Out: Sanctuary cities. In: Sanctuary states (two in the last week)

Out: Sanctuary cities. In: Sanctuary states (two in the last week)
A rally for illegal migration in Chicago, Feb 2017. (Image: Screen grab of ABC 7 Chicago video, YouTube)

The mainstream media aren’t getting the conversation started on this, so it appears it’s up to the blogosphere.  In terms of there being “sanctuary states,” the train has already left the station.  This is a very dangerous trend, and we cannot take it lightly.

In California, where’s there’s a (somewhat overhyped) “Calexit” movement, we did get some major press coverage a few weeks ago of legislation in Sacramento to turn California into an official sanctuary state.  The specifics of the legislation are basically the same measures that define a “sanctuary city”: prohibiting state (or local) law enforcement from cooperating with federal authorities in administering immigration law.  (Note, Colorado also has a sanctuary-state bill percolating through its legislature, as does New Mexico.)

What this often boils down to is local law enforcement being ordered not to honor federal “detainer” requests for illegals being held in local jails.  It can also mean not notifying the feds when a records check is run during a routine stop, and an illegal being detained is found to be the subject of a federal warrant.

In California’s case, it may mean not giving ICE access to local jails “for purposes of immigration enforcement.”

In California, the majority of cooperation between local and federal agencies happens in county jails and is completely voluntary.

Many jails allow ICE agents to interview inmates suspected of being in the country illegally. Some jails also tell ICE when certain inmates will be released so federal agents can detain those inmates as soon as they are out on bail or are finished serving their sentence.

As now written, the sanctuary state bill would prohibit the use of state facilities for immigration enforcement purposes. This would essentially kick ICE out of county-run jails.

Alert readers will recognize that all of this means “sanctuary” locations effectively plan to simply release at least some accused criminals – almost always people with prior criminal convictions, who, upon being released into the community, are going to rob, rape, kill, assault, break and enter, traffic drugs, and commit DUI infractions again.

The California legislation is still working its way through the state senate.  (It passed the assembly in January.)

But if the senate bill passes, and the legislation goes forward to Governor Jerry Brown for signature, California will be late to the table.  This week, Washington State already became a sanctuary state by gubernatorial decree.

Also this past week, Connecticut’s Democratic governor, Dan Malloy, solidified his state’s prior, quasi-“sanctuary” policy by ordering state law enforcement not to comply with any ICE detainers.  He stated further that all local law enforcement personnel (i.e., including sheriffs and city police forces) should refuse access for ICE to individuals in their custody.

Although the decrees from Governors Inslee and Malloy are careful to say that the states will honor federal criminal warrants, the specific measures they outline make it less likely that local law enforcement will actually find out about the warrants.  Law enforcement personnel in Washington are directed to not “collect personal information” on individuals, except to provide services.

In fact, a Washington State trooper processing a recent auto collision discovered an existing federal warrant for one of the drivers, during a routine records check that he would have run on any other driver, and is now in trouble with his chain of command because the federal warrant was issued by ICE.

This last situation highlights one of the worst aspects of setting up “sanctuary” locations.  It’s necessary to treat law-abiding legal citizens like dog doodoo in order to administer a “sanctuary.”

There is simply no justification for being more vigilant about legal citizens than about people who aren’t legal citizens.  Yet that’s the position law enforcement is put in.  To create a sanctuary location, legal citizens have to be subjected unequally to the standard of vigilant enforcement – while the illegal are let off without routine records checks, or the normal pursuit a citizen would be subjected to, if he failed to comply with the law.

There is no basis for peaceful “coexistence” between these two realities.  To demand such a “compromise” is to insist on what cannot be:  an unequal basis for law enforcement, with the people whose backs carry the nation – legal citizens, property owners, taxpayers, voters – being disfavored.  (And in 2017, this is a laughably non-“white” issue.  The people whose backs carry the nation are every race and creed.)

Eventually, the legal citizens will not stand for it anymore.  And there is no reason why they should.  In fact, if they can’t get justice by peaceful means, they will increasingly be near or even at the threshold where they have to take other measures.

This is a prescription for civil war.  It is not “OK” to continue demanding that law-abiding citizens simply live with this.  If enforcing the existing laws of the United States isn’t the answer – and that’s all Donald Trump is doing (in fact, in a way the great majority of Americans approve of: removing the illegals with violent criminal convictions) – then there needs to be another answer, and quickly.

The problem here is the people inside the United States who insist that our laws not be enforced.  I urge commenters not to waste everyone’s time with ugly words about illegal migrants.  There will always be people who do what they can get away with; the ones in that category are no more representative of their race or nationality than anyone else.  And fortunately, Americans don’t have a punitive, bloodthirsty attitude about illegal migrants.  That’s not what this is about.

Even more important, the great majority of illegals aren’t the ones demanding that our laws not be enforced.  It’s organized, well-heeled, enfranchised people in the U.S., and people with plenty of “voice” and resources outside the U.S., who do that.  Those are the people who are being politically opposed, and who have to be.

Opposing them means enforcing the law, regardless of how it infuriates them.  It may have to mean a showdown between state and federal authorities at some point.  God willing, a peaceful one.  If the proponents of lawlessness – like Inslee and Malloy – are opposed effectively, I don’t think they really will force a civil war.  But if they do, they will lose.

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval Intelligence officer who lives in Southern California, blogging as The Optimistic Conservative for domestic tranquility and world peace. Her articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s Contentions, Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard.

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