In his campaign for president, Donald Trump was very clear in his thoughts about the U.S. cities where local officials refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. He bashed these sanctuary cities relentlessly, and he vowed to do everything in his power to force them into compliance with the law.
Upon taking office, President Trump issued an executive order instructing the Justice Department to look at funding the White House could strip from those cities that continue to defy federal law. Presumably, that review is still taking place.
In the meantime, however, the Trump administration is beginning to apply public pressure on those cities in the form of weekly reports that name and shame jurisdictions where local police have ignored detainer requests sent to them by immigration officials.
The Department of Homeland Security published the first of these reports on Monday, identifying 118 police departments that refuse to honor detention requests. The report also listed 206 cases from a one-week period in which various cities refused to detain illegal immigrants who had been charged with a crime.
Thomas Homan, the acting director for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said in a statement that sanctuary cities were a threat to America’s security.
“When law enforcement agencies fail to honor immigration detainers and release serious criminal offenders, it undermines ICE’s ability to protect the public safety and carry out its mission,” he said. “Our goal is to build cooperative, respectful relationships with our law enforcement partners. We will continue collaborating with them to help ensure that illegal aliens who may pose a threat to our communities are not released onto the streets to potentially harm individuals living within our communities.”
Ultimately, this “name and shame” method may actually work better than anything Trump can do to force these sanctuary cities into compliance. The courts have ruled that these cities have the right to reject ICE detainer requests, and they may also find that Trump cannot strip them of federal funding. But we doubt there’s a judge in America who can stop the president from exposing these cities to the public.
Some of these cities will never budge. They’re so liberal that they’re barely American anymore. They’ll fight to the last dollar to make sure illegal immigrants have a safe place in their communities, and that’s fine. There won’t be many. The rest will find the political pressure too much to bear. Your average Democrat voter is not that enthusiastic about shielding criminal Mexicans from deportation, and your average Democrat politician is going to realize that before too long.
And when the nation’s illegal immigrants start flowing into the 20 or 30 sanctuary cities that are left…well, it won’t be long before this whole house of cards comes tumbling down.