By Tank Murdoch
(TNS) For three years, the Trump administration has been looking for ways to compel Democrat-run cities, counties, and states to comply with federal laws against harboring illegal immigrants, and it has either been rebuffed outright or has lost in federal court.
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Now, the administration is taking a different tact: Lawsuits.
In January, the Justice Department filed suit against California over its state-wide “sanctuary” law, and on Monday the department followed up with a pair of lawsuits: One against the state of New Jersey, and another targeting King County, Washington.
The Wall Street Journal reported:
The moves escalated a Trump administration battle with liberal states and localities that adopt so-called sanctuary policies intended to protect unauthorized immigrants from deportation.
Attorney General William Barr reported the actions in a speech to the National Sheriffs’ Association on Monday. The suits target New Jersey’s law limiting the information the state’s law enforcement agents share with ICE officials on unauthorized immigrants living there as well as an executive order passed by King County in Washington—where Seattle is located—that bars its airport from being used for deportation flights. Two weeks ago, the government sued California over a new state law banning for-profit immigration detention centers.
Mr. Barr said these local policies violate a federal law prohibiting Americans from aiding unauthorized immigrants or shielding them from immigration authorities.
“Unfortunately, in various jurisdictions, so-called progressive politicians are jeopardizing the public’s safety by putting the interests of criminal aliens before those of law-abiding citizens,” Barr said in Washington.
“Their express purpose is to shelter aliens whom local law enforcement has already arrested for other crimes. This is neither lawful nor sensible,” he added.
Defiant, as always, the Leftists who run these states and localities have vowed to spend as much taxpayer money as possible defending the indefensible, given that the laws are clear and constitutional: You can’t ‘harbor’ people who are alleged to have committed other crimes, and you can’t harbor anyone alleged to have committed the crime of entering the United States illegally.
Other Democrats are complaining that President Trump is using stepped up actions against sanctuary enclaves now as a campaign issue.
Maybe he is, but that’s beside the point. The fact of the matter remains that sheltering people in the country illegally is against federal law, period. And as president, Trump has the responsibility to ensure that “all laws are faithfully executed.”
The actions follow a move by the Department of Homeland Security last week that blocked New York residents from enrolling in expedited-travel programs like Global Entry, in response to a law the state adopted shielding state driver’s license records—such as photos, home addresses and the person’s immigration status—from federal immigration officials.
Senior Homeland Security officials made clear that, should more states adopt similar policies, they would face similar consequences.
States and cities declaring themselves “sanctuary” jurisdictions have been a target for President Trump since his 2016 campaign, when his campaign featured the family members of people killed by unauthorized immigrants.
Here’s another thought. If the administration is successful in its suits, and it should be, what’s to say the losers will simply ignore federal court orders?
We’ve often thought that to Democrats, the issue of ‘protecting illegal aliens’ is as near and dear to them as when their political ancestors fought to preserve slavery. And why not? Today’s Democrats exploit illegal aliens for political purposes the way yesteryear’s Democrats exploited the labor of black slaves. That became obvious when they refused to work with President Trump on a “fix” for Obama’s unconstitutional DACA program.
Democrats 160 years ago fought to preserve slavery; will they fight now to keep illegal aliens, which have become a source of power to them?
Think of how many congressional seats California alone stands to lose if sanctuary status is removed by federal courts; how about other Democratic enclaves like New York state and New Jersey?
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