Soon, those living in the United States outside the confines of the law may want to begin looking for rooms for rent at Machu Picchu.
Los Angeles, Portland, Denver, and Chicago may not serve as sanctuary metropoles for much longer.
It’s true, such cities’ dedication to law-breaking in the name of compassion for the downtrodden has persisted further than anybody expected. Such city, county, and state-sanctioned defiance of federal law has never been so brazenly flaunted as it has under the watch of uber-liberal mayors such as Bill DeBlasio and Rahm Emmanuel. These demagogues continue to disregard the citizens that voted them into office- though this mistreatment may be a well-deserved consequence of voting for such reckless leaders- in favor of harboring substantial illegal populations that serve as a drain on already struggling cities’ resources.
The image that is inherent within the self-titled moniker ‘Sanctuary City’ has played perfectly into the image of Donald Trump as a modern-day Mexican slave catcher, with liberals stepping in to eagerly play the role of safe-house operating Quaker.
Unfortunately for those who have failed to see through this latest attempt as transparent ethos by lefty leadership, the mirage of ICE-free urban oases is not long for this nation. Because if there’s one thing that leaders of perpetually liberal cities and states love more than some whipped-up outrage at Republicans’ expense, it’s federal funding.
Think of it as Quakers willing to harbor runaway slaves, but only if the price being offered by subsequent bounty hunters does not rise so high as to be irresistible. In the modern liberal playbook, anything can be sacrificed for the right cost: morals, political influence, a city’s worth of illegal immigrants.
In the face of these rogue governments who have refused to enforce long-standing, yet long-ignored, federal law calling for the arrest and deportation of illegal immigrants, the DOJ legal team has been examining legal strategies to force cooperation. Some states, such as Texas, have begun to enact measures aimed at their most liberal bases, who have refused to comply with Trump’s immigration mandate despite the state’s conservative majority. The specific law signed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in May would subject law enforcement officials and sheriffs to potential criminal charges should they fail to comply with federal law regarding immigration. The Department of Justice has since filed a letter supporting the law as challenges to its legality have predictably emerged.
The primary aspect of immigration enforcement which has been ignored is requests to detain suspected illegal immigrants- a legal request called a detainer- until that suspect can be transferred into the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, with a time limit of no more than 48 hours.
The need to put in place a law with such strict penalties arises from the wording of these detainers as written. Technically they are requests of law enforcement officials to detain a suspect, not requirements. Under Texas’ new law, it will become a requirement which, should it be ignored, is punishable by jail time.
When it comes to eliminating sanctuary cities in the rest of the country, the DOJ legal team has been weighing two primary options. Arguing in federal court that cities are required to honor detainers, as currently defined, is likely to have mixed results. The DOJ is said to be examining the friendliest of federal courts should they proceed with this legal argument.
A second option would be to argue that police departments who release suspects without notifying ICE first violate a federal statute requiring open communication between local and federal officials. In addition, “the Justice Department could file a suit aimed at forcing local jails to let ICE officers into their facilities to investigate whether foreign-born suspects are citizens,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
Counter-arguments are likely to state that the doctrine requiring openness of communication was intended only to prevent the prohibition of a citizen’s immigration status between local and federal officials, not to compel municipalities to release such information on a broad scale.
Regardless of which legal strategy is ultimately employed by the DOJ, temporary cuts to federal funding of major American cities will have a chilling effect on pro-illegal immigrant rhetoric and action. This strategy has been used before- by Barack Obama, of all people- to compel the cooperation of municipalities who opposed laws pertaining to transgender bathroom use. Then, it was compelled compassion.
Now that cuts in funding are being used to compel cities to stop harboring illegal residents, contributing further to bloated local and state debt while legal citizens live in poverty, such tactics will be lamented. Trump’s last-resort efforts to enforce the immigration policies he has always vowed to will be equated to threatening Quakers should they not turn over the runaways they are suspected of harboring.
Yet, this metaphor is not an apt one, as illegal immigrants aren’t runaway slaves. They are non-tax paying, albeit mostly hardworking, residents in a country they do not have a right to be in. Now, like those that have come before them, learning the language and paying their dues, illegal immigrants will have to head to the back of the line to begin the process of re-entry. But this time, Rahm Emmanuel won’t be there to forgive their avoidance of the legal process. This time, it’s legal entry or no entry at all.
It’s now liberals’ move. Funding or compassion, which will it be?