The Administration Is Pushing Back Against Sanctuary Cities, Not A Moment Too Soon

Trump sanctuary cities administrationWith the recent federal lawsuits filed against California, New Jersey and King County, Washington, the Trump administration has finally launched a fierce counterattack against the [sanctuary city] movement. States and local jurisdictions that provide a safe haven for dangerous criminal aliens and obstruct federal immigration enforcement are on notice.

Until now, the administration has been largely on the defensive against the multiple efforts to stop its enforcement policies. That includes litigation over everything from the so-called travel ban to the use of Department of (DOD) military construction funds to help build a secure southern border wall.

Several federal district court judges have issued injunctions in opinions that often read more like political tracts than thoughtful legal analysis, although the administration has triumphed in most of these cases and the injunctions have been dissolved when they got to a higher court.

The “travel ban,” for example, is in place today because the U.S. Supreme Court held that the president was acting well within his authority when he suspended the entry of aliens from certain terrorist nations. The Supreme Court and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals have also temporarily stayed separate injunctions that were preventing the use of DOD funds for the wall.

The administration’s lawsuit against New Jersey charges that the state is violating the Supremacy Clause of Article IV of the Constitution and federal immigration law by forbidding state officials from sharing information with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on illegal aliens who have been arrested or are serving time in local jails and state prisons. The state also refuses to honor detainer warrants issued by DHS and requires prison officials to “promptly” notify criminal aliens in custody that a detainer warrant has been issued and that immigration agents are after them.

These actions by New Jersey, according to the complaint, force DHS agents “to engage in difficult and dangerous efforts to re-arrest aliens who previously were in state custody, and endangering immigration officers, the aliens at issue, and others who may be nearby.” This has resulted in criminal aliens being released by New Jersey “who were convicted or charged with crimes including fraud, terroristic threats, and invasion of privacy.”

Apparently, New Jersey officials prefer to have these criminals released back into local communities, where they can commit further crimes, rather than handed over to the feds, so they can be removed from the country. That makes no sense whatsoever.

The lawsuit against King County goes after its county executive for an order over the King County International Airport. That order forbids contractors who provide services at the airport from providing such services to an airline or charter company that is hired by DHS to transport deported illegal aliens out of the country. Thus, they can’t get fuel, aircraft maintenance, or any of the other services needed to keep planes operating.

The complaint says this executive order violates the Supremacy Clause by obstructing federal immigration enforcement, discriminates against federal contractors and specifically violates the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978. That federal law explicitly bans state and local governments from imposing any law or regulation “related to a price, route, or service of an air carrier that may provide air transportation.”

As a result of this order, DHS has been unable to use the airport, which is the closest one to its northwest detention facility in Tacoma, Washington. It is now forced to transport aliens 150 miles to Yakima, which has “resulted in significant fiscal and public safety costs impeding” DHS operations.

Finally, the Justice Department also sued California over a state law that prohibits private detention facilities. As the complaint says, California is “free to decide that it will no longer use private detention facilities for its state prisoners and detainees.” But it can’t “dictate” that choice to the federal government, particularly in a “manner that discriminates against the Federal Government and those with whom it contracts.” DHS has been authorized by Congress to provide detention facilities for aliens, including through private contractors, and California, says the complaint, can’t interfere in that authority.

DHS says that this law unless it is enjoined, “would cripple” DHS operations in California, especially southern California. DHS would have to relocate—out of the state—nearly half of the illegal alien detainees in southern California and nearly 30 percent of all of the illegal aliens detained in the state.

If there are objective, nonpartisan federal judges assigned to these cases who follow the law and the numerous precedents cited by the Justice Department in its complaints, then the government should win. The federal government is given full authority by the Constitution to regulate immigration. That means that the Supremacy Clause overrides any attempt by state or local governments to interfere with federal immigration enforcement.

States cannot be forced to enforce federal immigration law, but they cannot obstruct or otherwise try to thwart federal enforcement. That is exactly what California, New Jersey, and King County are doing.

At the very same time the New Jersey and King County lawsuits were being filed, Attorney General William Barr was giving a speech to the winter meeting of the National Sheriffs’ Association. As he told the sheriffs, “’Progressive’ politicians are jeopardizing the public’s safety by putting the interests of criminal aliens before those of law-abiding citizens.” These reckless sanctuary policies are “designed to thwart the ability of federal officers to take custody of these criminals and thereby help them escape back into the community.”

More lawsuits may be coming. Barr said that the Justice Department is looking at the federal criminal statute that prohibits the harboring or shielding of aliens who are illegally in the U.S. DOJ is also “meticulously” reviewing the actions of local district attorneys who are “charging foreign nationals with lesser offenses for the express purpose of avoiding the federal immigration consequences” of their criminal conduct.

He ended with this warning: “We will consider taking action against any jurisdiction that, or any politician who, unlawfully obstructs the federal enforcement of immigration law.”

Reprinted with permission from - The Heritage Foundation - by Hans von Spakovsky and Lora Ries

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2 years ago

Praise God for Attorney General Barr in trying to keep us safe

2 years ago

About friggin’ time this happened! People need to start going to prison for this crap…

Randy Geiger
2 years ago

As the President considered once, I think that if cities want to declare themselves sanctuary cities over illegal immigrants, then I think we should send all the illegal immigrants to those cities. Put up or shut up, and oh yeah, no money from the taxpayers to support their un-American activities. Maybe citizens of these cities will pressure their city bureaucrats to do the right thing and stop this insidious situation.

2 years ago

Barr should add Phoenix, AZ to his list. The new sheriff is not allowing the Police to communicate with ICE or ask about their status.

2 years ago

Sanctuary cities are endangering every Americans right to live in a peaceful, non violent place The evidence of illegal criminals being released from custody, especially felons, is a Huge priority.that must be addressed Immediately to protect all Americans!!!! Those Politicians that choose to ignore this problem should be removed from office and Federal funding should Not be given to support these blatantly dangerous and ignorant Politicians who have no insight and no. Accountability to promote personal or public safety Where have your standards and ethics gone???????

Daniel Dunnuck
2 years ago

I don’t understand why a state, county or city would declare themselves a sanctuary for illegals and criminal ailiens from being punished and deported. American citizens don’t get the same benefits that the illegals are getting including Medicare and Medicaid insurances and thier children get an education taxing US citizen resources. It just goes to show how far Democrat Socialists will go to get elected at the expense American republic driving our nation into bankruptcy. It is not only Hispanic illegals but we have European and Asian illegals all sucking resources that Americans need. Build the wall and fortify the northern border and allow the Federal Government to report illegals. God bless America our troops and President Trump.

2 years ago

Having read most of the comments here, I’m convinced most of us feel railroaded by democrats who are breaking the law. Our founders foresaw such a time, so I will add this: Defend the 2nd Amendment. I’m not sure we’ll need it, but let’s not allow anyone to take it away from us.

John Karkalis
2 years ago
Reply to  jude

Jude, if we just let “Trump be Trump” during his second term I anticipate speedy action.

El Ey
2 years ago
Reply to  John Karkalis

Our President Trump has done so much more in three years (even with the non-stop resistance from the evil democrats headed by Pelosi) than Obama in his eight years.
Let’s all pray regularly for our President Trump, VP Pence, their families, the Administration and our country.
May God bless us all.

2 years ago

American needs to say if a state allows illegal aliens. Then the rest of the country should have to give them any money for any project. They have said they know best so let them put their money where their believes lie not ask me to support their illegal action. If they believe that they are just let have the law changed, not demand we support their point.

James R Long
2 years ago

It is about time! These counties, cities, and states for what ever reason do not understand the terminology, “illegal”.

El Ey
2 years ago
Reply to  James R Long

These Leftists/democrats/progressives have banned the word “illegal”. They’ve replaced it with “undocumented”.

Roger Ott
2 years ago

I say have at them all. They are no more above the law than individuals in our America are. It’s time they learned a lesson and pay the price for non compliance.

Brenda Blunt
2 years ago

Illegal is illegal!! Break the law, better be able.to do the time!!

2 years ago

In my opinion there must be something more sinister going on here. What sense does it make for these Sanctuary Cities to ‘PROTECT’ criminal aliens? Answer, it doesn’t make any sense. So what could really be going on here? Have these particular state officials been involved in schemes on the take and the Mexican officials know about these schemes and are blackmailing them into allowing their criminal element in our country? Or are these officials on the take and involved through a third party in the drug trade? I believe a Federal investigation should take place of every Sanctuary State official to try to see if they are committing crimes against our country. As far as I’m concerned they already are in not cooperating with ICE. It’s hard for me to believe that those state officials ‘ARE JUST STUPID.’ There has to be more to it.

2 years ago

I’m happy to hear this business of letting the states push around the Federal government is coming to an end. I do believe the states need to retain as much autonomy as possible from overbearing federal bureaucracies, but putting their own citizens in jeopardy just to stick a finger in a Trump’s eye is childish and dangerous in the extreme. Bravo, Trumpster, keep up the good work.

Mr. Mtzplytlic
2 years ago

Standards? We don’t need no stinking standards. We’re democrats.

John Karkalis
2 years ago
Reply to  Mr. Mtzplytlic

Thanks! for reminding me of that gem of wisdom from a great! flick.

2 years ago

If you hate The United States of America, vote for Democrats.

And now I’m going to add:

If you hate the State of California, reelect Democrats.

2 years ago

Soon New Jersey, California and King County will be exclusively occupied by protected criminals. Anyone with an ounce of common sense will vacate these states and leave the operation of same to the criminals at hand. I wonder how effective the armed guards will be once they are out numbered??? Stop Federal Aid to these states…..let them secede from the Union and watch them go bankrupt…..

2 years ago

The damage of the Obama’s administration goes deep! If Clinton had won in 2016, their transformation of The Constitution to suit their needs would have been completed ! Thank God we have 190 constitutional judges in place to protect the Constitution. This sanctuary city vs federal immigration laws is ridiculous. Go AG Barr and President Trump! Restore the law get rid of every left activist Judge!

El Ey
2 years ago
Reply to  Mary

Sotomayor and Ginsburg must RECUSE themselves when it comes to administration cases.

Caroline Woodis
2 years ago

Thank you, Attorney General, William Barr for your common sense and commitment to law and order and your courage to stand up to those who would oppose you at every turn for their own selfish purposes-which does not include looking out for the safety of their own American citizenry.

Ed LaPinskas
2 years ago

Cut off all aid to those municipalities till the communists ( D ) are removed from office. Ice will be getting APC’s from the Army soon as well. Like a military op.

Natalie Nischan
2 years ago

Yes, I am in favor of our government interceding our our behalf when it comes to illegal activities. And I will put my voice in action when I vote for President Trump…again!

El Ey
2 years ago

Vote only for Republicans, except Romney (aka Pierre Delecto). But he will still be a traitor through 2024, unless Utah pushes him out of office (from my lips to God’s merciful ears).

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