“I don’t want to de-fund (a) state or city. But if they’re going to have sanctuary cities we may have to do that – certainly that would be a weapon. ~President Donald Trump
It has been said we are a nation of laws and laws must be followed to insure an orderly society. That’s the ideal upon which America was established. But today laws of the land are frequently ignored.
Example: despite a federal law against possession of marijuana nearly 30 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana in some form. The feds appear to have given up trying to enforce the federal law except in cases where massive amounts of weed are involved.
Example: dozens of locations across the country have refused to help enforce the federal law to deport illegal immigrants who have been either convicted or charged with crimes. The Department of Homeland Security has made the law clear: every jurisdiction should alert the closest Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents when an undocumented alien is being held or is about to be released from custody. Deportation is the next step.
This was the stated procedure under the Obama administration — which ignored so-called Sanctuary Cities’ non-compliance — and continues under President Trump’s watch. The difference being, Mr. Trump is in no mood to ignore anything.
It is difficult to decipher exactly how many jurisdictions have said no to the feds on this. Some places waffle on their policy and some deliberately keep their non-cooperative intentions quiet. But at last count more than 200 cities and counties in 32 states have declared they are a sanctuary city and will not cooperate with ICE.
Many sanctuary city citizens fervently believe humanitarian motives should replace suspicion of immigrants, that foreigners are essential to our melting pot economy. And local law enforcement officials insist they a.) Don’t have the money or manpower to help ICE do its job and b.) They fear a backlash when trying to solve crimes in their minority communities where eyewitnesses or informants will shut down if local law enforcement is seen as working with ICE.
But one cannot help but be shocked after reading the new weekly list President Trump ordered outlining crimes committed by illegal immigrants and those jurisdiction that failed to honor an ICE detention requests.
No perpetrator names are mentioned but many of the listed crimes are serious: homicide, rape, domestic violence, arson, aggravated assault, burglary, gun and dangerous drug possession, identity theft/forgery and many DUI convictions. Most of those arrested came from Mexico and other Central American countries. Others here in the U.S. illegally came from as far away as Brazil, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Venezuela and Tonga.
Without local cooperation with the feds convicted criminals, in this country illegally, will simply be allowed to leave lockup after they’ve served their time. They weren’t legal when they were arrested and they aren’t legal now. Is this okay with you?
Realize that in 2015, for example, 19,723 foreign born convicts were allowed to remain here, many not accepted back by the country of their birth, so they simply stayed in the U.S.. That group then accounted for more than 64,000 additional crimes – including 800 robberies, 614 sex offenses, 216 kidnappings and 196 murders. There is something wrong with this picture.
A showdown with Washington nears. “No more funding. We will end the sanctuary cities that have resulted in so many needless deaths,” President Trump has vowed. “Cities that refuse to cooperate with federal authorities will not receive taxpayer dollars.”
Last month Trump signed an executive order declaring sanctuary jurisdictions are no longer “eligible to receive federal grants, except … for law enforcement purposes.” That could mean a loss of billions of dollars to those locations but so far almost none are budging from their sanctuary stance.
Can a president legally withhold funds? Court challenges have already been filed and there will surely be howls of protest from Congress about being left out of the process. Some insist the president’s idea is unconstitutional. Indeed, in 1997, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the feds cannot command a state to “administer or enforce federal … laws and regulations.”
This situation is so reminiscent of the marijuana debate. The federal government sticking to its old ways, unable to come up with a creative or diplomatic solution to a modern day circumstance. An authority can easily stare down two or three adversaries but more than 200 jurisdictions in 32 states determined to buck Washington? Given all that opposition and the shaky legal standing all I can say is, good luck with following through on that threat, Mr. President.