Donald Trump built his presidential campaign around tough talk of securing the border and deporting illegal immigrants already in the United States. But mayors and police chiefs from around the country are promising to defy the new president by continuing to provide “sanctuary,” an exemption from federal law for lawbreakers.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Barack Obama’s former chief of staff, affirmed his city will continue to prohibit government workers and police from asking locals about their immigration status.
“Chicago will always be a sanctuary city,” he boasted.
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray sounded a similar note, saying, “Seattle has always been a welcoming city. The last thing I want is for us to start turning on our neighbors.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told Muslim residents concerned about deportation, “We have your back.”
Daniel Horowitz, senior editor at Conservative Review, finds great irony in the sanctuary city phenomenon. He noted the federal government “crushes” states on issues such as religious liberty and election laws when states try to exercise rightful control.
“Yet when it comes to the one area that is clearly within the purview of the federal government, an enumerated power given to Congress to regulate immigration for the sovereignty of an entire union, somehow the states and localities are able to get away with thwarting federal law,” Horowitz mused to WND.
Horowitz, author of “Stolen Sovereignty: How to Stop Unelected Judges From Transforming America,” sees a horribly backwards double standard regarding immigration laws.
He pointed out Arizona passed a law in 2010 to help augment and enforce federal immigration law, but the courts struck down several provisions of the law. Meanwhile, Los Angeles, San Francisco and many other cities are undermining federal immigration law with their sanctuary policies, without ramifications.
“They’re getting away with it,” Horowitz groused. “They’re getting away with stealing the sovereignty of the people. So we have it exactly backwards.”
But Trump promises to not let them get away with it any longer. The president-elect has previously stated he will cut off federal funding to sanctuary cities after he takes office.
Cheryl Chumley, an award-winning freelance journalist, enthusiastically supports Trump’s proposal.
“Cut the purse strings off until these sanctuary cities recognize the dangers of their foolish policies and quit advertising to the world of illegals: Come on in,” she told WND.
Chumley, author of “The Devil in DC: Winning Back the Country From the Beast in Washington,” encouraged Americans to remember Kate Steinle, the San Francisco woman who was gunned down in broad daylight while walking on a pier with her father.
Her killer was an illegal immigrant who had previously been deported several times for felonies. But San Francisco’s sanctuary policies allowed him to roam free, and while roaming free, he killed.
“If police chiefs, city officials and liberal-leaning bureaucrats fail to uphold the safety of American citizens and regard that job description as the number one priority, and instead insist on forcing a personal political open-border agenda down the throats of the communities they’re supposed to serve and protect, they should lose taxpayer support,” Chumley said.
Mayor Jorge Eloza of Providence, Rhode Island, said his city would keep on refusing to hold people charged with civil infractions for federal immigration officials, and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka expressed the same sentiment.
Los Angeles Police Department chief Charlie Beck promised to maintain his city’s decades-long tradition of sanctuary policies, saying, “If the federal government takes a more aggressive role on deportation, then they’ll have to do that on their own.”
Beck added it is not his department’s job to “work in conjunction with Homeland Security on deportation efforts,” a notion Horowitz finds ridiculous.
“There are so many crimes that cross state lines and affect the nation in general, and it is within the federal purview to deal with immigration,” Horowitz said. “They can’t do it without the cooperation of local police. If local police are downright protecting them, the federal government cannot exercise one of its core enumerated powers.”
However, Jeff Roorda, a retired St. Louis-area police chief, takes a more nuanced view on this matter.
“This is a bit of a double-edged sword in that when we ask local jurisdictions to enforce federal law when they have no authority to do so, or when we ask them not to enforce it, it really is putting the burden where it doesn’t belong,” Roorda told WND. “ICE is the one that should be enforcing this. With that said, the law is the law and these police chiefs don’t have the right to ignore federal law. They do have the argument that they don’t have the authority to enforce it.”
Roorda, author of “The War on Police: How the Ferguson Effect is Making America Unsafe,” said he would favor a federal law explicitly allowing local jurisdictions to enforce federal immigration laws. But he confessed most officers don’t care for the political side of law enforcement.
“I can tell you that police officers don’t like it when politics are infused into the job of law enforcement,” he revealed. “They see it as the role of politicians to decide what’s legal and what’s not by passing laws and then the cops enforce them without any judgment about what’s a good law or what’s a bad law.”
Chumley, for her part, suggested if an illegal alien taking shelter in a sanctuary city commits an additional crime, Trump should use the full force of his Justice Department to prosecute the leaders responsible for the continuing sanctuary status – including going after punitive damages that could be awarded to the victims and families of victims.
“Hit these sanctuary cities in the pocketbooks hard, open the doors to accountability for officials who turn a blind eye when their sanctuary policies result in real crimes to real citizens, and suddenly, these policies will go away, if not by the officials’ own doings, then at the pressure of a community tired of the financial losses,” Chumley proclaimed.
Horowitz sees an easy way Trump could turn back the tide of illegal immigration.
“The good news is that a lot of what Obama did was through executive action,” he noted. “The statutes remain the same; in fact, Congress never changed the immigration statutes during his entire eight-year tenure. So this is garbage in, garbage out: whatever he was able to implement through executive order, Trump could reverse.”
Horowitz suggested Trump could restore the Secure Communities program, which Obama gutted, or roll back DACA and DAPA. He also shared one tip on federal immigration law.
“It’s very important for people to realize that the immigration statutes were written for the most part one directionally,” Horowitz advised. “They gave broad latitude to the executive to ratchet down immigration as needed for the security of the nation, but did not give discretion for a president to broadly expand immigration.
“Certainly if Obama was able to get away with all his expansive immigration executive orders, Trump could definitely follow the statutes by ratcheting down some of this immigration.”
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