There can be no better investment in our future than our children. Our families are the backbone of our city. When we are intentional about the bonds with the children in our community, we all move forward. It’s about we. #CityOfYes pic.twitter.com/y1kuStbUwG— Mayor LaToya Cantrell (@mayorcantrell) June 18, 2018
I'm especially curious what it might mean to be "intentional about the bonds with the children" since she tweeted this at the same time that Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen were at the Convention Center endorsing the Trump Administration's policy of intentionally separating children from their families and putting them into cages.
Speaking at the opening session of the National Sheriff's Association annual conference, Sessions suggested that people entering the country illegally are endangering children in order to avoid prosecution.Meanwhile, outside, "at least 5 people were detained" as a group of protesters confronted sheriff's deputies who may or may not have been 1) on duty or 2) within their own jurisdiction.
“We cannot and will not encourage people to bring their children, or other children, to the country unlawfully by giving them immunity in the process,” Sessions said.
The attorney general also said that if the country builds a border wall and passes legislation to close some "loopholes," then "we won't face these terrible choices."
The sheriff’s association gave Sessions a lifetime achievement award before his speech, garnering a standing ovation from the crowd at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.
At least five people were detained outside the convention hall Monday morning. Deputies from the St. Charles Parish and St. John the Baptist Parish sheriff’s offices, who were in attendance at the conference, were seen physically restraining protesters.Some of the protesters were spotted getting intentionally kneed in the back. Others were intentionally run over by a truck. I don't know if anyone has asked the mayor for comment yet. But, in light of her concerns about "the bonds with the children in our community," somebody probably should.
Specifically, they should ask her whether or not her office's attitude toward immigration policy differs at all from Mitch Landrieu's. Recall that just six months ago Sessions met with Mitch and Police Chief Michael Harrison to discuss city's practice of sharing information with federal enforcement entities such as ICE. Sessions came away from that meeting pleased with what he had learned.
"We are pleased that the attorney general and Senator Kennedy have come around to agreeing with the point we have made all along -- New Orleans is not a 'sanctuary city' and the NOPD's policies have maintained consistent compliance ..." Landrieu said in a statement.Over the course of the last few years, we also learned that Mitch and Harrison used tools like Palantir, private security firms like Trident Response Group, and a network of surveillance cameras wired in to a 24 hour monitoring center to collect and analyze data which, again, according to Jeff Sessions, they were obviously willing to share with federal enforcement agencies.
Asked for comment after the meeting, Sessions' office issued a statement saying New Orleans "has committed to sharing information with federal law enforcement authorities ..."
Recently, our new mayor along with members of the city council announced a major expansion of that surveillance apparatus involving a highly questionable partnership with yet another unaccountalbe private contractor. They were very intentional about it.
“Any assistance I can provide from this position I am in, y’all can count me in,” said Banks, who began his first term on the council earlier this month.Today, Willliams co-signed a largely symbolic City Council resolution condemning Sessions's "zero tolerance" immigration policy.
(Jason) Williams, who is in his second term, added, “It’s not whether we can afford to do it. It’s that we can’t afford not do it.”
A focal point of the partnership’s $1 million first phase involves plans by Bryan Lagarde’s ProjectNOLA group to install more than 300 street-facing surveillance cameras on places of worship and congregation members’ homes in neighborhoods such as the 7th Ward, Gert Town and Central City, all of which are plagued by drugs and violence.
"I will continue to publicly condemn the Trump administration and Attorney General Jeff Sessions' enforcement of their new immigration policy to separate families," said Council President Jason Williams. "Forcibly separating children from parents as a matter of course is inhumane and unnecessary, and as an African American and a descendant of American slaves, this policy is evocative of some of darkest days in this countries young history. This policy is truly self-inflicted wound, and like many we have seen from the current administration, is antithetical to American values and basic humanity."That sounds pretty good. But if he's making these statements at the same time he is supporting a dangerous surveillance network that feeds the very beast he's performatively railing against, what do those words really mean? What does it mean to be "intentional" about protecting families when those intentions don't match up with your actual policy decisions?