The Lieutenant Governor threatened to cut state funding if Decatur didn't obey every request from immigration officers to detain non-citizens who were suspected of crimes in Decatur.
He gave the city two weeks to agree. The deadline was Thursday, November 2.
"We will turn over anyone with a judicial warrant. But we don't turn over anyone with just an ice administrative requests," said Mayor Patti Garrett.
Part of the fight is words. A warrant signed by a judge is not the same as a detainer, which Decatur calls a request. Irrelevant, Cagle told CBS46 reporter Sally Sears by phone from Athens where he is campaigning as the front runner to be Georgia's next Governor.
"When a detainer has been issued by our federal partners, we want to make certain local law enforcement is partnering, and Decatur is not an exception," said Cagle.
Decatur city commissioners say other governments have the same policy. Yes to a warrant signed by someone other than an ICE official, no to a detainer request. Tony Powers sees this as an attack on a liberal city by a conservative state official.
"Why not Atlanta, why not Dekalb, Clayton County, Clarkston," said Powers. "Those are questions percolating through fellow commissioners heads.I think Decatur is clearly pushing an agenda here. They detain people all the time."
State Senator Elena Parent is asking State Attorney General Chris Carr for a legal opinion. She agrees this is a political fight.
"Suggests that Decatur is harboring illegal criminals, nothing true about that whatsoever," said Parent.
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