On Sanctuary Cities…

While other things have taken most of the media coverage, two items of note recently have been passed on the topic of sanctuary cities. 

Texas passed a law penalizing any city in the state that functioned as a ‘sanctuary city’ and would deny state funds to any ‘sanctuary city’.

And last week, the federal House of Representatives passed two bills that will now go to the Senate for consideration.  The first, would also cut federal law enforcement funding to ‘sanctuary cities’ that refused to enforce federal laws on immigration or cooperate with federal law enforcement.   The second bill would stiffen penalties for individuals who re-enter the country illegally after previously being deported.  This latter bill was passed 257-167, with bipartisan support but yet there were 167 Representatives who felt that people who have been deported before (and realize under current state of affairs, generally only those who have committed crimes are deported) should not have any increased penalty just because they have broken the law more than once.

Let’s draw an important but often deliberately muddied distinction:  the issue of sanctuary cities has nothing to do with immigration, which is a complicated issue.   The issue of sanctuary cities centers on whether part of the country will abide by the country’s laws or can choose to ignore the ones they don’t like.   That’s it—it’s that simple.

Using the example of San Francisco, it has said “we don’t like the law so we are going to ignore it and we are going to tell people that break the law that they can come here and we will protect them and give them ‘sanctuary’.”  And the case of San Francisco is even more telling for two reasons.  First, it is there that the matter of illegals with multiple deportations and/or criminal convictions became so prominent because of the case of Kate Steinle who was killed by an illegal immigrant who had been deported five times because of multiple criminal convictions.  San Francisco had him in custody but released him without informing the federal government who had asked to be informed.  So in one of the mind-numbingly stupid acts in the history of government, San Francisco released him only to have him kill a tourist-Kate Steinle-within days of getting freedom despite his multiple previous crimes.  And in an apparent attempt to show just how mind-numbingly insane things in San Francisco can get, more than one public official in San Francisco defended the city’s actions in that case.

Secondly, it is especially ironic that San Francisco chooses to ignore federal law rather than work to get it changed if they disagree, because of all places in the country San Francisco has more influence within the federal government than most.  Former Speaker of the House and current Leader of the Democrats in the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi represents San Francisco.  If any constituency could influence federal laws, San Francisco can more than the overwhelming majority of other places.   Yet, in the case of immigration, they have chosen to ignore the law and announce that they will do so, rather than respect the rule of law.  The elitist mindset says they know better, and that democratically made laws they don’t like they will just ignore.

One can’t help but wonder what officials in these ‘sanctuary cities’ would think if people who feel the opposite way decided to take the same tactic and ignored the law when it wasn’t to their liking?

‘Well done’ to the state of Texas for cutting funding to ‘sanctuary cities’ and let’s hope the Senate follows the House’s lead in passing the bills sent to them last week.  It seems like common sense, which Thinking Man realizes is increasingly ‘uncommon’ to say that if you ignore federal law then you don’t get federal money.   A child can’t give parents the proverbial middle finger and then expect them to pay for college.  Actions have consequences and may ‘sanctuary cities’ finally get the consequences they deserve.

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