It’s a pretty big deal when local governments announce their version of secession from federal immigration enforcement. Yet not a single Senate Republican has made a peep about the issue, as both parties quickly passed a budget continuing resolution to fund government without addressing the crisis. If the entire conservative movement won’t stand up now to fight sanctuary cities and the border crisis in the budget, when and how will Trump’s immigration promises ever be fulfilled?
The Senate passed the stopgap spending bill just before leaving town on Thursday, locking in record high spending across the board and offering an extra half a billion for the census. The census will now receive a record $7.3 billion. That was the one emergency issue senators felt compelled to address in the budget before leaving town for Thanksgiving. But what is the purpose of taking a census if not only are illegal aliens being harbored by sanctuary cities, but they are counted in the census as if they are Americans? Sanctuaries harbor even the most dangerous murderers and child rapists while using the presence of these aliens in their districts to juice up their representation. That is the exact opposite of what our Founders had in mind for the census and the very impetus for giving the feds control over immigration policy.
Earlier this week, the Prince George’s County, Maryland, council voted unanimously to bar local officials from communicating with ICE. This is a direct challenge to the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, as 8 U.S.C. §1373 explicitly bars localities from restricting communication with ICE and §1324 bars them from shielding illegal aliens.
It’s truly difficult to overstate the danger of this rebellion to the safety and stability of our republic. Prince George’s County has now attracted scores of MS-13 gang members from Central America, and while they are being counted in our own census, they are committing murders. In May, two illegal aliens charged with a gruesome MS-13 murder were released by county police in defiance of federal law. They had previously been charged with murder exactly one year before and were also released in defiance of an ICE detainer.
PG County lies just northeast of the nation’s capital and is in full rebellion against the law. Yet there is no effort by congressional Republicans to defund it. The county has become a hub of MS-13 activity ever since the arrival of more Central American teens in 2014. In March, PG County officials arrested five MS-13 members for stabbing a gang rival 100 times and setting the body on fire. Three of them were resettled as UACs.
Last year, the Washington Post reported on an “overwhelmingly Hispanic school in Prince George’s County,” Maryland, where MS-13 would “sell drugs, draw gang graffiti and aggressively recruit students recently arrived from Central America, according to more than two dozen teachers, parents and students.” It was so bad that “most of those interviewed asked not to be identified for fear of losing their jobs or being targeted by MS-13.”
What good is a GOP Senate if it refuses to address local governments harboring transnational illegal alien gangs?
Then there is the border itself. While the numbers have finally gone down, the increased deterrent is all the result of finally turning back bogus asylum-seekers at the border. But now the same California courts that spawned the crisis in 2018 are trying to legislate open borders again. On Tuesday, a San Diego judge said the Trump administration must allow bogus asylees who could have claimed asylum in Mexico to be processed here if they came to the border prior to July 16, the day DHS announced the clampdown. The Supreme Court itself already blocked the injunction from the lower courts, but now the same courts are trying to impose their injunction on those selective “asylum-seekers” who conveniently ignored seeking asylum in Mexico, as long as they came before July 16.
How can the GOP-controlled Senate sit back and watch the lower courts engage in the same degree of civil disobedience against national sovereignty as sanctuary cities without adding a rider to strip their power over these cases? Unless the courts are checked or ignored, the border crisis will continue.
Then there is the issue of deportations. Unlike border security, which is all a policy problem, not so much a resource problem, interior enforcement absolutely needs more funding. Deportations are already down this year, yet detention space is completely full. There are over two million illegal aliens with final or “pending final” deportation orders. There are several million illegal aliens with criminal records. Yet, there are, at most, just 7,000 deportation officers and support staff. If we are going to solve this issue, we need a fight over ICE funding. A majority of Americans want stepped-up deportations across the board, and definitely for criminal aliens.
Conservatives have a choice to make: They can spend the next month focused solely on impeachment and allow Democrats to quietly get Trump to sign a budget bill before Christmas cosigning his first term to a weaker outcome on illegal immigration than Obama’s first term. Or, they could actually try putting some points on the board and improving Trump’s chances of overcoming impeachment by picking a fight on popular policies that have grave consequences for our civilization.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.