115th Congress, Congress, Crime, House of Representatives, Immigration, Issues, Senate

Congress still needed to defund sanctuary cities and states

9

President Trump’s war on sanctuary cities came to a sudden halt when a federal judge deemed the President’s executive order to defund the cities unconstitutional. While the clearly left-leaning judge called into question the executive office’s ability to act on this issue, it is important to remember how necessary action against sanctuary cities is — in fact, now is a better time than ever for

Image Credit: Burzum CC by SA 3.0

Congress to step up to the plate.

Conservatives were rightly frustrated when this week’s budget resolution did not include a defunding for sanctuary cities, something Trump has been expecting Republican support on since his own executive order. The purpose of this legislation is to defund the cities who knowingly violate federal immigration guidelines in order to provide a “sanctuary” for illegal immigrants, something well within Congress’s Article I power of the purse responsibilities to the people.

The urgent need for Congressional action is clear.

In South Portland, Maine, City Council members considered a proposal which defied federal immigration law by directly forcing local police to neglect their jobs. The Portland Press Herald explained, “the proposed amendment says South Portland police will not assist, cooperate or provide information in any federal raids, detentions or deportations of immigrants.”

Presumably that would include no longer submitting criminal records to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center database — which state and local police departments voluntarily cooperate with and assist in automatically alerting federal officials when individuals wanted for federal crimes are booked — including those wanted for violations federal immigration law.

Meanwhile, in Maryland’s most populous county, Prince George’s, the county began refusing to comply with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer requests in 2014 unless ICE procured a judicially issued warrant as opposed to the administrative warrants used by the agency. In 2016, the county board unanimously passed a resolution calling ICE’s immigration enforcement procedures “unduly aggressive.”

While preventing local police to enforce federal laws seems to have become common in sanctuary cities, often cities take their sanctuary status a step further; not only rejecting federal immigration enforcement but hindering federal investigations as well.

In California, legislation deeming the state a sanctuary state, rather than just a city, if enacted would bar state and local law enforcement agencies from “[m]ak[ing] agency or department databases, including databases maintained for the agency or department by private vendors, or the information therein other than information regarding an individual’s citizenship or immigration status, available to anyone or any entity for the purpose of immigration enforcement.” Essentially, telling law enforcement officers not to utilize databases led by the FBI to locate illegal immigrants, usually after they have committed minor crimes or traffic infractions.

This legislation passed the Senate in California last month on a 27-12 vote, meaning if California does not experience repercussions for violating federal law, they could prevent the estimated three million illegal immigrants living in California’s borders alone from being tracked by FBI databases or being detained by ICE.

Clearly action must be taken against these cities, which is exactly why President Trump’s January executive order “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States” prevented these jurisdictions from receiving federal funds. But federal judge William Orrick felt these were “means that are so coercive as to compel [states] compliance,” too coercive, he claims, to be constitutional.

Yet even when the Supreme Court handled National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) v. Sebelius, a case Orrick relied on, that was a case that centered around the Obamacare’s forced expansion of Medicaid onto states, not terms and conditions for receiving existing federal grants.

In fact, all members of the court defended Congress’s right to offer grants to states and require states to comply with certain conditions in return. In fact, this case was the first time the Court has ever found that a federal condition on a fund to states was unconstitutionally coercive. The difference, according to the decision led by Chief Justice Roberts, is that “Congress may offer states grants and require states to comply with accompanying conditions, but states, as independent sovereigns, must have a genuine choice about whether to accept such offers.”

Judge Orrick’s main concern seems to be that this is coming from the executive branch, rather than the legislative so while this judge partially limited the impact of Trump’s executive order, it merely underscored that there are limits to what President Trump can accomplish on his own and the need for Congress to prove they will not back down on this issue. If the courts are going to circumscribe executive power to rein in sanctuary cities, then Congress must exercise its own power to defund them.

Congress ultimately has the power of the purse.

In South Dakota v. Dole the Supreme Court ruled that under the spending clause of the Constitution the federal government could withhold highway funds to exert control over the states. Providing clear legal precedent for Congress to deny funds, while the courts are debating Trump.

Moreover, under the 14th Amendment, each state has a duty to guarantee every citizen of the U.S. equal protection of the laws, and “The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.”

Unfortunately, Kate Steinle who was tragically gunned down in San Francisco by an illegal immigrant, and the 14 year old girl in Rockville Montgomery High School who was allegedly raped by two illegal immigrant men, did not have equal protection of the laws — because their cities chose to let illegal immigrants live within their borders.

When cities and states refuse to enforce the law, they place every day Americans at constant risk. Sanctuary cities are evolving, and finding new ways to circumvent the law to make the federal government’s job even harder. While Trump’s executive orders are held up in federal courts, Congress must take action; it is no longer just their job, but their duty.

This is a guest post by Natalia Castro is a contributing editor at Americans for Limited Government.
  • ONLYJB1

    Excuse the hell out of me, but funds to sanctuary cities is UNCONSTITUTIONAL in the first place! Our government does not fund the harboring of illegal aliens anywhere in the US! Do any politicians other than Ted Cruz have a clue to Constitutional Law? For God’s sake people!!

    • Robert

      ONLY YJB1
      I do think after many years of law school and at least 3 of those on Constitutional law. What Trump did is unconstitutional. Congress assigned the money and no President can take it away only Congress can do that and I doubt if they will have the stomach for that when these illegals add so much to this country’s economy and take nothing out. Add over $500 BILLION yearly, Cost nothing. 65% of the population including 45% of the Republicans want the illegals to stay with a path to citizenship. The existing law also says that States can not be forced to assist Federal law the same as Federal can not be forced to assist states. Either can request assistance but the law also says neither has to give the requested assistance.

      This is a Republic and that means the Congress and the President are supposed to do what the Majority of the citizens want.

      Here is a link to 100s of links to tell you how much it will cot the USA to deport the illegals,

      http://search.xfinity.com/#web/economioc+cost+of+deporting+the+illegals+in+the+USA+

      HAVE A NICE DAY

      • Frank W Brown

        FULL of CRAP much???

        • Robert

          Frank W Brown
          If I am so full of CRAP why do you not show me with statistics how that is true. Every thing I posted can be backed up with data from many different places.
          I see you post no data to prove my statements are wrong..
          When it comes to facts I do n ot think opinions hold much weight in any discussion..
          HAVE A GOOD DAY

          • Allen

            Here’s a statistic Robert you ridiculous troll: You personally are responsible for the death of Kate Stenle a 32 year old woman gunned down by an illegal alien that you protected, you allowed to stay in the country. You personally have blood on your hands. Your fake statistics have no weight in THIS discussion.

          • Robert

            Allen
            I know you think everyone is a liar but the ones who agree with you. The FBI des state that the illegals commit less crime than American Citizens.
            I do suppose if I am guilty of the murder of Kate Stenle by the same illogical conclusion being you support Americans you are guilty of all the murders committed by American’s.
            Everything is fake that does not agree with your point of view which is quite narrow in the spectrum of things. I probably do have blood on my hands after 26 years of Military service and 12 of it in Combat situations. I am glad I never had persons like you in my command with such a narrow view of the situation.
            HAVE A GOOD DAY

      • ONLYJB1

        Robert, I’m still doing research. Of course something the communist MSM never does. Evidently where you live is not much of Mexican population. Every Friday, every Western Union office is packed. These mexican illegals send 1/2 of their paychecks back to Mexico. So that kinda blows out the water your statement that they take nothing away. YES THEY DO! Most do not pay
        Federal income tax! Most are collecting welfare. food stamps and medicaid! All on the American tax payer dollar. The research I’m doing is showing nothing that Congress or the Senate has done as far as “sanctuary city money. This money was doled out by obama through an EO! Not law brother. Now as far as your argument goes, the states can provide their own money to aid the illegal immigrant, but not the Federal govt.! For the federal govt. to provide this money would take a law passed by both Congress and the Senate. That has not been done. So this federal money these states are receiving is UNCONSTITUTIONAL!
        This is a Republic and that means the Congress and the President are supposed to do what the Majority of the citizens want. Do you remember the last time this was done???? Do you Robert?
        Are you saying that a majority of American citizens want all of these illegal, non tax paying illegal aliens to live amongst us? You’re kidding right?

        • Robert

          ONLY JB1
          If you only do research n the Conservative webb site I am sure you will find the answers you like. Yes there are masses of Mexicans or at lest Spanish appearance people here, we have several chicken facilities and two slaughter houses here and the majority are Spanish speaking persons., The amount of money all the immigrants put together would only be 50% of what one Corporation sends out of this country every day, Walk Mart send over $2 Billion daily, alone and there are 100s of companies doing the same thing. Every Illegal who is hired and works pays into everything that any American worker pays into and are not able to collect Social Security, and can not file for Income tax return money. You say they are all collecting Welfare Social Services Food Stamps and Medicaid, I do believe if you check the requirements in your state you have prove Citizenship through a Birth Certificate with a State Seal or Federal seal on it, to get any State Services.
          The money for the Cities is Federal Mandated through laws in Congress, and no President can alter them only Congress can change the amount each State or City gets from the Federal Government. based on Population. It was not allotted by Obama. Yes I can honestly say I do remember when that happened it happened with Obama that is why his approval rating was so high, I might not have liked what he did but he did what the majority wanted done in over 75% of the time. Every Poll shows that 65%+ want the illegals to stay in this country for a path to citizenship, 71% want gay people to have equal rights and the right to marry, I could go on but you would not listen. Right now the illegals add over $500 BILLION to this USA economy every year, not take away, look y up the economic cost of deporting the illegals. A town in Pennsylvania went from Bankrupt to being the only town in Pennsylvania with a surplus in their accounts, here where I live they took a section of town which was drug infested and run down now the mayor likes to show people that part of town and takes credit for i9t being the show place it is.
          The thing a lot of persons I hear from have the idea of MAKE AMERICA WHITE AGAIN, it will never happen.
          HAVE A GOOD DAY

  • Kevin

    I’ve HAD IT with these treasonous liberal mayors! They are in open defiance of FEDERAL LAW! President Trump has the legal power to send federal marshals to these cities and ARREST these mayors for Treason and Sedition. The last time a local government was this “out of bounds” vs. the federal government was when South Carolina fired on Fort Sumter in 1861. This treasonous defiance of EXISTING LAW must be put down, and RIGHT NOW!!! The US Constitution explicitly states that the Federal Government has power and authority to put down insurrection!

Sign up for our FREE newsletter!

Sign up to receive daily updates, political news, action letters and additional messages from Conservative Republican News

View our Privacy Policy

Join our FREE Newsletter!