National Police Union is Not Happy With Donald Trump's Proposed Crackdown on Sanctuary Cities

The union may have loved Trump's law-and-order rhetoric, but they don't want to lose funding over cities' refusal to comply with immigration crackdown.


Biting the hands that feed
Noopy420/Wikimedia Commons

The nation's largest police union—the National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP)—may have been enthralled by Donald Trump's law-and-order rhetoric and promises to enact "stop and frisk" policies on a national level, but there's one element of Trump's strongman act that's not sitting well with them: his promise to crackdown on the over 200 sanctuary cities in the United States.

Such cities, as Reason TV's Zach Weissmueller put it, "instruct local law enforcement officials to not investigate the immigration status of suspects or prisoners in their custody. The thinking is that such restraint will make victims and witnesses more likely to help police."

The powerful public sector union endorsed the president-elect back during the general election, but now they're worried that some of their biggest dues-paying local chapters will be adversely affected by a substantial loss of federal funding if Trump makes good on his campaign promise to punish cities who refuse to deploy their law enfrocement agencies for the purpose of rounding up and detaining undocumented immigrants for the purpose of deportation.

A number of major U.S. cities—including Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seattle—have already indicated they will not comply with Trump's edict that "Cities that refuse to cooperate with federal authorities will not receive taxpayer dollars, and we will work with Congress to pass legislation to protect those jurisdictions that do assist federal authorities."

But FOP's Executive Director James Pasco was quoted by the Washington Times as saying, "We do not support the withholding of public safety funds as a hammer," adding, "You can't hold people's safety over their heads to get them to come to your point of view."

The federal government has threatened to withhold federal funds to local law enforcement agencies for non-compliance in reporting deaths in custody to the FBI, but has yet to do so.

Whether or not Trump intends to punish over 200 cities—including highly-populated cities with large unionized police forces—remains to be seen. But with an immigration hard-liner like Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) expected to be the next attorney general, it would be unwise to bet against some form of an immigration crackdown becoing a reality.

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  1. But FOP’s Executive Director James Pasco was quoted by the Washington Times as saying, “We do not support the withholding of public safety funds as a hammer,” adding, “You can’t hold people’s safety over their heads to get them to come to your point of view.”

    If it helps, think of it as an asset forfeiture.

    1. +1 Behave or be tased

  2. “And so I grabbed both of their penises like this and just shook them. I shook ’em hard!”

  3. “You can’t hold people’s safety over their heads to get them to come to your point of view.”
    -FOP Executive Director James Pasco

    I just can’t think of the words right now.

    1. Beat me to it! That’s an all-time great quote right there.

    2. And then he got into his federally-funded tank (mounted .50 sold separately) purchased for “riot control” and drove away pissed.

      1. How many stop signs did he roll through in the process?

        1. Are you trying to imply that LEOs can break the law? Crazy talk.

    3. I’m sure he’s going to get right on condemning police unions who often threaten just that.

      1. That’s some nice public safety you’ve got here. It would be a shame if something were to happen to it.

    4. i would love to have that quote on every police car.

  4. Interesting how the FOP’s uses ‘…point of view’ in lieu of the more accurate ‘obey the law’.

  5. And yet both the left and right refuse to acknowledge the elephant in the room: if the federal government didn’t extract so much money from taxpayers to redistribute it like this across the country, the executive wouldn’t have the power to use those dollars to extort the states.

    Slimy rootkit to bypass the 10th Amendment is slimy.

    1. but then they wouldnt be able to make the drinking age uniform, or tie all sorts of bs to highway money!

  6. But FOP’s Executive Director James Pasco was quoted by the Washington Times as saying, “We do not support the withholding of public safety funds as a hammer,” adding, “You can’t hold people’s safety over their heads to get them to come to your point of view.”

    Where were you when they were destroying our highways, dickbag?

  7. The thing is, the feds could bring criminal charges for harboring illegal immigrants against anyone involved in housing or transporting illegals without reporting them to the feds.

    (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;

    First, note the “reckless disregard” language. I would say that transporting, via cop car, jail van, or whatever, an illegal without the intent of reporting them to the feds is in furtherance of such violation, and is a crime.

    (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;

    Seems to me like jailing an illegal before releasing them (which is typical of sanctuary cities) is caught by this clause.

    1. The rules do not apply to agents of the state, you silly goose.

    2. Without asking an individual about his or her immigration status, how would the cops know?

      1. If we hold a foreign national without notifying their embassy, I think that’s a problem. Doing some work for a sheriff’s office and they want a consulate notification form to produce in one of 22 languages based on nationality. In a blue state. Its possible that in trying to verify their foreign national status they discover that there is no record of entry.

      2. First, there’s “reckless disregard”. Plenty of illegals are identified as such, even though they deny it.

        Second, they often know that the person is an illegal. That woman gunned down in San Fran by the illegal during the campaign? The San Fran cops knew he was an illegal and released him even though they had an INS request for him in hand.

        1. Plenty of illegals are identified as such, even though they deny it.

          Forgive me, my head is a little cloudy from allergy meds today, but I’m not sure what you mean here. Identified how and by whom?

          What I’m asking is how would a municipal police officer know someone’s immigration status without asking? From what I understand, the legality of that question varies from state to state with some allowing it under “reasonable suspicion.” In a case where there is no reasonable suspicion, how can you charge them with reckless disregard if they had no reason to check on their status?

        1. no id?

          Whereas a green card holder must carry his id on his person at all times, a natural born citizen doesn’t.

          1. hmm.
            *wanders off thinking*

  8. (iv) encourages or induces an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law;

    Somebody needs to explain why Rahm Emmanuel hasn’t been charged under this clause following his open invitation to illegals to come to Chicago.


  9. If only there was some way for PD in sanctuary cities to not have their funds cut off.

    Something like following the law, maybe?
    Nah, that’s crazy talk.

    1. If only all cities were responsible for fully funding their own PDs rather than depending on Uncle Sam to send a chunk of the money back (minus “overhead”, of course).

      1. You know, there’s nothing stopping them from doing just that.

        1. this. a city of a million people should be able to fund their own pd.

          1. Maybe, but with the prolific legislators we have on the national level, as well as the state level in many states, it’s easy to see how law enforcement would consume the entire budget of a city. Common law, once again, shows it’s superiority to statutory law.

            1. i still think the main focus of police needs to change. right now, the goal is revenue.

              1. I think they should focus on crimes that have victims, for one thing…

  10. Just give them money to round up 2-3 million suspected rapists, murderers, drug dealers and voting felons. Problem solved.

  11. The NPO needs to stop worrying.

    1. There is no obligation, ‘sanctuary city’ or not, for police to investigate your residency status. Not doing so is exactly the same as not investigating whether or not you’ve committed any number of other Federal crimes. Because state police do not have an obligation to enforce Federal laws.

    2. Even if they do uncover evidence of the commission of a Federal crime – in this case illegal residency – all they’re obligated to do is inform CBP that they have a violator in custody, please come pick him up, we won’t hold him any longer than is needed to deal with whatever *state level* business brought him to our attention. That means that if he makes bail on a petty state assault charge today, he’s out the door tonight and if he does a runner that’s your problem.

    There you go – complete compliance with both the need to be a ‘sanctuary city’ and with Federal law. Not a single crack in the wall to hang a ‘we’re going to cut funding’ hook on.

    And hell, its what 90% of the police forces around the country *are already doing* – including the ones that don’t call themselves ‘sanctuary cities’ for the publicity. No county (not even Maricopa) is willing to foot the bill to keep Sancho in jail for a couple of weeks until CBP can get off its fat arse and come pick him up.

    1. That means that if he makes bail on a petty state assault charge today, he’s out the door tonight and if he does a runner that’s your problem.

      Well if I as a documented serf were jailed for a petty state assault charge and then I flee while out on bail, the state would surely consider that their own problem and devote a ridiculous amount of resources to my eventual capture. So if only I was smart enough to have broken an immigration law first, then I could just get on with my life.

      And yet it’s considered unfair to characterize illegal immigrants as casually flagrant law breakers.

    2. Actually, there is another item — federal funding for local police is, according to a DOJ IG ruling in August, dependent on complying with ICE detainer orders, which require holds for an additional 48 hours (excluding weekends and holidays) beyond when the local PD was going to release the prisoner. Sanctuary cities currently ignore those orders.

      But if dependence on shipments of Federal money that started with the Joe Biden-written “100,000 new police officers” crime bill passed by a Democratic House and Senate and signed into law by Bill Clinton has left the sanctuary cities vulnerable to Federal demands, well, you know, I can’t make myself actually care.

  12. My heart bleeds for the FOP. You were happy to puff yer chests out at his BLUE HEROZ talk, but now you might have to do some work for Uncle Sugar’s lucre to keep flowing….cry me a river.

  13. You know what would lend an air of seriousness and intelligence to this website? Using un-flattering pictures of Donald Trump when you report on him. Maybe a crude photo shop of his face on a cartoon baby.

    It’s like Gillespie is aspiring to the level of gravitas in those taboola click-bait ads.

    1. Please link to all the times you’ve complained about them using unflattering pictures of any other politician.

      No, that’s unfair. Just link to three.

      1. Reason posted some unflattering pictures of Bernie Sanders. But I’m not sure that was on purpose. I’m currently trying to find a flattering picture of Sanders… anywhere.

      2. I’ve thought to comment about it before, but am unsure of the stability of my position on it.

        It’s one thing to condemn someone’s actions or speech with words. It’s quite another to use frame-grabs on video to find weird pictures and then use those images to set the mood. We’d all be rightfully pissed if someone took our words out of context and used them to imply something very different than what was said. Isn’t doing this with a picture the exact same thing? You can frame-grab video of pretty much anyone speaking and make them look foolish or angry or upset because, despite how expressive our faces are, there are many intermediate points between them that closely resemble some emotional state that isn’t actually represented anywhere in the video the stills were taken from.

        I wonder how much this affects people’s psychological reactions. Could this be interpreted as socially engineering an audience? Is it effective at doing so, regardless of intent? Since I cannot be sure, I don’t feel right in outright condemning the practice regardless of the target. I think it’s pretty clear that I’m no fan of Trump (or duopoly candidates in general).

        1. I’m willing to be convinced one way or the other if there’s solid evidence.

        2. Could this be interpreted as socially engineering an audience?

          It’s an editorial magazine, so I don’t see the problem. They also say Very Mean things about Trump (and other politicians), with the intention of swaying the audience against the target.

          1. The problem I perceive is that we can process a picture faster than we can process words. It’s how our brains are wired (approximately 1/3 of our brain is dedicated to processing images).

            Is Reason’s aim to preach to the choir? If so, mission accomplished.

            What about outreach to those who are hesitant and want to know more about libertarian views? What about the kid whose parents have always voted Republican and thinks he or she may be a libertarian? How will that person react to an article with a picture that? Could they feel like someone is trying to socially engineer them and immediately become turned off. Do they even read the text that is meant to convince them of a position held by the author, or do they go elsewhere for their news?

            I don’t know the answers to those questions, but I think it would be good to find out so that the message has the best chance of spreading. A/B testing, maybe?

      3. Looks like you got me. I’ve never complained before, therefore I can never complain at all.
        Just common sense.

        1. No, it’s just indicative of why you are complaining now.

  14. Got it, not following the laws of the land for Republicans …. evil, horrible, wrong.

    not following the laws of the land for Democrats …. bold, noble, right.

  15. Better Alt Text….


  16. Lets change the argument by changing the term. These people aren’t illegals, they are foreign nationals, working here without a work visa and sending money out of the country to support relatives in the old country.

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