Republicans would be dumb not to pick a budget fight over sanctuary cities

· September 13, 2019  
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Sanctuary City Ahead
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Very few people in America realize the extent to which Democrat-controlled areas are now harboring the worst illegal alien sex offenders and dangerous criminals. Republicans barely talk about it and never use any legislative leverage point to expose the issue and force a resolution. The latest budget deadline is a perfect opportunity for them to either end sanctuary cities or expose the open-borders supporters to the American people. They’d be dumb not to pick a budget fight over this issue right now. Case in point? Montgomery County, Maryland.

Hillary Clinton carried Montgomery County 75-19. Local Democrats couldn’t lose office if they tried. Yet a sustained focus from just a few reporters and one Trump administration official on how its sanctuary policies harbored scores of illegal alien sex offenders has brought County Executive Marc Elrich to the negotiating table.

WAMU reports that after meeting with ICE officials on Wednesday, Elrich is considering changing his policies on notifying ICE when local police release criminal aliens from local jails. Frank Madrigal, ICE’s Baltimore deputy field office director, said in a statement, “We are pleased that we were able to come together with Montgomery County officials today to speak more clearly and candidly about our goals for public safety.” While stopping short of touting any policy breakthrough, he noted that in general, “This kind of open dialogue is welcome, productive, and more supportive of our public safety practitioners and the communities they serve.”

National Republicans as well as anyone in the Trump administration not named Ken Cuccinelli (who is already aggressively fighting sanctuaries) should watch and take notes. Imagine if every elected Republican hammered the issue of criminal aliens released or harbored by sanctuary jurisdictions in their respective states every day. Democrats could never withstand a sustained public focus on refusing to turn over other countries’ criminals to ICE. It would single-handedly realign the electoral map. Yet they barely say a word even when the most egregious illegal alien crimes occur in their home states.

Take North Carolina for example. I’ve reported on numerous murders and rapes allegedly committed by illegal aliens and the fact that Mecklenburg County’s sanctuary policies resulted in the worst criminal aliens being able to reoffend. Yet not a single federally elected North Carolina Republican is pushing a national fight or an effort to defund places like Mecklenburg County.

Consider the fact that Republican Dan Bishop won the special election in the 9th District by just two points, even though Republican presidential candidates carried the district by 12 points during the past two elections. That was due to the poor showing in the portion of the district that includes part of Mecklenburg County. Imagine if Republicans had been building the case against this sanctuary for months and exposing every criminal alien case.

According to a recent Harvard/Harris poll, 72 percent of overall voters and 76 percent of suburban voters oppose granting driver’s licenses to illegal aliens. Imagine if the election were framed around the specific issue of harboring illegal aliens arrested for other crimes, allowing them to remain here to commit more serious crimes? Even Democrats elected in 75-20 blue counties do not want that sort of PR nightmare, as we see.

Which brings us to the September 30 budget deadline. Republicans have already given away the farm on the budget caps. They will spend us into oblivion. They are left with no narrative headed into the election. Why not have the Senate bring a continuing resolution to the floor that defunds cities that violate federal law and shield illegal aliens arrested for crimes from detection? Voters care a lot more about the release of illegal alien child sex offenders than a risk of a partial, temporary government shutdown. Republicans sure won’t fight on anything this time next year, right before the election, so now is the only time to do it.

Today, congressional Republicans are meeting in Maryland at their annual policy and strategy retreat to cast around for a winning agenda. The irony of the location for their retreat is likely lost on them because they almost never discuss sanctuary cities, MS-13, or the massive illegal alien crime wave. But perhaps if they peek out their hotel windows, they will be reminded that the winning agenda is staring them in the face.

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Author: Daniel Horowitz

Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.