Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms on Thursday signed an executive order for transferring all remaining U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees out of the city jail and declaring that Atlanta will no longer hold anyone for the federal agency.
The Democratic mayor’s move follows a separate executive order from June that blocked the jail from taking in any new ICE detainees amid enforcement of the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy on the southwest border, which split up many immigrant families. Bottoms has vigorously objected to that federal policy.
“Atlanta will no longer be complicit in a policy that intentionally inflicts misery on a vulnerable population without giving any thought to the horrific fallout,” Bottoms told reporters moments before signing her executive order. “As the birthplace of the civil rights movement we are called to be better than this.”
Secretary of State Brian Kemp, Georgia’s Republican nominee for governor, criticized the mayor’s move in a statement he released Thursday afternoon.
“The City of Atlanta should focus on cleaning up corruption and stopping crime — not creating more of it,” he said.
So….how about it Atlanta…what say you about her oath of office?
ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING; OATH OF OFFICE; MANDATORY TRAINING.(As taken from the Atlanta City Code of Ordinances)Section 2-301.-Organizational meeting; oath of office; mandatory training.(a) Organizational meeting.The council shall meet for organization in the council chamber, or anyother designated public place, on the first Monday in January following each regular election, or, if such Monday is a legal holiday, then on the next following day not a legal holiday.(b) Oath of office.At such organizational meeting, the mayor, president of the council, andcouncil members shall take and subscribe before a judge of the superior court, or any official authorized to administer oaths, the following oath of office: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the [mayor, president of the council, council member] City Council of the City of Atlanta, Georgia. I will not knowingly permit my vote to be influenced by fear, favor, affection, or reward, and in all things pertaining to my office. I will be governed by the public goodand the interests of the City. I will observe the provisions of the Charter, ordinances, and regulations of the City of Atlanta, and I will support and defend the Constitutions of the State of Georgia and the United States of America. I am not the holder of any office of trust under the government of the United States, any other state, or any foreign state which I am prohibited from holding by the laws of the State of Georgia; I am not the holder of any unaccounted-for public money due this state or anypolitical subdivision or authority thereof; I have been a resident of the City of Atlanta [and Council District] and am otherwise qualified to hold this office by the Constitution and laws of this State and the Charter and ordinances of the City of Atlanta, so help me God.” More here.
WASHINGTON – Law enforcement officials from the United States and the United Kingdom wrapped up Friday a “week of action” during which they conducted outreach at major international airports with the goal of education about and prevention of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). This outreach, called “Operation Limelight”, was conducted at four international airports in the U.S.—John F. Kennedy International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and Los Angeles International Airport—and at Heathrow Airport and train stations throughout the UK.
On August 30, law enforcement from the two nations also gathered at the U.S. embassy in London to sign a proclamation affirming their commitment to end the practice of FGM/C in both countries and around the world. The proclamation reads, in part:
“Female genital mutilation/cutting is a global issue that transcends our borders. FGM/C is a culturally-based, gender-specific form of violence and when performed on girls under the age of 18, it is child abuse. The top priorities of the U.K. and U.S. are safeguarding girls through prevention, multi-agency partnership and education. These efforts require that we learn and share our experiences and cooperate through both our informal and formal engagements. Through existing police to police and mutual assistance agreements and arrangements, the U.S. and U.K. law enforcement intend to share intelligence to enhance our knowledge of, and response to female genital mutilation. This collaboration seeks to build our intelligence capacity to identify those involved in perpetrating or facilitating FGM/C offences whilst safeguarding potential victims.”
Signatories of the proclamation include representatives from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, London Metropolitan Police Service, UK National Police Chiefs Council, UK Border Force, UK Crown Prosecution Service, and British Transport Police.
“Our agency is committed to pursuing those who commit or allow female genital mutilation. Through outreach and investigations, we will work to eradicate this form of abuse,” said Louis A. Rodi, III, Deputy Assistant Director, National Security Investigation Division, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations. “We value our partnerships with UK law enforcement as well as with other U.S. federal agencies, including the FBI and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. This collaboration strengthens our resolve to carry out this important work to protect women and girls and investigate crimes against them.”
“FGM is a barbaric and violent crime enacted on girls who suffer the results for the rest of their lives. It is child abuse, and no religion, culture or tradition should be allowed to mitigate or make an excuse for such appalling crimes. It is even more traumatic because it is generally committed or facilitated by their families who they should look to for love and protection,” said United Kingdom’s National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead on Female Genital Mutilation Commander Ivan Balhatchet. “FGM is hugely complex to investigate and prosecute. Frequently, the survivor is unwilling to give evidence against those closest to them, and some cases of FGM occur prior to the arrival of the survivor in the UK.
Belhatchet continued, “the US shares the same goal but also the same challenges. This proclamation will mean both the UK and US learn more about FGM, the routes taken by perpetrators and when and where it is committed; this is particularly important because we know that perpetrators continue to adapt to evade detection. We also want this agreement and our joint operation to send a signal to those planning to commit FGM that we will do everything we can to protect girls and prosecute offenders.
“FGM is not something we can eradicate alone. We need everyone who works with children and young people to be alert to signs of FGM and tell [law enforcement] about them. We also need the public and other support groups to speak out and share information with us.”
For more information about the practice of female genital mutilation/cutting, view this video from the U.S. Department of State or visit the United Nations’ Zero Tolerance Day website.
Female genital mutilation/cutting is a federal crime in the United States, and any involvement in committing this crime is a serious human rights violation which may result in imprisonment and potential removal from the U.S. Individuals suspected of female genital mutilation/cutting, including sending girls overseas to be cut, may be investigated by the Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (HRVWCC) and prosecuted accordingly.
Established in 2009, the HRVWCC furthers ICE’s efforts to identify, locate and prosecute human rights abusers in the United States, including those who are known or suspected to have participated in persecution, war crimes, genocide, torture, extrajudicial killings, FGM/C, and the use or recruitment of child soldiers. The HRVWCC leverages the expertise of a select group of agents, lawyers, intelligence and research specialists, historians and analysts who direct the agency’s broader enforcement efforts against these offenders.
Since 2003, ICE has arrested more than 410 individuals for human rights-related violations of the law under various criminal and/or immigration statutes. During that same period, ICE obtained deportation orders against and physically removed 908 known or suspected human rights violators from the United States. Additionally, ICE has facilitated the departure of an additional 122 such individuals from the United States.
Currently, ICE has more than 135 active investigations into suspected human rights violators and is pursuing more than 1,750 leads and removals cases involving suspected human rights violators from 95 different countries. Since 2003, the HRVWCC has issued more than 75,000 lookouts for individuals from more than 110 countries and stopped over 260 human rights violators and war crimes suspects from entering the U.S.