It appears that Barack Obama’s army of social justice warriors are going to sue President Trump’s every action for the next four years. With that reality in play Trump is going to need help from Congress and the states to get his agenda through.
With the future of President Trump‘s order withholding federal funds to “sanctuary cities” unclear, states are stepping up to take punitive action against cities that are making themselves havens for illegal immigrants.
Already, some state funds have been withheld for recalcitrant municipalities, and more pressure is coming fast.
Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, of Texas, says he will pursue legislation to let the state remove officials from office if they refuse to end their sanctuary policies. Abbott is feuding with the sheriff in Travis County, home to the proudly left-liberal state capitol city of Austin, that defies the conservative state. Abbott withheld grant money from the Travis County Sheriff’s office over its sanctuary policy. Lacking funds, the office cut 18 jobs.
Sanctuary cities or counties refuse federal authorities’ requests to hold illegal immigrants so they can be deported. Some question whether Trump’s order to withhold funds from these jurisdictions can pass constitutional scrutiny and whether, even if it did, cutting funds would put a big enough hole in local finances to force the sanctuary hold-outs to back down.
In Colorado, State Rep. Dave Williams is floating a bill to make it a felony to render “assistance to an illegal alien.” If an illegal alien commits a burglary in the sanctuary city, for example, an elected official who implements or maintains sanctuary policies could be found criminally liable. The burglary victim could also sue the agency for damages.
Lawmakers in three other states, Ohio, Alaska, and Maine, are looking at replicating some or all of the Williams legislation, according to the Colorado Statesman.
Identity politics is being turned on its head. The Colorado representative authoring the bill is a Latino. The bill will certainly be defeated because party power is split between the two legislative chambers. But Williams could still win big if his idea caught on elsewhere.
It’s not clear yet how much state backstoppers of Trump’s toughened agenda on sanctuary cities are on offense or on defense; are they trying to punish the sanctuaries, or are they trying to avoid punishment by the feds and keep as many federal dollars as possible?
Miami Mayor Carlos Gimenez ended his city’s sanctuary policies and admitted his decision was based almost entirely on fear that the money flow would be stanched.
Legislation being proposed suggests the Trump campaign, and then the Trump victory, dramatically moved the needle on immigration policy.
But there are still some states that intend to fight. California is moving deeper into sanctuary territory and considering legislation that would compel all local law enforcement to refuse immigration officials’ requests for cooperation.