For the better part of four years, the Trump administration was in a running battle with several sanctuary cities over laws forbidding local law enforcement from cooperating with ICE detainers and providing information to immigration enforcement officials about criminal illegal aliens who were about to be released from incarceration. The White House had moved to withhold some federal funding from such cities in an effort to bring them into compliance. This led to a series of lawsuits and court challenges that were working their way through the courts for the remainder of Trump’s term. This week, Joe Biden’s Justice Department asked the Supreme Court to dismiss three of those suits. The reason? Because… nevermind. We won’t be enforcing those policies anymore.(NBC News)
The Justice Department on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to dismiss three lawsuits over a Trump-era immigration policy that led some areas to declare themselves “sanctuary cities.”
The policy was part of an effort to get police departments to tell federal authorities when non-citizens were about to be released from custody.
In what began half-heartedly under former President Barack Obama and ratcheted up under former President Donald Trump, the Justice Department sought to withhold federal grants from local governments that refused to tell immigration agents when people in the custody were about to be released. The government also wanted access to local jails so immigration agents could question non-citizens in custody.
This is yet another agenda item in a long list of maneuvers that Open Borders Joe is making to end the deportation of illegal aliens, offer amnesty to all of them and basically ignore all of the nation’s immigration laws. (Wait… didn’t that guy take an oath on January 20th saying he would preserve, protect and defend the Constitution? That means enforcing our laws.) I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised because all of the cities in question are Democrat strongholds that raise a lot of money for liberal campaigns, including Biden’s.
Giving up the fight to have local law enforcement honor ICE detainers and cooperate in enforcing the law is yet another step along the road to making ICE irrelevant. The new president might as well just get himself an “Abolish ICE” banner and march around with it. And it’s not as if there wasn’t a good argument against the laws in question. Local and state law enforcement officials cooperate with federal officials on a regular basis in all sorts of investigations and enforcement matters. There are many major crime cases where both state and federal laws have been violated and such cooperation is crucial to seeing that justice is served.
You’ll notice that none of these cities are forbidding cooperation with the FBI or any other federal entities. They only single out ICE for such treatment. If you want to ban your local police from cooperating with any other agencies, then so be it. But this selective non-compliance should be legally questionable at a minimum.
Some of the lower courts hearing these cases have ruled that local police “have no duty to help immigration agents enforce federal law.” That was a clever way for the sanctuary cities to argue the case. It’s certainly true that they have “no duty” to enforce federal law, but there was also never anything preventing them from cooperating either, and most of them did it on a regular basis. It was only with the advent of all of this sanctuary city madness that restrictions began being put in place.
The only argument the defenders of these sanctuary city policies ever seem to be able to muster is that illegal aliens will be more likely to cooperate with the police if they trust that they won’t be detained and deported. This is, as Joe Biden should put it, a pile of malarkey. You would be hard-pressed to name one other instance where we ignore people breaking the law in the hope that they help us catch other criminals aside from plea bargain deals where lower-level defendants get lighter sentences if they rat out the big fish that prosecutors are really after. What are we going to do next? Stop prosecuting carjackers in Chicago in the hopes that they’ll drop a dime on the drug dealers?