In case you missed it in the flurry of other political entertainment news, the House has begun looking over a bill to impose penalties on so called “sanctuary cities” by cutting off their funding. It’s being sponsored by Duncan Hunter of California, with a similar bill having already been introduced in the Senate. Strangely, there doesn’t seem to be as much of an appetite in either chamber to advance the legislation as one might expect after the death of Kathryn Steinle.

But there’s plenty of action on the side opposing such a change. A variety of “immigration advocates” are warning our elected officials against moving too quickly here. (Politico)

“Good policies are made over time, by examining our shared values and opinions, and by working toward equality and justice for all people,” the organizations, led by the National Immigration Law Center and United We Dream, wrote in a letter to lawmakers provided in advance to POLITICO. “They are not made based on a single, tragic incident or by taking the actions of one individual to justify a policy that criminalizes an entire community.”

“Sadly, in response to the tragic death of Kathryn Steinle, some politicians, including Senator David Vitter, are proposing legislation that scapegoats all immigrants based on the acts of one,” the advocacy groups wrote in the letter, sent Monday. “These reactionary policy proposals are focused on heavy-handed, enforcement-only approaches despite the fact that studies show that deportation-only policies do not reduce crime rates.”

It seems particularly telling that the groups most opposed to such legislation are the ones who benefit the most from the presence of illegal immigrants in the country. That much is to be expected, I suppose, but they are picking up allies in strange places. One of the oddest is the support they are receiving from the Department of Homeland Security in the person of none other than Jeh Johnson. (Emphasis added)

The House Judiciary Committee held its own hearing last week with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, who came under heavy criticism from congressional Republicans about the killing. Still, Johnson said multiple times that he does not believe state and local law enforcement officials should be forced into cooperating with federal immigration authorities. He argued that doing so would raise constitutional concerns and the best approach would be a cooperative method, not forcing cities, states and counties to comply with federal immigration requests.

No matter how many times I read that paragraph I keep feeling like I fell down a rabbit hole and the March Hare is going to show up at any moment. I’ve been operating under the assumption that when Jeh Johnson took office and swore to uphold the Constitution he had at least a loose grasp of what his role in the process was. The federal government doesn’t have all that many responsibilities under the guiding hand of the founding fathers (originally, anyway) but securing the nation’s borders from invasion is certainly one that a strong case can be made for. Is there some school of thought bubbling up in Harvard Law or elsewhere which says that each state should be responsible for their own little piece of it?

It strikes me that these “sanctuary cities” wouldn’t have a leg to stand on in any fair court hearing if they are flatly defying federal law, and it certainly seems that they are. Perhaps that’s why some places are in such a hurry to assure us that they are most certainly not a sanctuary city. Take for example Madison, Wisconsin. If you ask the Mayor whether or not Madison falls under this category, he’ll tell you that it absolutely is not. Perish the thought! (From Watchdog Arena)

“It’s simple, we are not a sanctuary city,” Mayor Paul Soglin said…

2010 resolution passed by the Madison City Council said the city wouldn’t report certain types of illegal immigrants to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

I see. You’re only refusing to report some of the illegal immigrants you locate to the feds. But since you’re willing to report a few others… nothing to see here! Move along.