Texas Governor Greg Abbott says that the state is likely to cut off funding for Travis County after rebellious Sheriff Sally Hernandez announced it would cease cooperation with federal immigration authorities. Nationally, new Attorney General Jeff Sessions is expected to do the same with federal funds, punishing various grandstanding sanctuary cities, including the Big Apple, New York City itself.
Illegal immigration facilitating cities should have been stopped at the very beginning, but the Obama Administration, pledged to enforce the laws of the land, allowed this defiance to continue and spread. As part of an expected, indeed promised, crackdown on illegal immigration, Donald Trump should emulate his most similar past President and take a firm stand against this virtual nullification, just like Old Hickory.
The coming weeks will see if these confrontations are going to worsen but the politics are not promising for compromise. That would result in the type of confrontation between federal and state authorities that we have not seen on such a large scale. There are over three dozen such cities. It could lead to some interesting constitutional challenges over conditions tied to federal funding. In 1987 in South Dakota v. Dole, the Supreme Court upheld federal conditions that withheld highway funding from cities that did not enforce the federal drinking age…. Ironically, these largely liberal cities may rely the most on a ruling against the Obama Administration. In 2012, the Court found such coercion in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, when the Court struck down a provision of the Affordable Care Act that would have blocked federal Medicaid funding to states that did not adopt a Medicaid expansion.
[ I think the professor is stretching here. A lot. If that’s the best legal precedent the sanctuary cities can muster, they are doomed to lose. ]
The result could be a major reconsideration of what constitutes coercion from federal conditions. I have never been a fan of federal conditional spending. I have a hard time with the notion of the federal government taking more in taxes than its needs only to send the money back to the states with conditions on how they handle traditional areas of local and state authority. Having said that, the Court has allowed such conditions and these cities may have to make a choice between defying the federal government or accepting hundreds of millions in federal support for the criminal justice system.
And be sure to tell those cities that the money they lose will be used to build The Wall…
Pointer and Source: Res Ipsa Loquitur