News Items

Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

Mayor Patti Garrett Speaks To Sanctuary City Allegations

Post Date:11/17/2017 9:19 AM
Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett

In October of this year, I had the privilege of attending the National League of Cities Educational Summit on Inclusion, Diversity and Equity as the Michael Lynch Scholarship award winner. Only days following the conclusion of that conference, the City of Decatur received its first letter from  Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle alleging that the city was in violation of the state of Georgia’s Sanctuary Policy Law.

As I reflect on the conference and our own City’s efforts to cultivate a diverse and inclusive community, I am perplexed and saddened that the Lt. Governor has chosen to characterize Decatur in this seemingly self-serving and inflammatory way, accusing Decatur of harboring dangerous criminals when he knows that is simply not true.

Lt. Governor Cagle’s allegations are not based in fact yet he continues to ignore our repeated attempts to clarify our Police Department’s policy and to correct his inaccuracies. 

The City of Decatur is not a sanctuary city. Had the Lt. Governor taken the time to talk with any of our city leaders prior to his interviews with local TV stations— where he questioned the actions of one of the best Police Departments in the State of Georgia — we could have discussed the policy matters at hand.

Instead, for reasons that seem both personally and politically motivated, he chose to forego having a direct conversation. He now stands by his own interpretations with little effort to verify their accuracy, such as awaiting guidance from the State Attorney General.

The Lt. Governor has demanded that the Decatur Police Department change a legally sound and compliant policy. He uses his campaign Facebook page to complain about the Decatur policy, while as  Lt. Governor, he has issued letters, given interviews, and made statements to use the power of his office to threaten Decatur with a loss of state funding unless it accepts his interpretation of the Sanctuary Policy Law and ignores one of the fundamental protections provided by the United States Bill of Rights. He has recently filed an official complaint as Lt. Governor with the Immigration and Enforcement Review Board. We are told that a hearing will be held in mid-January.

We are aware of a number of cities and counties in Georgia that have adopted similar, if not broader, immigrant status policies making this, if anything, a question of statewide significance. Our Police Department does not recall ever receiving a detainer request from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). We do not operate jail facilities to detain anyone, regardless of the law enforcement organization making such a request.

Lt. Governor Cagle owes Police Chief Mike Booker and the men and women of the Decatur Police Department an apology for implying his actions are rooted in their failure to uphold the law and for accusing Decatur officials of harboring dangerous criminals. Decatur’s police are committed to preventing crime, enforcing the law, and seeking justice within the boundaries of the constitutional standards they are sworn to uphold. The inflammatory language used by the Lt. Governor to describe the policy of the Decatur Police Department is insulting to the exceptionally well-qualified and dedicated officers and staff who work daily to assure the well-being, safety and security of our community and to treat all of our residents, business owners and visitors with honesty, integrity and respect.

Rather than leading the State of Georgia forward, the Lt. Governor has adopted a strategy that appears to manufacture fear, anger and scapegoating.  Not only are the charges false and misleading, they could very well damage Georgia’s bid for Amazon’s second headquarters, potentially one of the biggest economic development opportunities in the state’s history.

Instead, we welcome everyone – including the Lt. Governor – to join us in building a community based on hope and focused on a vibrant future that has room at the table for everyone who wants to contribute in a positive way. 


Policy, Letters and Press Releases 

Decatur City Attorney's Letter to State Auditor
City of Decatur Sanctuary Law Compliance Press Release
City of Decatur Immigration Compliance Press Release


News Articles Related to the Issue

State immigration board will hear complaint against city of Decatur in January
“And little city of Decatur, we kind of scratch our heads and are trying to figure that out. Is it just that he is picking on this small city and doesn't want to ...

Cagle: Decatur policy = "sanctuary city" - WXIA-TV

Dear Decaturish – Lt. Governor singing the same song with different verse
The second issue is the attack on the city of Decatur by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle who is seeking to withhold funding because the city adopted a policy of ...

Fight between Lt. Gov. Cagle, City of Decatur heats up - Sally Sears - Nov 06, 2017 16:46
DECATUR, GA (CBS46) - Lt. Governor Casey Cagle’s fight with the City of Decatur over immigration policy is heating up. We told you earlier that the state official is threatening...

Cagle threatens funding of Georgia city over immigration laws
All On Georgia - Chattooga County - Jeremy Spencer - Nov 08, 2017 06:23
Georgia Governor, is threatening the removal of funding to the City of Decatur over its application of Georgia’s immigration laws. The dispute is over if federal immigration officers (ICE...

Casey Cagle personally accuses Decatur of defying state immigration law
Atlanta Journal And Constitution - Jim Galloway - Nov 07, 2017 18:06
To call the city of Decatur the most liberal enclave in the most liberal county in Georgia requires no imagination. Or even exaggeration. Exactly one year ago...

WGCL-ATL (CBS), 09 Nov 2017 05:17 - CBS46 News at 5am
WGCL-ATL (CBS) - Nov 09, 2017 05:21
A controversy with the lieutenant governor and Decatur threatening to withhold funding over the handling of accused undocumented immigrants. In treating a -- introducing us to the agency overseeing the fight. Probably enforcing laws about parking...

Torpy at Large: The real reason Casey Cagle is on Decatur’s case - Nov 09, 2017 06:01
Lt. Governor Casey Cagle this week again tore into Decatur, alleging that the liberal bastion is a hideaway — no, more like a  sanctuary — for immigrants who have entered this country without...

WAGA-ATL (FOX), 29 Oct 2017 08:55 - Georgia Gang
WAGA-ATL (FOX) - Oct 29, 2017 09:02

“my winner is lieutenant governor Casey Cagle. he made some news this past by taking a shot at the city of Decatur. They're not honoring requesting from immigration control enforcement and homeland security when it comes to criminal illegal immigrants, some of them gang members.”

War of words - Horace Holloman - Nov 02, 2017 17:19
Lt. Governor Cagle issues warning to DecaturIn the battle of city versus state over “sanctuary cities,” Lt. Governor Casey Cagle threw another jab, issuing an ultimatum to Decatur.Cagle...

Lt. governor threatens to cut funding from Decatur - Sally Sears - Nov 03, 2017 17:29
ATLANTA (CBS46) - 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...

State Attorney General asked to review Decatur policy regarding immigration suspects
The state's Attorney General may weigh in on a standoff between Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and the city of Decatur over a policy regarding suspects facing...

Georgia Lt. Governor versus the city of Decatur 
FOX 5 Atlanta - Oct 25, 2017 23:20
DECATUR, Ga. - A top state official blasted the city of Decatur claiming officials are refusing to turn over illegal immigrants accused of committing serious crimes. Lieutenant Governor Casey...

Dear Decaturish – Rep. Oliver says Casey Cagle has made Decatur a campaign target - Oct 26, 2017 22:53
In the meantime, candidate Casey Cagle has decided that the City of Decatur will be a campaign target and enemy to assist him demonize undocumented immigrants. Casey Cagle’s allegations that...

Exclusive: ICE’s top official in Atlanta details enforcement priorities - Oct 17, 2017 16:41
officers. Since Trump was elected, three Georgia cities — Atlanta, Clarkston and Decatur — have adopted measures in favor of restricting their cooperation with ICE. Decatur, for example, adopted...

Decatur: ICE policy does not violate Georgia ‘sanctuary’ law 
Atlanta Journal And Constitution - Jeremy Redmon - Oct 11, 2017 13:43
Decatur is violating a state law prohibiting “sanctuary policies” through its newly written policy limiting cooperation with federal immigration authorities, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle charged in a...

Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle misleads in claim about homicides, sanctuary cities
Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle sat down with Channel 2's Craig Lucie to discuss whether City of Decatur is a sanctuary city in violation of state law.

Lt. Governor threatens city of Decatur's funding over perceived 'sanctuary' status
Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, who is running for governor, says he wants to cut off state funding to the city of Decatur for being a “sanctuary city.”.

Lt. Governor Threatens Decatur's Funding Over Perceived 'Sanctuary' Status
WABE 90.1 FM
Casey Cagle, who is running for governor, says he wants to cut off state funding to the city of Decatur for being a “sanctuary city.” Cagle said in a...

Decatur says Lt. Governor's claim over sanctuary cities left city blindsided
WSB Atlanta
DECATUR, Ga. - A message from Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle left leaders at the Decatur City Hall stunned Monday. Cagle said Decatur may be in direct...




Return to full list >>