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A question of whose law.

November 16, 2016

The sanctuary cities issue was a dominant campaign topic and remains front and center today.

It will undoubtedly remain prominent for a substantial amount of time to come, with mayors coast-to-coast vowing not to uphold Federal law, even when presented with court orders to do so.

It used to be that most high school government students understood at least the basic constitutional premise that rights not reserved for the Federal government were then considered to be states’ rights. That authority is found in Article 10, which reads as follows:

“Article [X] (Amendment 10 – Reserved Powers)

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

The right to control national immigration policy was not a right accorded to the states and certainly not to cities.

All those battles will be fought and re-fought, but it brings up a more locally focused issue.

There is no denying that a large number, although not all, of the sanctuary cities have seen crime rates increase, particularly for violent crimes such as homicide.

That brings up this question.

Do sanctuary cities apply their local laws less strenuously to communities known to harbor illegal immigrants?

In other words, are legal citizens less protected than illegal citizens?

Without doing a really deep dive into not just the statistics, but the character of the incidents, it isn’t possible to give a definitive answer.

It isn’t however, beyond the bounds of speculation to suggest that rather than get into the whole deportation issue by arresting a person who might be illegal, unspoken department policy might  discourage arrest for anything other than the worst offenses. Call it reverse profiling, if you will.

From time to time a few news stories have hinted that the police may stay out of, or at least slow-walk their responses to, some neighborhoods possibly due to political pressure to soften or reduce interaction with some ethnic groups.

Someone is eventually going to put the whole question of whether city or state law can nullify existing federal law to the ultimate test by arresting a chief of police or a mayor on Federal obstruction of justice charges.

In the meantime, what happens to the legal and lawful residents of these sanctuary cities?

From → op-ed

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