The second he’s sworn into office, Donald Trump will have the authority to strip every single sanctuary city in the United States of federal funding. Whether he does it or not remains to be seen, but city officials in New York, San Francisco, Austin, and elsewhere are preparing for a fight. More than a hundred cities currently refuse to hand illegal immigrants over to deportation authorities, and many of them have already vowed to maintain that policy, regardless of what Trump threatens.
Shortly after Trump was elected, Rahm Emanuel said Chicago would “always be a sanctuary city.” The mayor reached out to illegal immigrants in his city: “To all those who are, after Tuesday’s election, very nervous and filled with anxiety as we’ve spoken to, you are safe in Chicago, you are secure in Chicago, and you are supported in Chicago.”
That may be the case, but Chicago and other sanctuary cities could face a hefty monetary cost for continuing to defy federal law. The Obama administration has been critical of sanctuary policies but there has been no real attempt to force these cities into compliance. Trump, on the other hand, has promised to use the federal purse strings to get these city officials to see the light.
Not everyone believes he will have the legal standing to make good on the threat, but Republican lawmaker John Culberson (R-TX), the chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee overseeing the Justice Department, says everything is in place for Trump to follow through.
“The president can cut off their money at noon on January 20, 2017 if they do not change their sanctuary policy and hand over criminal illegal aliens in their custody to be deported,” Culberson told Fox News.
Culberson said that the Obama administration had already put such a plan of action into writing.
“I quietly persuaded Attorney General Loretta Lynch to implement this new policy this past July,” he said. “So it’s already done.”
There’s a lot of misinformation out there regarding what it actually means to be a sanctuary city. Immigration activists want Americans to believe that these cities are standing up for peaceful, law-abiding people who just want to live their lives and contribute to their communities. They are trying to paint a picture of Trump’s deportation force going into these cities and callously ripping illegal immigrants out of their homes. That’s not what’s going on.
Rather, these cities have policies in place that prohibit local law enforcement authorities from cooperating with ICE when they have an illegal immigrant criminal in custody. These people have already committed crimes – sometimes very serious ones. By definition, sanctuary cities are shielding criminal aliens from deportation.
These policies exacerbate the problems at the border, make America less safe, and deteriorate the rule of law.
If that’s the way these city leaders want it, fine.
But why should we be forced to fund it?