The Trump administration is facing a near-shutout in court when it comes to their attempts to crack down on sanctuary cities. Everywhere they turn, judges are ruling that while the federal government has every right to go after illegal immigrants using the means at their disposal, they do not have to right to force cities like Chicago to cooperate in that endeavor.
In the latest such decision, handed down on Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Harry Leinenweber permanently blocked the Trump administration from withholding grant money from Chicago for their refusal to hand over illegal immigrants to ICE.
“Chicago’s compliance with the conditions would damage local law enforcement’s relationship with immigrant communities and decrease the cooperation essential to prevent and solve crimes both within those communities and Chicago at large,” the judge wrote. “Trust once lost is not easily restored.”
First of all, we understand that Leinenweber is a Reagan-appointee, and we’re sure he’s a fine judge, but that argument is straight out of the Democrat Party playbook. There is no evidence that cooperating with federal immigration law hurts the relationship between illegal immigrants and police. In fact, there is little evidence to suggest that illegal immigrants have ANY relationship with the police, whether it be in a sanctuary city like Chicago or a tough place like Maricopa County, Arizona. There is no relationship to damage. It is absurd to think that illegal aliens, living in the shadows, are going to eagerly cooperate with law enforcement in any city, regardless of whether or not that city considers itself a “sanctuary.” Half these migrants don’t even know what that means or why it matters.
In his statement last year, delivered right after Chicago filed the lawsuit Judge Leinenweber is ruling on, Attorney General Jeff Sessions laid out the facts as they are:
“To a degree perhaps unsurpassed by any other jurisdiction, the political leadership of Chicago has chosen deliberately and intentionally to adopt a policy that obstructs this country’s lawful immigration system. They have demonstrated an open hostility to enforcing laws designed to protect law enforcement — federal, state, and local — and reduce crime, and instead have adopted an official policy of protecting criminal aliens who prey on their own residents.”
It is not the Trump administration’s position that these cities be forced to hand over illegal immigrants to the feds. Instead, they are taking the eminently reasonable step of withholding grant money from these cities – grant money that can be better used in cities that aren’t contemptuous of the rule of law. It’s no different than when Obama tied grant money to the kind of food schools serve in their lunchrooms. That was perfectly okay, the courts ruled, but somehow, since illegal aliens (and Trump) are involved in this scenario, the president suddenly lacks the authority. It makes no sense, it isn’t grounded in the law, and it makes a mockery of our immigration system.
As Trump has said many times, other countries are laughing at us. And boy, they must be busting a gut today.