Trump’s Crackdown on Sanctuary Cities Is Good…

This week, Attorney General Bill Barr’s Department of Justice announced a raft of lawsuits against sanctuary jurisdictions that are undermining the ability of the federal government to enforce the nation’s immigration laws.

So-called sanctuary policies are designed to prevent local and state law enforcement from cooperating with ICE and the Border Patrol. The goal? To nullify federal laws against illegal immigration and shield criminal aliens from deportation.

Now the Trump Administration is fighting back. In addition to Justice Department lawsuits against California, New Jersey, and King County in Washington state, the Department of Homeland Security has made New York residents ineligible to participate in “Trusted Traveler” programs because of that state’s new policies preventing the Department of Motor Vehicles from providing critical information to the Department of Homeland Security. New York residents will be perturbed, but they have only left-wing Governor Andrew Cuomo and a deep-blue state legislature to blame.

It’s about time that the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security started taking seriously their obligation to prioritize the safety of U.S. citizens and to quash, once and for all, the Democrats’ lawlessness.

The crackdown on sanctuary jurisdictions is just the latest in a long series of bold and largely successful efforts by the Trump Administration aimed at suppressing illegal immigration. Trump has ended the disastrous “catch-and-release” policies of the Obama years. No longer will illegals be bussed to their final destinations in the United States and asked politely to turn up for hearings months or years later. Instead, they are detained and rapidly returned to Mexico or their countries of origin.

In addition, Mexico, under threat of U.S. tariffs, is providing unprecedented and valuable assistance in the maintenance of U.S. border security. Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has deployed thousands of police and soldiers to prevent the “caravans” of Central American refugees from reaching the U.S. border in the first place. Flows of such migrants have been dramatically reduced, and total illegal crossings at the U.S. border are down at least 75 percent.

Meanwhile, the courts have finally started to fall in line, allowing the administration to take necessary steps to control the southern U.S. border, including permitting the construction of Trump’s wall. While much remains to be done in terms of the erection of physical barriers, billions of dollars have already been spent, and hundreds of miles of fencing have been built or upgraded. Circumventing these barriers at the U.S.-Mexico border has never been more difficult.

No wonder, then, that the mainstream media barely covers the “border crisis” anymore. Thanks to President Trump, the crisis has largely been resolved—even without a finished wall.

Lax immigration policies that once drew illegal immigrants from Mexico, Central America, and from as far away as Africa and the Middle East, have been replaced. As would-be illegals have figured out that the gate is closing, and that America will no longer permit unchecked migration or reward illegal activity, they have made the inevitable decision to stop coming. If the media covered the situation at the border, therefore, they would have to admit that President TrumpÆs policies have been a massive success. Better, from the media’s vantage point, to say nothing at all.

There is one sense, however, in which the Trump Administration is still coming up short.

At least 11 million illegal immigrants (and possibly over 20 million) still live in the United States. The vast majority of them have jobs, which is a violation of numerous immigration and labor laws. Nonetheless, employers who hire illegal immigrants are almost never prosecuted or punished. What’s worse, the Trump Administration seems to be retreating from its previous position that businesses should be required to use the E-Verify system, which would help employers detect illegal immigrants and avoid hiring them. As things stand now, employers often seek out illegal immigrants, precisely because they know such workers are cheap and pliable, and the likelihood of any unwanted attention from federal authorities is very low.

This is unacceptable. Even though the Trump Administration is business-friendly, the rampant violation of federal laws by U.S. businesses cannot stand. Likewise, even though illegal immigration has been reduced, illegal aliens will continue to flow towards our southern border if they believe that there are jobs waiting for them—jobs that pay far better than anything back home.

Even as we congratulate the president and his attorney general for a job well done on illegal immigration, we should remind them more needs to be done. The scourge of illegal immigration will never be completely eliminated unless the craven politicians and the unscrupulous businessmen who benefit from it are brought to justice.

About Nicholas L. Waddy

Nicholas L. Waddy, an associate professor of history at SUNY Alfred, blogs at www.waddyisright.com.

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