Great stuff from today’s speech at DHS headquarters — for both sides. For border hawks like me, Trump’s new executive orders on immigration fulfill key campaign promises — the wall, more enforcement agents, and giving the DOJ and DHS power to yank certain grants from sanctuary cities. For the left, it’s something stark to rally their base around. Eric Schneiderman, the ambitious New York Attorney General who’s investigating Trump’s charity, was out quickly this afternoon with a set of guidelines for sanctuary cities on how to resist complying with the feds. A taste:
The model provisions offered by the A.G.’s Civil Rights Bureau clarify that local New York law enforcement agencies can limit their participation in federal immigration enforcement activities in several ways, including by: (1) refusing to enforce non-judicial civil immigration warrants issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) or Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”), (2) protecting New Yorkers’ Fourth Amendment rights by denying federal requests to hold uncharged individuals in custody more than 48 hours, (3) limiting access of ICE and CBP agents to individuals currently in custody, and (4) limiting information gathering and reporting that will be used exclusively for federal immigration enforcement…
“Public safety relies on trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve. No local law enforcement agency should have to undercut that trust just to carry out Donald Trump’s draconian immigration policies,” said Attorney General Schneiderman.
Several mayors of sanctuary cities have already piped up to say that they won’t comply with the feds. What sort of money is on the table here? As an example, the DOJ distributed $165 million in grants to local agencies in 2015 as part of its State Criminal Alien Assistance Program. The Attorney General has discretion in deciding how that money is divvied up; if a city won’t help the feds by identifying illegals in its custody, they don’t get paid. The liberal attack line, I assume, will be that Trump is undermining his own law-and-order approach by leaving some local police forces struggling to make up the shortfall in funds. It’s on that turf that the political battle will be fought. The legal battle, of course, will be fought in court: One question, which has already been addressed by one federal circuit, is whether local police are required to hold illegals for ICE. Sessions may end up pressing that fight.
Another way in which the political battle fought is this — with a “name ’em and shame ’em” approach by the White House.
Trump administration will publish a weekly list of crimes purportedly committed by undocumented immigrants in sanctuary cities. pic.twitter.com/GzTOo2Iub4
— Will Sommer (@willsommer) January 25, 2017
Enjoy a few minutes from today’s speech, with Trump’s rhetoric unusually forceful even by his typical standards on immigration. Note the reference to families who’ve lost relatives to crimes committed by illegals, which is of a piece with the administration’s plan to call more attention to individual crimes. Trump and his team surely realize how effective it is when they can put a human face like Kate Steinle’s to the phenomenon of violence committed by people who shouldn’t be here. The man knows media and narratives. It’s a smart way to go. One footnote in closing, though: Freezing the DACA program was not part of today’s immigration measures. The whole point of Trump’s message here is that the White House is ready to go all-in on removing criminals — and, by implication, not the otherwise law-abiding kids and college students who were brought here illegally by their parents as children. Paul Ryan went so far as to tell DREAMers in an interview tonight not to worry about their status. Stay tuned.
Update: Here’s another grandstanding liberal idiot with his eye on 2020. Like I say, red meat in Trump’s orders today for both sides.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 25, 2017