By Investors Business Daily
Immigration: A battle is brewing between the federal government’s right to enforce U.S. immigration laws and some cities’ and blue states’ desire to provide “sanctuary” for illegal immigrants in the U.S.
But unlike the past four presidents, Donald Trump is willing, even eager, to fight this battle.
While we often sympathize with states and cities in their fights with big government, this is one case where the federal government is right.
By both tradition and law, immigration and control of U.S. borders have always been a duty and obligation of the federal government — not states and cities.
That idea was vindicated this week as the Supreme Court let most of President Trump’s temporary restrictions on Muslim immigrants from six Middle Eastern nations go into effect — despite lower-court rulings by Obama-appointed judges in California, Hawaii, Washington and Maryland that Trump’s temporary travel ban discriminated against Muslims.
(President Trump’s travel ban has been partially unblocked by the Supreme Court. Courtesy of KHOU 11 and YouTube)
The largely city-based sanctuary movement in a number of states poses another challenge and, as with the travel ban, leftist Obama holdovers on the lower courts have supported these illegal actions.
As Stephen Dinan of the Washington Times noted this week, “federal judges remain major stumbling blocks to (Trump’s) aggressive immigration plans, with courts from California to Michigan and Atlanta limiting his crackdown on sanctuary cities and stopping him from deporting illegal immigrants he has targeted for removal.”
These sanctuary-city movement and its anti-Trump allies on the bench are wrong, constituting a clear effort to illegally circumvent federal law.
Trump understands this.
He’s ratcheting up the heat on the Obama-appointed holdovers in lower courts and their local political allies who stymie his efforts to stanch the flow of illegals across U.S. borders and to deport those who come here and commit serious crimes.
Right now, his most powerful weapon is changing the Supreme Court.
Trump is just one nominee away from making Obama’s left-wing lower-court judges irrelevant on larger issues of immigration.
As for the blatantly illegal sanctuary-city movement, Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Tom Homan said this week he supports letting victims of criminal aliens to sue sanctuary city officials who allowed the criminals to stay.
In short, sanctuary city officials are being put on notice: You can’t flout U.S. law and allow your own citizens to be victimized any longer.
Congress also is getting in on the act, with two bills now before it to tighten up immigration rules.
One of the bills, Kate’s Law — named for Kate Steinle, a tourist to San Francisco who was brutally murdered by an illegal immigrant — imposes strict minimum prison sentences on deportees who return to the U.S.
It passed late Thursday in the House, and is likely to pass in the Senate, too.
(Learn More, courtesy of Golden State Times and YouTube)
The second bill would take away some federal grants from states and cities actively taking part in the sanctuary movement.
Trump is encouraging Congress to pass the bills as part of his broader effort to reduce the number of illegal-alien gang members, drug dealers and even terrorists within U.S. borders.
“Closing these loopholes in our laws must be a priority if we are to make America safe from these dangerous transnational organizations,” Trump said.
Yes, as the left frequently reminds us, America is a nation of immigrants. But it’s a nation of legal immigrants, not illegal ones. And there is a difference. Any nation that ceases to control its borders ceases to be a nation.
(Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly and Representatives Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Doug Collins (R-GA), and Raul Labrador (R-ID) discuss immigration enforcement legislation. Courtesy of PBS NewsHour and YouTube)
We urge Congress to pass both laws and show it’s serious about protecting our borders.
Nobody stands above the law — not the self-righteous local officials who obstruct the law by taking part in the sanctuary city movement, and not the criminals who return to the U.S. again and again and commit violent crimes.
We hope Americans — tired of having the nation’s laws ignored by far-left politicians and judges and of seeing fellow citizens victimized by illegal alien criminals — understand that this really isn’t about immigration at all.
No, it’s about keeping America a sovereign nation and protecting the rule of law, two pillars of our nation’s founding that the open-border left just hates.