Immigration

Trump's Sanctuary City Funding Threat Protects Police Money

Law enforcement representatives had worried about loss of grants.

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Trump
Sipa USA/Newscom

Today President Donald Trump made good on his threat to go after "sanctuary cities" (cities that decline to investigate the immigration statuses of people within their jurisdiction) by going after their federal funds. He signed an executive order today attempting to implement a policy denying federal grants for any of these 200 estimated sanctuary cities if they refuse to assist the federal government in investigating immigration statuses.

One problem that was brought up in November after Trump's election: Law enforcement agencies and unions didn't support this mechanism of intimidating cities. It wasn't that they cared so much about the civil liberties. They were not going to support anything that prevented any sort of gravy train from rolling into their police stations. Law enforcement agencies are prime recipients of federal grants.

Trump, having run on a hard core law-and-order, stop-and-frisk, civil-rights-are-for-wusses campaign, was not interested in angering these guys. So his executive order today explicitly exempts grants "deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes."

Trump is also calling for the administration to publicize, on a weekly basis, a list of crimes committed by aliens "and any jurisdiction that ignored or otherwise failed to honor any detainers with respect to such aliens." One assumes these must be aliens the federal government detain or arrest after sanctuary city interactions. Otherwise there's a bit of a logic flaw in trying to highlight criminals who are illegal immigrants operating in cities that refuse to check their immigration status and report that information to the feds.

In any event, this executive action seems designed to maintain the loyalty of law enforcement agencies to Trump. Read the sanctuary cities section of the order below, check the full executive orders being signed today here, and check out this defense of sanctuary cities as a tool to encourage immigrants to cooperate with law enforcement to solve crime and keep communities safer:

EO
White House

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  1. if they refuse to assist the federal government in investigating immigration statuses.

    Obviously the solution is to just fuck up their assistance.

  2. Otherwise there’s a bit of a logic flaw in trying to highlight criminals who are illegal immigrants operating in cities that refuse to check their immigration status and report that information to the feds.

    And the flaw in your logic is assuming “a bit of a logic flaw” is any encumbrance to government policy.

  3. Is the White House still using typewriters? Where else are they getting that Courier font? Or does Trump just like being funky?

    1. With those Russian hackers everywhere, I applaud the White House for using typewriters.

    2. I am sure there are some outdated laws somewhere that either expressly prescribe the use of the typewriter or the font.

      1. Hard to get triplicate copies off’a one of them there new-fangled computer thingies.

        1. Back in the mid ’80s my mother bought a computer for her tax preparation business. Because everything had to be typed in those duplicate/triplicate forms she had a printer for her old Kaypro that had a daisy wheel in it.

          You could put the form in and hit print and it would “type” away on the form.

    3. Screenplays are all still written in Courier. It probably remains more prevalent than you think.

  4. It excludes police funding? Not ten minutes ago, the mayor of Philly was warming that folks wouldn’t like it because it threatened police funding. Of course, no news reader challenged the mayor on his alternate facts.

  5. This sucks.

    I hate me some federal funding of any state or municipal program. It breeds fiscal incontinence, and sets up the feds as the master of things they have not business sticking their nose in.

    I like the concept that the states don’t have to lift a finger to enforce federal law. It does lead to inconsistent enforcement of the laws. The way the states eagerly joining drug task forces for the money, and blow off immigration enforcement for the votes, is the kind of queasy-making things politicians do, and this is another arena for them to be unprincipled whores.

    But walling off the money for the cops from any sequester of funds to sanctuary cities really blows.

    1. The one upside that I see to this urination match is that city councils might decide that since the PoPo is still getting $2M from the Feds and all the other city departments are losing their Fed Goodies, they will structure the budget to reduce the city funding of the PoPo by $2M and use that money on other city departments.

      I’m pretty sure that the cops won’t go quietly into the night if their budgets get cut at the local level. Hopefully their whining makes the local pols decide to cut even more.

      But I’m an optimist.

  6. In case you’re wondering, BTW, the critical section of the law cited above is this:

    Notwithstanding any other provision of Federal, State, or local law, a Federal, State, or local government entity or official may not prohibit, or in any way restrict, any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.

    Its an interesting question whether the rule that the feds can’t order a state to (affirmatively) do something, means they can’t prohibit a state from not doing that thing. Its kinda like a reverse version of the ObamaCare argument that not buying insurance isn’t engaging in interstate commerce – buying something is commerce, but not buying something isn’t commerce. The feds aren’t ordering the locals to do anything, they are ordering them not to prohibit the doing of that thing.

    1. Still, the Constitutional authority for such a provision of Federal law is what? But even if such a law (controlling what States and their subdivisions can make law) is not Constitutional and so not directly enforceable, can the President enforce it indirectly by making grants to States or cities contingent on their following this “rule”?

  7. So I break my usual facebook routine (only log-in briefly, and just 2-4 times a year) and it’s a deluge of derp, and that’s just from Cato.

    1. My usual facebook routine is to have never signed up, fortunately.

  8. “Trump is also calling for the administration to publicize, on a weekly basis, a list of crimes committed by aliens “and any jurisdiction that ignored or otherwise failed to honor any detainers with respect to such aliens.” ”

    Scapegoating foreigners FTW!

  9. “That’s a good-sized hand you’ve got there, Mr. President.”

  10. So, judging from the picture of the executive order, the White House is still using typewriters?

  11. check out this defense of sanctuary cities as a tool to encourage immigrants to cooperate with law enforcement to solve crime

    Ach, what bullshit. Without illegals there would be less crime, and less spending on schools and social services, which would mean more resources to fight crime.

    1. Without illegals there would be less crime

      … doubtful. Unless you are playing the technical game of “they’re committing a crime just by being here” (which is also technically untrue, since immigration violations are civil offenses).

      If you could somehow make them all vanish overnight, then it might decrease the crime rate in some places.

      1. If there are 11 million illegals and just one is a criminal, then crime would go down. Not as a percentage, but in absolute numbers.

        1. But also as a percentage.

  12. Not surprising. Based on the way Trump’s been talking the whole time, we’re gonna see police crackdowns in poor neighborhoods.

    Fan the flames, boys.

  13. Is this similar to Reagan withholding highway money to get the states to adopt a 55 mph speed limit? That is the one thing he did that some all-in Trump fans I know didn’t like. They’ve already abandoned their economic principles for Donny, I wonder if they’ll also forget that they didn’t like the feds blackmailing the states.

    1. Tell it Bluto. After Reagan helped the Nazis bomb Pearl Harbor, he set his time machine to 1974 where he forced all states to adopt 55 mph or die.

      psst psst. Reagan forced the States to set the drinking age to 21.

      1. Oops. thanks, knew I shoulda googled that.

  14. The federalism issues involved here are all tangled up, so I’ll skip that discussion and post this.

  15. Since this applies only to DOJ and DHS grants, the law enforcement exclusion is pretty huge. And the “to the extent consistent with law” language is also likely to prove a very big limitation on the actual impact of this. Lots of federal grants to state and local governments are mandatory provided certain statutory conditions are met. The executive branch can’t just tack on additional conditions. I’d like to see an analysis of the amount of dollars that is actually subject to this after that exclusion and the law enforcement exclusion.

  16. On the issue of “sanctuary cities”, it is worth remembering that under international treaty obligations police forces in the USA are required to report to the Department of State any arrestees who are born in foreign countries and hence may be nationals of foreign governments.

    This is done so that those persons can avail themselves of the protection of such consular services that might be available to them.

    It’s also worth noting that local law enforcement is no really qualified to decide issues like citizenship status. Under federal law anyone’s citizenship status is a matter for ICE to decide.

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