legal matters for APD. Prosecutors take a lot of calls when they are off duty about legal questions and providing advice to police - we will be their primary source of advice. Very complex body of law.

Committee Questions:?
Bauer: Position of prosecutors office, because of close ties of APD to community, that we should neglect helping out and enforcing illegal aliens in the community. You did hear illegals cause a burden to the community.
Prosecutor: I’m expressing concern about enforcing laws.
Claman - we have four more people have to stop already one pm.

Rocky Heun, Chief of Police: Willingness to answer questions. Police will always fall back on probably cause and ????. No matter how law shakes out, we’ll continue doing, what we do right now. To investigate and enforce the law. We will make a traffic stop, for instance. If a person doesn’t have a drivers license, then we start talking. Attena go up. Check to see if they really have one, and talk to see if we have enough probable cause to detain them. We contact ICE, we have a functional relationship. ICE will give us advice - take guidance from ICE if we have probable cause to believe that someone is an illegal immigrant.
Scope of the problem as we know it. Mr. Bauer and I contacted ICE and we couldn’t get the scope of the problem. I went back to the APD files:
Arrests 2005 total of 6 2006, 7, this year 5. Total 18
We made total of 15,000 in 05 this year 10,750

APD arrests of illegals 42,817 chargeable offenses , we had 18 illegals. That doesn’t mean there are illegals we aren’t in contact with. Office of Detention and removal of ICE regularly check the jails to see if there is anyone there to be remanded. I don’t know those numbers so I’m interested in the FOIA request that Bauer has filed.

Tesche: Do you have statistics about violent crimes committed by illegals that hasn’t been made public?

Heun: I don’t have that, but I can get back to you.

Tesche: I want to test the proposition that there is a crime wave by illegals.

Bauer: One question. In your contacts what were circumstances of arrests that led APD to make contact with these folks.
Heun: Most were traffic stops, based on our suspicion
Bauer: Why dig further?
Heun: Not having a drivers license, you engage in conversation that leads to things.
Selkregg: I know you’ve been working with the immigrant community, if we pass this proposal, how will it affect our relationships.
Heun: Intl. Associ. Of Chiefs of Police have guidelines. This is a concern. Always a concern when any element in the community perceives itself to be isolated from the police.
Claman: Immigration Justice Project
Robin Bronin, Alaska Immigration Justice Project

Robin Bronin, Alaska Immigration Justice Project
….Congress has been creating legislation to help immigrants come forward, especially those who have failed to get their documents because a spouse has been abusing them.
Claman: We would like copies of both documents.
Bauer: Do you now or have you ever harbored or supported illegal immigrants and if you did would you give us numbers and could you help us develop our statistics?
Bronin: I don’t have that information 1:17

Bridge Builders, Angelina ????: Sent email to all members of assembly, that board members of BB have passed a resolution against this ordinance. Our member come from various ethnic communities of Anchorage. We want Anchorage to become the first city without prejudice. This ordinance would be harmful to our goal.
We work with the police and ASD hoping that Anchorage will serve as a cultural mecca, that people will value the diversity of Anchorage. Distressed with the anti-immigration sentiments on blogs and media that this ordinance has generated.

Bauer: Hi Angelina. One question. As the ordinance is drafted…. What fear do you see that legal immigrants would have?

Angelina: Who would be asked - profiling? Would people with dark skin or an accent be asked but not others?

Bauer: I agree with you. And the ordinance does have things that get that through. The presentation prior stated statistics… in no way can you get away about illegal immigrants.

Angelina: We believe in equal respect for all people here.

Selkregg: Have you asked UAA and hospitals about this?
Angelina: We work with them but haven’t asked

Fed. Employee, attorney, : I’ve been an attorney in Professor at West Point, Dept. Of Law. But today only talking on behalf of myself.

Dept. Of Defense has a significant number of illegal immigrants fighting in Iraq. We do grant postumas citizenship to those who die in combat

I’m a registered Republican and conservative who lives on the hillside.

Sanctuary City term is not a legal term. It is basically a talk radio and blog term. The slide show had lots of errors. All the Al Queda entered country legally.

Ordinance offered by people with no practical experience with immigration law. It is ideological experiment. Not a problem in Alaska. We are a guinea pig for this organization. They are very proud Bauer has introduced this here in Anchorage and brag about it on their website.

This generally causes people who are not a problem to be reported. Hard to determine who is or is not a citizen. I’ve had people walk into my office who said they were illegal aliens and after 45 minutes I told them they were citizens. And vice versa. Very had to figure out if someone is illegal alien. Run the name through the data base, but the data base is full of errors. Rep. ???, ran her new attorney’s name through the data base and found she was listed as illegal. She’s not.

Cost Benefit - lawsuits happen, expensive, go on for years, ordinances get struck down. Facing millions of dollars in attorney’s fees. The institute doesn’t pay the attorney fees for legislation they foist on them.

It requires checking anyone who is not a citizen.

Bauer: It’s 1:30 this meeting is over.

Claman: We started 6 minutes late, so we will go six more minutes.

Tesche: I don’t know enough about immigration law to ask a question.
Johnson: C/B analysis - Bauer says he wants it passed because it will create fear. And attached link
Bauer: You need to get your facts straight.
Claman: We’ll resolve that off the record.
Bauer: I have a lot of questions. You have impeccable qualifications. I did training at West POint ROTC. Millions of dollars of lawsuits.
???: Not this one, this one hasn’t been tested.
Bauer: Thank you. This is a totally different ordinacne.
???: Yes, we’re a guinnea pig they got you to file
Bauer: They didn’t get me. I chose on my own there were two models and I DID NOT chose number 2.
Claman: Close public hearing. Subcommittee ready to make recommendation?
Tesche: I would incorporate all the comments on the record and propose a do not pass.
Johnson: I listened to everyone and have had calls. I felt all along, to be honest, that the resolution of 2003 was non-binding. I have to say I do not feel this is a Mu;nicipal Issue and I’m not comfortable tying up MOA resources and support do not pass.
Claman: As chair. I don’t get past the sanctuary city analsysis. It’s an expression of opinion and they are valuable and they differ. It is not binding on what we do. I can’t get to the point of sanctuary city. Also recommend do not pass.

The attorney name is Margaret Stock.

The meeting is over. I’ll post this then try to clean it up and add stuff later. 1:10pm


  1. Helluva a job, Steve! Looking forward to your analysis.

  2. Hi Steve and fellow blogger...

    Great work! It was good to see you there and your laptop.

    I'll add a link to your blog from mine.

    Hint: I saw you on Monday night at the Museum :)

  3. Independent Alaskan, There were several people who were at both events.

    Your blog is looking good, and you reminded me I left out one of the most interesting parts - the mysterious email that Margaret Stock produced from Paul Bauer that he accused her of being totally wrong about and that Matt Claman said they'd take care of later. It would be interesting to see what it said and who wrote it if not Paul Bauer.


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