In a speech to Pennsylvania voters this Saturday, President Donald Trump asked for Congress’s help in confronting one of the major scourges preventing his administration from enforcing the law: Sanctuary cities.
“I’m calling on Congress to stop funding sanctuary cities so we can save American lives,” he said. “The funding bill should not give precious and massive taxpayer grants to cities aiding and abetting criminals. It’s what they do.”
Trump was not the only member of the executive branch speaking out against sanctuary cities this weekend. In a speech at Georgetown University on Saturday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions blamed “activist judges” for preventing the government from enforcing the law.
“The court is not superior; the court does not get to have the final word in every dispute, give me a break,” he said. “It would be fitting to call them nonparty injunctions or limitless injunctions, since they bind all of America and grant relief to those who are not parties to the case.”
Sessions said that the Trump administration had been blocked by no less than 22 injunctions by liberal judges as it pertains to everything from immigration to the travel ban to transgender individuals serving in the military. He said it was absurd that just one federal judge could remake federal policy based not on the law, but on his own far-left opinion of the issue.
“It’s a question often of pure, raw power — who decides?” he said.
That will be the legal question in the air as the Department of Justice sues California for the sanctuary laws they passed last year. The Trump administration is claiming that, in passing these laws, the state went beyond their local sovereignty to actively hinder the federal government’s ability to enforce the law. Provisions that prevent employers from even speaking to ICE authorities, for instance, go well beyond the “ignore detainer requests” pretense of traditional sanctuary policies. Federal authorities were also outraged by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who sent out a warning two weeks ago alerting illegal immigrants in her area that an ICE raid was imminent.
But whatever the outcome of that case may be, taking taxpayer grants away from cities with sanctuary policies should not be controversial and should certainly not be blocked by a federal judge. The government has every right to tie these grants to specific policy enforcement – we saw the Obama administration do the exact same thing when it came to the school lunch program. The ONLY reason is it being blocked is because these liberal judges want to support illegal immigrants and the Democrats who protect them.
If Congress needs to step in and pass legislation, then let’s get it done.