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State immigration board will discuss complaint against Decatur on Wednesday

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State immigration board will discuss complaint against Decatur on Wednesday

Photo illustration obtained via https://www.ice.gov/

Photo illustration obtained via https://www.ice.gov/

The state’s Immigration Enforcement Review Board will hold a meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 15 and will discuss a complaint filed against the city of Decatur by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle.

Cagle filed the complaint on Nov. 6. Cagle has accused the city of Decatur of violating state law prohibiting “sanctuary cities” because of the city’s decision to put in writing a longstanding policy regarding cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The city said it does not detain immigrants without a valid warrant from ICE and never has. Officers who violate the policy could face disciplinary action.

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Cagle, the leading Republican candidate to replace Gov. Nathan Deal, is demanding the city amend that policy to specify that city police officers are not prohibited from communicating with federal authorities. The lieutenant governor is threatening to withhold state and federal money from the city over the policy. The city says its policy does not violate state law. The city also does not have a jail.

Decatur’s City Commission has refused to adopt “sanctuary city” status as other cities around the country have done. A resident requested the city do so at the Dec. 19, 2016 City Commission meeting. Mayor Patti Garrett said the city could not do this, citing state law. The City Commission received a similar request during public comments at a meeting in February and Garrett reiterated the city’s position, saying that the city would be at risk of losing state funds if it adopted a “sanctuary city” policy.

D.A. King, founder of the Dustin Inman Society, has filed the majority of the complaints with the Immigration Enforcement Review Board. The group is known for taking hard line stances against people who violate immigration laws. The group’s founder said Decatur isn’t violating state sanctuary law, even though he doesn’t personally approve of the city’s policy.

The Immigration Enforcement Review Board’s chair, Shawn Hanleycriticized Decatur’s policy in an interview with the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Two of the board’s members are appointed by Cagle.

The board meeting will start at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15 in room 506 of the Coverdell Legislative Office Building, located at 18 Capitol Square SW, Atlanta, GA 30334.

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