No End to Sanctuary Cities Defying President Trump
By Colton R. Overcash | August 23, 2018
Sanctuary cities continue to be a political flashpoint in the immigration debate. There is a growing sentiment among U.S. citizens that extremists have forfeited America’s sovereignty to criminal aliens who brazenly violate the law. By April of this year, FAIR had identified 564 sanctuary jurisdictions across the country. Nevertheless, the open-border machine rages on as still more localities lay down the welcome mat to illegal aliens.
In Michigan, Kalamazoo county commissioners passed a resolution on August 8 blocking local law enforcement from detaining illegal aliens at the request of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The ordinance was supported by Kalamazoo County Sheriff Rick Fuller (D), who had already adopted an identical internal policy within his department.
In response to an ICE raid in Spokane County, Washington, demonstrators have called on city officials to adopt even more protections for illegal aliens. Washington State already imposes sanctuary policies on its state agencies under Governor Jay Islee’s 2017 sanctuary executive order, but this doesn’t apply to local governments. Spokane agreed to adopt a litany of sanctuary policies—such as ignoring detainers and not asking about immigration status—when it settled a lawsuit in January. But if history is any guide, the city council will relent to the protesters’ radical demands and give illegal aliens even more rights than they already have.
Rhode Island, which FAIR already identifies as a sanctuary state, may call itself home to yet another sanctuary city before year’s end. The Jamestown City Council created a task force in July to explore granting more protections to illegal aliens within its city limits. These possible protections include ignoring ICE detainers as well as prohibiting police from stopping, questioning, interrogating, investigating or arresting suspects based on suspected immigration status.
The task force, which is in league with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), is scheduled to submit recommendations to the city council before a public meeting on September 17.
And Minnesota, too, may be on the edge of a sanctuary precipice, as town boards in Wauwatosa and St. Louis Park reportedly ponder sanctuary policies. While neither town participates in the 287(g) program, officials want to make sure they never do, and take preemptive action against any future cooperation with ICE, citing concerns of discrimination and harassment.
“When law enforcement cooperates with [ICE] it decreases the trust and cooperation between the residents and police, and often wastes money and manpower” said Wauwatosa Alderwoman Heather Kuhl (D). Despite this, Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber said he is not in favor of a sanctuary ordinance.
Commenting on the situation in Wauwatosa, FAIR spokesman Ira Mehlman said “sanctuary policies put public safety at risk and are an illegal interference by state and local governments into the federal government’s ability to carry out immigration laws.”
Enforcing immigration laws helps local governments build trust with their constituents, not undermine it. Americans have always anticipated that justice would be fair and impartial, and that their government would hold lawbreakers accountable. But if state and local governments violate this commitment by harboring illegal aliens and thereby encouraging their lawbreaking, how can they expect citizens to trust them?