Immigration

The Coming Resistance to Trump's Immigration Crackdown

Watch for federal/local battles over deportations.

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Zebra48bo/Creative Commons

Thanks to his predecessors, Donald Trump already has the tools to launch an amped-up immigration crackdown as soon as he takes office. That doesn't mean he won't ask for yet more powers, but a formidable police apparatus is already in place. So when it comes to immigration, the immediate political conflict to watch will the one that pits that apparatus and the president atop it against the people in a position to slow it down.

We got an early glimpse of that last week, when New York Mayor Bill de Blasio suggested that he might destroy a city database that contains information on undocumented New Yorkers (*) rather than allow the feds to get their hands on it. (If you're in New York City illegally you can still apply for a city ID card, making it easier to report crimes, open bank accounts, and otherwise participate more smoothly in social life. Immigrants aren't the only people who use the program, but the info would obviously be useful to the deportation squads.) Several other cities—including Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington—issue similar cards, setting up other potential federal/local conflicts.

New York is also a "sanctuary city," which basically means that its local cops do not investigate people's immigration status. More than 200 cities and counties have adopted such policies, in part because of human-rights concerns but mostly for practical reasons: If people are worried about being arrested for immigration violations, they're much less likely to cooperate with police investigating other crimes. Trump has threatened to use the power of the purse to bring the sanctuary cities in line, declaring that he'll cut off all their federal funding if they don't yield. That in turn has inspired some defiant talk from urban officials: Besides de Blasio, the mayors of Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Providence, San Francisco, and Seattle have all said they'll stand by their sanctuary status.

On the state level, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo struck a similar note over the weekend: "If anyone feels that they are under attack, I want them to know that the state of New York—the state that has the Statue of Liberty in its harbor—is their refuge….We won't allow a federal government that attacks immigrants to do so in our state." It's unclear what that might mean in policy terms, and it could just turn out to be posturing. But if the deportation drive sparks a serious civil disobedience movement—meaning not simply marches and the like, but active refusal to cooperate with the enforcers and organized attempts to shield immigrants from removal—then a sympathetic governor could make a genuine difference. If the movement can hold him to his words.

(* OK: They're otherwise undocumented, as a stickler in the comments points out.)

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77 responses to “The Coming Resistance to Trump's Immigration Crackdown

  1. As someone who is pro-nullification, I would like to see it come back.

    It was one of the basic checks and balances we have lost (the direct check of the state against the Feds).

    1. I’m pro-nullification and pro-federalism. When these cities nullify the policy AND lose all their federal funding, it will be a win-win.

      1. LOL

        NYC will happily toss up to a million illegals under the bus in exchange for sweet, sweet FedBucks.

    2. I’m pro nullification as well.. but ONLY for laws, or things masquerading as such, that are in accord with the Supreme Law of the Land, the Constitutioin. “Laws” such as mandates to register certain types of firearms, obey unlawful orders of Fed agents attempting to boss folks about with illegal orders, laws federal laws purporting to regulate/prohibit the ingestion/possession of substances illegally deemed “controlled” by FedGov, those “laws” MUST be nullilfied, as they are not law at all, being contrary to the Constitutioin.

      1. But laws justly made in open session of Congress, plenty of public input, and duly voted upon by ou elected representaties must be either changed or upheld. Immigration is one of the few areas of responsibility autorised FedGov. The laws are on the books, have been for a generation. Until the STATES take back that power from FedGov by ammending the Constitution, STATES are bound to uphold them, or at least allow FedGov to do so. What these “cities” are threatening is no different than the South’s secession… actually, not quite… because the Constitutoin nowhere prohibits the sovereign states that joined the union to later decide to unjoin, whereas every state has ratified the positiion of Congress to make immigration law. Those states wanting to harbour illegal aliens have two options: one, move in COngress to permit it by ammending our Constitution, two, leave the union and make their new constitution one that recognises open borders, no immigration controls, etc. (we’ll see how many months those new nations last, feeding the unwashed millions that wil surely invade from the Sandbox, and the continued steady stream coming through Mexico. “Other People” whose money will feed, clothe, heal, house them will soon enough awaken and leave. We’ll see the true free market “curing” the problem.

        1. So, slavery should be enforced then?

          How about this instead – all law enforcement is restricted to enforcing the laws created by its level of government and that that agency has jurisdiction over.

          Meaning Federal cops enforce Federal law and only Federal law, State cops enforce State law and only State law.

          No more Border Patrol stopping people for DUI’s, no more Game Wardens stopping people for speeding.

  2. If Trump would deport Schumer, I would forgive him a host of other evils.

  3. I was just going to say that Reason should time their posting schedule to coordinate with the moments where my kids are all content, productively occupied and I want a smoke break.

    And Walker provides. Well done, that man!

  4. I want them to know that the state of New York?the state that has the Statue of Liberty in its harbor?is their refuge

    “The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.”

    1. “The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.”

      No one realized Emma Lazarus actually meant “Jersey”.

      1. Poetic license.

    2. a federal government that attacks immigrants

      There seems to be a word missing in there… I wonder which one it is.

      1. uhhhmm… “cute”? maybe “wealthy”? Oh I know, how about highlu skilled and motivated”? No? er, uhmmmmmm….. maybe its ……. oh, I give up. Surely ONE of those words is the ONE……..

  5. So NYC is just the state’s “harbor,” is it?

  6. “Besides de Blasio, the mayors of Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Providence, San Francisco, and Seattle have all said they’ll stand by their sanctuary status.”

    Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Providence, San Francisco, and Seattle, . . .

    What is it about progressives that makes them think we’re so obsessed with what they say?

    Why is the symbolic so much more important to them than the real thing?

    Make it cost the city money, and they’ll capitulate.

    Give them money for processing, and they’ll sue Trump for failing to deport even more illegal aliens.

    1. Americans are no longer listening to their hysterics. They have to import some people who will pretend to listen because they can’t speak English. If they actually knew how batshit crazy the progs are, they’d go back to their country and never return.

    2. What is it about progressives that makes them think we’re so obsessed with what they say?

      “The greater the ego, the deeper the paranoia.”

    3. This. A thousand times this. They will posture, but they would go broke the second that money stopped flowing in. That being said, I’m absolutely against picking and choosing who to punish by withholding Federal dollars.

      Personally, I think they shouldn’t be getting that type of funding at all unless there’s some kind of major emergency like a Hurricane, and even then only to GTFO. Why should a city get money from Federal taxes? Those should go to Federal concerns, not local one’s. This is another reason why everyone wants to beseech the king for grace, because the king can distribute grace. That’s a problem for me.

      1. Why should a city get money from Federal taxes?

        Because they’re a big city that the Democrats can rely upon electorally to decide national politics for we the serfs in flyover country.

      2. And people wonder why rural areas consistently vote red.

      3. Every locality in the country gets federal money. How do think insanity like the drinking age and “55 saves lives” came about?

  7. Is there an income tax sanctuary city?

      1. I hear the beaches are nice this time of year.

        1. Good luck on getting there, though.

          Did you see this?

          LP flunkies lurking at H&R, apparently.

            1. Stop stomping on my half-assed, throw-away comments. 😉

              1. Abandon petty pedantry in order to fit in with human beings? Do you know which site you’re on?!

                1. Well, there’s that…

          1. or back. You know, to collect more of your retirement checks so you can live on the cheap in Mogue……

        2. And you can be a Pirate

      2. Sorry, man, that got ruined two years ago.

        The comprehensive new taxation system comprises both direct and indirect taxes on individuals and businesses.

        The plans detail tariff levels for taxes on income, property, corporate plus goods and services.

        1. Those roadz don’t build themselves.

  8. So, I guess that whole concept of enforcing the law is the best way to change it is dead and gone now.

    I see no problems with local law enforcing picking and choosing what laws to enforce.

    Riiiight…

    1. Except that local law enforcement are not authorized to enforce federal laws. Locals enforce local and state laws. Feds enforce fed laws, not local or state laws. In those rare instances where locals do enforce immigration law they have to get special permission from the feds (this based on H&R reporting about Arpaio, IIRC).

      1. Although, local and state law enforcement officials do still have to follow Federal law, the same as the rest of us. If it was e.g. made a crime to harbor an illegal immigrant at the Federal level, local law enforcement would have to “enforce” that law or else run afoul of it.

        Not that I want to see such a thing become law…

        1. There is also a federal rule that requires local law enforcement to report arrests of foreign born people (regardless of citizenship) to the State Department so that they can advise the appropriate consulate that one of their nationals may require consular assistance.

          It seems to be rarely followed. There was a case in Texas a few years back where a German was on death row before the German government found out about him. It lead to a whole new round of legal wrangling before the state was able to carry out the sentence.

          Its one of those things that should be putting the ACLU in something of a quandary. While the general train of their thinking is that they are protecting undocumented aliens by non reporting, They may be putting at least some of them in danger of not getting proper legal representation and other legal protections.

  9. It’s nice that progressives are embracing the idea of resisting the federal government. So when we set up sanctuaries against enforcement of federal gun control laws, they’ll jump on board, right?

    1. Do guns vote Democrat? We know they are sapient, after all…

      1. Unlike Democrats.

      2. I think you meant “sentient” (thinking) as opposed to “sapient” (tool-using).

        1. I went with Wikipedia-approved definition

          Sentience – can feel and percieve. Animals are sentient, trees are not.

          Sapience – can form judgements and solve complex problems.

          Which, granted, could be wrong.

        2. sapeint derives from the latin root for “know” or “understand?.

          Actually, both woudl work….

    2. They’ve got to free the poor migrant hordes, so that they can enslave them. If the migrant hordes knew what was good for them, they’d flee now.

    3. This reminds me of a usual liberal reply to any complaints about Obamacare and the individual mandate – “It’s the law!”

      Their standard is that any laws that they approve of must be slavishly enforced to the letter and any that they don’t can be flouted with impunity

      1. Or as Trotsky aptly put it Who, whom?

        It came to be used as a formula describing the inevitability of class struggle, i.e. who (which of two antagonists) will dominate the other. In this view, all compromises and promises between enemies are just expedients ? tactical manoeuvres in the struggle for mastery.

      2. It’s federal law not to destroy emails that have been subpoena’d by the DOJ, but it was just ok with them that one of their own did just that. They don’t care about the rule of law unless it suits them.

  10. What a great opportunity for cutting federal spending: cut funding to sanctuary cities. I look forward to this battle.

  11. What if trump just continues the same deportations as trump?

    1. You mean as Obama? Then he’s a rat fucking bastard, obviously. Obama never deported anyone, it’s a lie!

      1. Yes. Trump has got me so flummoxed that I can’t even tap type.

      2. Yeah, they changed the reporting of deportations to count people turned away at the border and then the media, including reason and most of the commenters, lapped it up without question. Not everyone has, but you see the lie repeated constantly that Obama was ‘tough when it comes to deportation’ when he was anything but that.

  12. It’s funny. Arizona v. United States is actually a double-edged sword. Its proponents meant to keep states from being stricter on immigration than the Feds. But the ruling was that the Feds have ultimate authority. If the Feds get stricter than the states, then the states have to comply.

    1. If the Feds get stricter than the states, then the states have to comply.

      Citation needed.

      1. I’m sure SCOTUS can finagle a way to eat its cake and have it too, but until then the standing precedent is that Federal power over immigration is supreme and broad.

        1. that’s because that power is specifically and clearly given FedGov in the Constitition…. like our right to arms, jury trials, etc…… thus the states have been preempted. Not even the Tenth Article of Ammendment gives any room to states to do anything in this regard unless FedGov specifically empower them. Which they’ve not done. But could… essentially, deputise all states to enforce immigration and deportation laws/rules. Then the states would HAVE to. In a sense, that’s what this reporting the release of illegals jailed in connexion with crimes law did… local LE are REQUIRED to report the imminent release of any illegals being released, and are requested to release them TO Fed agents for further dealings. The refusal to abide by this is why that woman was killed in San Francisco by the perp released a couple days earlier. San Francisco refused to report his impending release to CBP, they just sprang him loose. I believe a strong case could be made to hold the idiots did this accountable as accessories to her murder. Had they upheld the law, HE would have been in Fed custory awaiting trial/deportation, and not have been on the street to kill her.

  13. Heh, this article is the embodiment of the argument I gave to Hazel Meade who was pants-shitting over the immigration threat Trump poses.

    Trump faces a difficult problem of logistics that really no institution in the US is capable of tackling alone (and many will oppose), except for the military. I don’t think I need to say more about what will happen if the powers of the CIC are invoked for this purpose.

    People can stop shitting themselves in fear. The media created it, but you believed them for a lot of other things they were wrong about (Nooooo, the coronation! It escaped Her Magesty! HOW?) We’ve been dominated by fear for too long, and mostly fear of all the wrong things.

    Damn it, squirrels.

  14. We got an early glimpse of that last week, when New York Mayor Bill de Blasio suggested that he might destroy a city database that contains information on undocumented New Yorkers rather than allow the feds to get their hands on it. (If you’re in New York City illegally you can still apply for a city ID card,

    Fucking hell, use the goddamn language. If they are in a database, they are not undocumented. In fact, that is exactly their problem. They are illegal migrants who got documented and so are now in danger of being deported.
    Words have meanings, and you can’t just change them by wishing. And if you do, you will be disappointed – how well did replacing “retarded” with “special” work? As well as replacing “moron” with “retarded”?

    1. “trump’s immigration crackdown” – Juvenile tendentiousness, again. Or is it trolling? So hard to tell these days.

      “But if the deportation drive sparks a serious civil disobedience movement?meaning not simply marches and the like, but active refusal to cooperate with the enforcers and organized attempts to shield immigrants from removal?then a sympathetic governor could make a genuine difference.” – How about calling for taxpayers in the state to stop paying taxes to the federal government?

    2. If they are in a database, they are not undocumented.

      Congratulations, Pan: You now have your own footnote in the post.

      1. *Sniff*

        This is it. My pedantry has been rewarded, I can die a happy man.

        Also, thanks for reading the comments – I don’t think I’d have patience to wade them if I were a Reason writer 🙂

    3. In this case, “documented” means you’ve got your Green Card or equivalent. Context, my man. COntext is all so important.

      I could have a cash register receipt for the Big Mac I paid for with cash, and since it is a “document” in the larger meaning of the word, I’d be “documented” even if I were illegal.

      My “Pink Form” as a landed immigrant in Canada makes me a “documented” immigrant. By Alberta driving license does not.

  15. Is Shika using other’s bylines when they’re out to lunch?

  16. The liberals don’t understand what Trump is doing right now. I honestly don’t think he cares about immigration. The guy hired undocumented and foreign guest workers.

    Trump knows that ending sanctuary cities and deporting criminal aliens will be a popular “electoral college” policy. Who would be extra motivated to defend them outside of urban zones? And those who came out to defy Trump’s immigration policy (which is a vague “deport criminal illegals) could be characterized as elites – Blasio, Charlie Beck, Rahm Emmanuel, etc.

    When Obama was in charge, the other side was on offense. The opposition was motivated to act. Now the sides have switched, but Trump doesn’t want to give the ball to the other team. He still wants the ball. A calculated immigration battle will keep his side energized and ready to meet the butthurt opposition who are mobilizing themselves.

  17. How many dollars of goods and services do unauthorized foreigners *buy* in the US every year? Just curious. Because if you deport them, they won’t be doing that anymore.

    1. for every dollar they “earn” and spend here, they deprive legal residents of those dollars. Second, for every dollar they earn and spend here, they send about four back home, never to see the USA again. Third, for every dollar they “earn” and spend here they TAKE five or so more from the legally working taxpayers that support them in their schools, free health clinics, meal plans, incarceration and legal costs, section eight housing they take but are not entitiled to.

      I’ve likely forgotten a few more items.. oh, here’s one… the costs inflicted on the population where they live in ways like increaased car insurance premiums from wrecks they cause and they have no insurance to MY premiums go up because of the actuarial numbers, increased public service to people who do not contribute to their costs thruogh either fees or taxes…..

  18. Sorry guys, but this battle has already been fought and lost. The Obama administration went to court and successfully got them to sign off that states can’t run their own immigration policy. The cities might have had a leg to stand on. But that was cut down, to the applause of many of the columnists here.

    1. Yup. The Tench ARticle of Amendment to the Constitution clearly spells out.. if a power is given FedGov, that authority trumps, and states cannot exercise it. If a power is NOT given FedGov, or denied the states, then it accrues to the states or the people.

      Immigration is clearly assigned FedGov. End of game. Until there is a Constitutional Ammendment changing that, that’s reality. Thus the sanctuary cities are in clear violation of the COnstitutioin, not to mention the Federal level laws mentioned int the article.

      N ow, FedGov could grant authority to the states to enforce immigration when it comes to their attention…. or fail to enforce when it comes to their attention. But the law requiring reporting of the arrest of foreign born people )federal law) mandates states, counties, cities, etc, reporting ALL foreign born to Feds. Start cracking down on they who refuse…..

  19. Here’s one to ponder:

    Harboring an illegal alien is a federal offense

    (ii) knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, transports, or moves or attempts to transport or move such alien within the United States by means of transportation or otherwise, in furtherance of such violation of law;

    (iii) knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals, harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place, including any building or any means of transportation;

    https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1324

    So, once the PD in a “sanctuary city” arrests an illegal, determines they are illegal, and then proceeds to knowingly transport them and/or conceals that fact from the feds, haven’t they committed a federal crime?

    1. Sounds like it.

  20. One problem with that is that only the feds can actually determine the citizenship or immigration status of anyone.

    Unless the arrestee comes out and says “I’m illegal” cops have no way of actually knowing if a foreign born arrestee is legal or not.

    There is however already a federal rule that requires local law enforcement to report arrests of foreign born people (regardless of citizenship) to the State Department so that they can advise the appropriate consulate that one of their nationals may require consular assistance. Link to the State Dept doc that covers this in my post above, 11.16.16 @ 6:09PM.

    1. That was for R C Dean|11.16.16 @ 5:01PM in case it is not obvious.

  21. On immigration, Trump is right – Obozo and Reason, are wrong.

    1. And knowing is half the battle.

  22. Will gunfire be involved?

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