Trump takes aim at sanctuary cities

If you're going to be an illegal in the U.S., maybe living in a sanctuary city won't be the smartest way to go about it.

According to the New York Times:

The Trump administration is deploying law enforcement tactical units from the southern border as part of a supercharged arrest operation in sanctuary cities across the country, an escalation in the president's battle against localities that refuse to participate in immigration enforcement.

The specially trained officers are being sent to cities including Chicago and New York to boost the enforcement power of local Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, according to two officials who are familiar with the secret operation. Additional agents are expected to be sent to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Houston, Boston, New Orleans, Detroit and Newark, N.J.

The move reflects President Trump's persistence in cracking down on so-called sanctuary cities, localities that have refused to cooperate in handing over immigrants targeted for deportation to federal authorities. 

This, from the point of view of having a rational immigration law applicable to everyone, makes a lot of sense.  Up until now, there's been an incentive for illegals to move to sanctuary cities.  Now there's a balancing disincentive, which might just rationalize the picture.

As things stand now, if an ICE agent wishes to carefully target an illegal who has preyed on Americans, broken laws, victimized others, and been convicted, he can't even stand at the courthouse or jailhouse door to apprehend the criminal for deportation.  Sanctuary laws prohibit any cooperation from local law enforcement to hand such people over, so illegals who have committed additional crimes are being released on the streets, free to prey again. 

Sanctuary cities have thwarted ICE at every turn, through a web of courthouse laws, biased judges who rule against any administration move to enforce U.S. immigration law, and state lawsuits to keep federal dollars flowing in the pick-and-choose legal setup of these cities and states. 

If the sanctuary cities won't cooperate in enforcing simple, basic, commonsense federal law, then fine, the new setup means feds will do it themselves, and they won't be discreet about it.

This should send up a chorus of howls from the left about "jackbooted thugs," something they have regularly denounced Republicans for when the situation involved returning a lost Cuban boy back to a life of communism.

But it's likely to work, because if you're an illegal and your hide is on the line, you are going to be making choices about your best options.

Sending in the scariest-looking feds to these cities will serve as a reminder that the feds are now specially looking for criminal illegals who can't be apprehended any other way, which is actually their job, hampered only by the large number of illegals out there.  If the feds can't prioritize the criminal illegals for deportation, then fine, lots of illegals will be targeted instead — and if an illegally present baby mama or two get scooped up in the process, well, that's on the sanctuary cities.  These places had their choice — they could have turned over the criminal illegals and let sleeping dogs lie, but they didn't, so now the feds are going to be hunting pretty much every illegal down on the streets of these places, with big equipment. 

For those here illegally, that serves as a disincentive to move to a sanctuary city instead of a non-sanctuary city.  They might just find it better to move someplace besides a sanctuary city, live quietly, and refrain from breaking laws. 

But don't expect the sanctuary cities not to howl.

Up until now, blue cities and states have had their reasons for handing illegals every incentive to stay in these cities — sanctuary, free health care, free legal services, free education, free housing, driver's licenses, zero barriers to employment, and a host of other incentives in the package.  Sanctuary more than anything protects and expands their vast state and civic bureaucracy dedicated to serving illegals, along with the vast NGO network of lawyers, activists, church groups, and human service agencies.  Illegals also beef up the census numbers, which in turn leads to more Democrat congressional seats from districts with 9% voter turnout rates because so much of the "represented" population is in the country illegally.

Democrats, and these groups, make billions off illegals, through federal funding and congressional representation, which is why they are so determined to have so many illegals concentrated in their cities.  It's "filling the pews," as Steve Bannon once said.  No illegals, no funding.  These cities claim to care about illegals as they shield the lawbreakers from deportation, but in reality, they care about themselves.  Sanctuary cities are essentially protection rackets for bureaucrats and activists. 

Now that the big guns are making a show of force in the quest for criminal illegals, the incentives for illegals to serve as funding fodder for bureaucrats are now balanced by the Trump administration's disincentives to avoid getting scooped up in some random enforcement action. The livin' may be easy in blue cities but now there's a cat factor, as in the case of the city mouse in the Aesop fable. That may well burst the NGO bubble and fattened bureaucracies as illegals consider their best options and leave.

That's a blow for them, but a victory for federal law and a federal reassertion over states that like money better than they like law. It might just break them.

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