Attorney General Jeff Sessions today held a press conference in which he warned ‘sanctuary cities’ that they faced repercussions and a cut in federal funds. So called ‘sanctuary cities’ are those who have said they will refuse to cooperate with any federal law enforcement officials on enforcing immigration laws.
Sessions point out that the Inspector General of the Justice Dept., in the last year of the Obama Administration said that sanctuary cities are in violation of the law and Sessions said that he was ready to take action to enforce the law by withholding federal money from those who refuse to cooperate with the federal government. And in a stance that has significant legal implications, Sessions said that the Administration was not only looking at withholding money going forward but taking back money that had already been transferred and asked sanctuary cities to change their stance.
As you can imagine in this highly partisan atmosphere, many sanctuary city mayors and officials already said they would fight harder and taking money away wouldn’t change their stance.
The issue has gained more prominence with the significant and growing number of cases where illegal aliens have committed felonies and even killed after being given safe harbor in places like San Francisco and Baltimore.
To defend refusing to share information about people with multiple felonies, and to say that people who commit murder and rape of teenage girls should be treated like anyone else, as city officials in San Francisco and Baltimore have, is simply absurd in the extreme.
But even more basic is this: the bottom line is that sanctuary cities are, in fact, committing a crime that has just been ignored up until now. Further, sanctuary cities are arrogant in the extreme and are anti-democracy. They say, basically, that they disagree that laws made by federal officials elected accordingly to the US Constitution are to be ignored if they disagree. Federal law can be changed if people don’t like it, but these cities just say “I know better than the rest of the country and I don’t care about your election, only me and mine.” That’s not only the height of arrogance but is also dangerous.
Attorney General Sessions said that the Justice Dept. is working to prepare for the inevitable court case, and is having his staff to the necessary legal groundwork before moving forward. (that, in itself, is a refreshing change to the haphazard nature of some of the other of President Trump’s rushed but poorly thought through policies). We will see what comes of it all but it is long past time to quit ignoring governments and government officials sworn to uphold the law but who refuse to do so, only to be rewarded by sending federal taxpayer money as a reward.