The battle of the Federal Government versus sanctuary cities may not be at the forefront of the news, but it is still ongoing. Federal judge, Harry Leinenweber, ruled that the government’s opposition to sanctuary cities was unconstitutional. While the ruling currently applies in Chicago only, it has set up a potential State versus Federal government showdown in court.
President Trump’s sanctuary city executive order, which refers to Section 1373 or title 8 of the United States Code, was written to prohibit any government entity from withholding a person’s immigration status from the feds. The penalty for violating the provision is the withholding of federal funds. This law is the cornerstone of recent immigration enforcement by the Trump Department of Justice, but Judge Leinenweber ruled that this practice is not legal.
Leinenweber used a recent Supreme Court ruling that states can legalize gambling, despite contradictory federal regulation. The judge claims that sanctuary cities cannot have the federal government tell them what laws they can and cannot make.
Richard Henry Lee was an influential proponent of the Articles of Confederation, where states’ rights held the majority of power over a national government. A statesman and a planter by trade, Lee is given credit for drafting the Declaration of Independence and the Confederation Articles. Eventually, he drafted the 10th Amendment, guaranteeing states’ rights, which is vital to freedom.
The late Justice Antonin Scalia decided to allow burning the American flag. He stated that while he abhorred the treatment of the most significant symbol of liberty, he ruled that it was legal to burn the flag as it fell under free speech and the right to speak against the government without retribution. This ruling was not met with great applause by those on the right, but it was the correct decision.
President Trump’s intentions are noble. He doesn’t want illegal aliens in this country. They should not be able to come in and take jobs from natural born and legalized immigrants. All people should come legally. However, signing an executive order that dictates to states which laws they can and cannot make is a threat to states’ rights.
Local Action not Federal Interference
Sanctuary cities are a problem. The municipalities harbor individuals who break the law by coming across the border illegally. The left paints a picture of people with good intentions, saying that such people are looking for a better life, but instead end up being terrorized by ICE. However, their portrayal is inaccurate. If the individuals don’t want to be approached by the authorities, they could at least have entered through a port of entry. They choose to cross the border unlawfully and then live looking over their shoulder.
If a citizen does not like the law their local government passed, such as creating a sanctuary city, they should take legal action by suing, and moving the issue through the court system as high as it will go. A judge should not unilaterally make a decision; the case should come to him or her.
Sanctuary cities are placing their legal citizens below the status of illegal immigrants. No, not all illegals are evil people. However, the heart of man is not naturally good. When people illegally pass through our borders, they may have a sense of anonymity, which emboldens them to commit crime ranging from identification theft to deadly driving under the influence to sexual assault and murder. These offenses occur all over the country. The jurisdictions in which citizens live have a moral obligation to do what they can to ensure the safety of their people within the law, and should voluntarily give the federal government information on immigrants’ legal statuses.
Liberty is not always agreeable, but it is always American.
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