Bobby Jindal Says Sanctuary City Mayors Should Be Arrested

"Come and get me," one mayor responds.
Dominick Reuter / Reuters

If it were up to GOP presidential candidate Bobby Jindal, mayors of "sanctuary cities" would all be arrested and sued.

In an interview with Boston Herald Radio on Monday, the Louisiana governor took a firm stance against those cities and counties that refuse to fully cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

"I would hold them as an accomplice, make them criminally culpable. I’d also make them civilly liable so that families -- victims' families -- could sue," Jindal said, alluding to a previously deported felon who was charged with the murder of Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco last month. The incident has been a major talking point among Republicans targeting immigration policy.

"Especially if the prosecutors aren’t taking action or the mayor’s not changing their ways, I’d allow the families to go to court to sue them civilly as well to recover damages,” he continued.

There are a wide range of ways in which jurisdictions deal with ICE, ranging from those that comply completely to those where city employees are barred from questioning people about their immigration status and where the use of municipal resources cannot be used to enforce immigration law. When HuffPost asked Jindal's campaign which definition the candidate is using when he refers to sanctuary cities, it directed us to this map.

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush also spoke out against sanctuary cities on Monday and called for police to become more involved in enforcing immigration laws.

Joseph Curtatone, mayor of the sanctuary city Somerville, Massachusetts, joined Boston Herald Radio after Jindal's segment and brushed off the comments as an attention-seeking tactic.

"You say something absurd, you fearmonger, you play to the crowd, you try to create the crowd and the mob -- and we’re smarter than that," Curtatone said. "We're better than that. To say a blanket statement that sanctuary cities in and of itself spur someone to commit a heinous crime is really offensive. And his proposal to arrest mayors? Well, come and get me. Come and get me, I’m right here."

He added that he would have handled the Steinle case differently and that it's unfair to use it as an example for the case against sanctuary cities.

"Some of us have been sanctuary cities now for almost 30 years, and some of what we've seen over that time period ... is a growing respect and trust with every segment of our community," he said, adding later, "Unfortunately that terrible incident [in San Francisco] is being used to describe an entire population, and it's being used by people like Bobby Jindal who say the most absurd, offensive things against one segment of the population."

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