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Government Illegal Immigration

Why Sanctuary Cities are Actually GOOD for Conservatism

Written by Philip Hodges

I’m going to get a lot of flak for the headline – not necessarily the article, since no one reads the article portion…although I do hope you’ll prove me wrong – but guess what? I don’t care. It’s not like I’m speaking at Berkeley or anything.

Sanctuary cities have become known as such because the law enforcement in those cities are not required by their respective mayors to question people who have been detained or arrested about their immigration status. This makes the feds, especially the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) people, unhappy.

So, say someone gets arrested in California for murder. Police do not have to find out whether that person is there in the United States legally. In effect, it’s as if the local officials and the police are protecting these criminals by allowing them to stay in the country, serve out their jail sentences, and be released back into the public where they’ll likely commit the same crime again. If they only had found out whether that person was an illegal immigrant, then they could have handed him over to ICE (assuming he was in fact here illegally), and they would have deported him back to whatever country he came from, never to return again, and therefore, never to hurt any American again.

Conservatives point to the fact that these cities are disobeying federal law, which they argue supersedes state law, and by extension, city ordinances and local police policies. They say the penalty for disobeying such a federal law is to withhold federal funding from those states until the recalcitrant states are brought into submission to the feds.

That’s just what Trump’s executive order threatened:  Withholding federal funds from states who refuse to comply with federal immigration laws.

And as you know, a judge has placed a temporary injunction on that part of order after the city of San Francisco and Santa Clara County sued the feds over the threat. The White House is obviously not happy with what they’re saying is an example of yet another federal judge overstepping his bounds. Politico reported:

The White House on Tuesday rebuked a federal judge’s decision to block a Trump administration directive aimed at stripping funding from “sanctuary cities,” calling the court decision yet another case of “egregious overreach by a single, unelected district judge.”

[…]

“Today, the rule of law suffered another blow, as an unelected judge unilaterally rewrote immigration policy for our Nation,” the statement read.

The White House added: “This case is yet one more example of egregious overreach by a single, unelected district judge. Today’s ruling undermines faith in our legal system and raises serious questions about circuit shopping.”

But what about the Tenth Amendment? Why is it that in this case, many conservatives support the idea of an overbearing federal government trying to dictate laws and policies of individual states? Are states not sovereign in this case?

I’m not alone in thinking this way. And no, I’m not talking about liberals agreeing with me. In fact, liberals should not be cheering on the judge who overturned Trump’s effort to withhold funding from states with sanctuary cities. They like big government, and they like the idea of a strong, central government dictating everything to states, which liberals view as subservient to the feds. They should be the ones up in arms over the judge’s decision.

Look at what conservative commentator Erick Erickson said:

I have long favored a constitutional amendment that says simply:

The government of the United States cannot, through either the provision of or withholding of funds, direct, compel, or otherwise coerce a state or any subdivision thereof to take or refrain from taking any action or to make or refrain from making any law, regulation, or other legally binding order.

When the Supreme Court ruled several years ago that the federal government cannot compel local police to enforce federal laws, conservatives cheered. When the Supreme Court ruled just a few years ago that the federal government cannot compel states to expand Medicaid, conservatives cheered.

Conservatives should actually cheer on liberals wanting sanctuary cities because it ultimately advances our goals, not theirs. When they go to court and find favorable liberal judges giving legal sanction to sanctuary cities, the judges will not be able to carve out exceptions just for state level avoidance of federal immigration enforcement. The same legal logic will apply to other areas as well.

The truth is that sanctuary cities exist because of the voters who vote for the elected officials there. If illegal aliens are murdering the citizens thereof, though tragic, the reality is that it is the voters to ultimately blame, not the elected officials. When illegal aliens overwhelm a city and drag it down to destruction, not a single one of us should offer up a dollar of federal revenue to save the city. Their voters wanted it. We should let them have it.

Yes, it is a ridiculous thing to have liberals in America cheering on illegal aliens at the expense of the safety of their own citizens. But their choice to put their citizens in jeopardy has a side benefit of strengthening federalism and creating binding case law that favors states’ rights.

There will come a time when Democrats again run Washington. They will, at that time, try again to eradicate tenth amendment protections and disrupt federalism. But now, out of power, they are laying the foundation for a very strong wall that will one day protect us from them and their encroachments on states rights. For now, though we may refuse to go to sanctuary cities and we may encourage state governments to crack down on their cities, we should love seeing liberals suddenly embrace states rights and create solid case law for us to use later.

Conservatives wouldn’t be in favor of federal gun control laws, citing the Tenth Amendment. We don’t like it when an individual state tries to enact a pro-life law only to have a judge knock it down. And the same goes for state laws not recognizing ‘gay marriage.’

Conservatives will likely claim that while the feds should stay out of individual states’ business (since the states are sovereign), the issue of sanctuary cities is different.

I agree with Erickson on this one. If the states truly are sovereign, then that means they have the power to enact laws that might be at odds with what the feds want.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com


About the author

Philip Hodges

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