Following AG Sessions’ Threat, NYC No Longer A Sanctuary City
by John Banzhaf via ValueWalk.com,
Apr 3, 2017
In the wake of an announcement by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions that he would cut off funding if so-called sanctuary cities did not begin cooperating with the federal government regarding illegal aliens, it has been reported that the New York City Police Department [NYPD] alerts Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] agents if immigrants facing deportation are due to appear in Criminal Court, thereby making it easier for them to be detained by the federal government.
Although many cities loudly proclaimed that they would not yield to these threats and yield even one inch on their sanctuary status, some observers, including public interest law professor John Banzhaf, predicted that Sessions’ threat, even if arguably unconstitutional, would successfully pressure at least some jurisdictions.
He noted that Florida’s largest county, Miami-Dade, long known for welcoming immigrants, has already ordered jails there to “fully cooperate” with Trump’s order regarding sanctuary cities, and others appear to be considering it.
Other states are also moving to pressure localities to begin cooperating with federal immigration enforcement. These include, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Banzhaf has publicly suggested that Trump’s order may unconstitutionally violate both states’ rights and Congress’ rights, and the sanctuary behavior about which he complained may not even violate the statute he cited.
Nevertheless, in part because cities may have difficulty obtaining a prompt judicial ruling on the constitutionality of the threat or even of a proposed cutoff, and because of the huge risks and legal costs of challenging governmental action, many more – despite their defiant claims – are likely to cave in.
Indeed, if New York City begins cooperating even in a small way with ICE, this might help persuade many other jurisdictions – which lack NYC’s resources to fight the federal government in court – to likewise bend, suggests Banzhaf.