Take a look:
In the war of words over so-called “sanctuary cities” for illegal aliens, the state of California is raising the stakes. Proposed legislation would prevent law-enforcement agencies statewide from assisting immigration officials in deportation cases.Since this is the Trib braintrust, you have to know by now that they're not exactly honest about their characterization of the proposed legislation (ha - you didn't think I'd find it, did you?).
The measure advanced by California Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de León, a Democrat, would block federal immigration law from being enforced in “safe zones” such as public schools, hospitals and courthouses, thereby guaranteeing illegals access to publicly funded government services.
They say that the law would "block federal immigration law from being enforced" where the actual text of the bill says nothing of the sort. What it does say is this:
This bill would, among other things, prohibit state and local law enforcement agencies and school police and security departments from using resources to investigate, detain, detect, report, or arrest persons for immigration enforcement purposes, or to investigate, enforce, or assist in the investigation or enforcement of any federal program requiring registration of individuals on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or national or ethnic origin, as specified.The bill doesn't "block" anyone with "federal immigration authority" from doing his or her job. It just blocks the mandatory use of local law enforcement in any federal immigration matters.
There's an adage that goes something like this: all politics is local. And so I am wondering if, while the braintrust is on the surface talking about Kevin de León and California, they're not actually talking about Mayor Bill Peduto and Pittsburgh.
Anyway, back to the editorial. Our braintrust friends frame their strawman this way:
President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to deport or imprison up to 3 million illegals who have criminal records. But officials in New York, Chicago, and other sanctuaries for lawbreakers have vowed in recent weeks to defy federal deportation plans. They argue that cities have no legal obligation to follow federal immigration laws.Wait. Wasn't it 12 million only a few months ago when the pussy-grabber was running for office? Is Trump now going to be allowing those remaining 9 million to stay? But what about all those campaign promises?
The Constitution — Article I, Section 8 — says otherwise: “The Congress shall have the Power To … establish (a) uniform Rule of Naturalization.”
Was he just bullshitting his supporters?
Say it ain't so!
Anyway, the issue isn't about whether cities have a "legal obligation to follow federal immigration laws" but whether local law enforcement can be forced into federal service.
And for that, no less a liberal than Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (remember him? Clinton agents embedded deep in the heart of Texas killed him with a pillow some time ago) wrote this in Printz v United States:
The Constitution's structure reveals a principle that controls these cases: the system of "dual sovereignty." See, e.g., Gregory v. Ashcroft, 501 U.S. 452, 457. Although the States surrendered many of their powers to the new Federal Government, they retained a residuary and inviolable sovereignty that is reflected throughout the Constitution's text. See, e.g., Lane County v. Oregon, 7 Wall. 71, 76. The Framers rejected the concept of a central government that would act upon and through the States, and instead designed a system in which the State and Federal Governments would exercise concurrent authority over the people. The Federal Government's power would be augmented immeasurably and impermissibly if it were able to impress into its service--and at no cost to itself--the police officers of the 50 States. [Emphasis added.]It's a pretty straight forward States' Rights argument way of saying, "Um, no."
On the local level, Mayor Peduto wrote in The Hill:
In 2014, my first year in office, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police adopted a policy to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers: Pittsburgh officers – as they do with all federal law enforcement personnel — are directed to work with the ICE to help detain all those formally determined to be subject to criminal investigations.Makes sense to me. But of course facts and reasoning have never been among the braintrust's strengths. They can't even get straight with Scalia on a States Rights issue.
At the same time our police do not engage in investigatory detention of citizens based merely on allegations regarding their immigration status. To do so is not only unconstitutional but would unduly divert precious resources our local police need to perform their duties protecting Pittsburgh residents, investigating crimes, and building ties within city neighborhoods.