Pavlich: The sanctuary city bluff

Pavlich: The sanctuary city bluff
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As the humanitarian and illegal immigration disaster continues on the southern border, the Trump administration has repeatedly tried to come up with new ways to handle the chaos. Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials are dealing with thousands of people they cannot legally detain for an extended period of time and agents cannot immediately deport them back to their home countries.

This week, President TrumpDonald John TrumpLiz Cheney: 'Send her back' chant 'inappropriate' but not about race, gender Booker: Trump is 'worse than a racist' Top Democrat insists country hasn't moved on from Mueller MORE suggested illegal immigrants be transported from the border to sanctuary cities in California, Maryland and other states around the country. After all, officials there have repeatedly stated their policy of welcoming those who deliberately break immigration laws and have vowed to shield them from ICE officials.

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“Just out: The USA has the absolute legal right to have apprehended illegal immigrants transferred to Sanctuary Cities. We hereby demand that they be taken care of at the highest level, especially by the State of California, which is well known or its poor management & high taxes!” President Trump declared over the weekend.

“Those Illegal Immigrants who can no longer be legally held (Congress must fix the laws and loopholes) will be, subject to Homeland Security, given to Sanctuary Cities and States!” Trump added Monday.

For years, politicians in sanctuary cities have been fighting to keep ICE out while harboring illegal aliens. Democrats have repeatedly voted to shield illegal immigrants, including those with violent criminal records, from deportation. Cities such as Philadelphia, New York City and nearly the entire state of California have refused to hold illegal aliens in local jails on behalf of ICE.

In February 2018, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf gave criminal aliens living in her jurisdiction a heads up about allegedly impending ICE raids.

“Schaaf said she had heard from multiple sources that immigration agents would be conducting enforcement operations ‘starting as soon as within the next 24 hours’ and urged those here illegally to take precautions,” the Los Angeles Times reported at the time. “Like many California cities, Oakland has declared itself a sanctuary for those here illegally, and officials there have vowed to fight President Trump’s promised immigration crackdown.”

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That same year when the Department of Justice threatened to pull grant funding from municipalities deliberately evading federal immigration law, Democrats objected and have successfully waged a number of court battles for the right to continue their harboring and protection of illegal aliens.

In June 2018, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney was caught on video dancing after winning a sanctuary city court case against the Trump administration.

“We are a sanctuary city,” Kenney proudly declared while high-fiving his staff.

But with the current border crisis at a fever pitch, some Democrats are changing their position on the issue. It turns out they aren’t completely willing to offer sanctuary to those they claim the Trump administration is persecuting. The argument from the left used to be that illegal aliens make American communities safer. Now, illegal aliens seeking refuge are no longer welcome and pose a threat to American communities.

One of President Trump’s loudest opponents in Hollywood is rejecting the idea.

“I Understand Helping struggling Immigrants, but MY CITY (Los Angeles) ISNT TAKING CARE OF ITS OWN.WHAT ABOUT THE 50,000+ Citizens WHO LIVE ON THE STREETS.PPL WHO LIVE BELOW POVERTY LINE,& HUNGRY? If My State Can’t Take Care of Its Own(Many Are VETS)How Can it Take Care Of More,” singer Cher pounded into the keyboard and posted to her Twitter feed.

Democratic presidential candidate and Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerBooker: Trump is 'worse than a racist' Cory Booker talks about 'geeking out' over Rosario Dawson's Marvel role Harris faces pressure to define policy proposals MORE (N.J.) argued President Trump’s threat on sanctuary cities will make cities like Newark “less safe.”

“I say he [President Trump] is trying to pit Americans against each other and make us less safe,” Booker said during an interview with CBS News. “He is injecting fear into our country, and so if he was looking to solve the problem he wouldn’t be doing things to divide this country against itself.”

Offering to send tens of thousands of illegal immigrants to sanctuary cities, where they used to be welcomed and protected from federal authorities, is hardly divisive. Instead, it’s an embrace of leftist ideology. It gives Democrats an opportunity to stand up for the principles surrounding open borders and illegal immigration they regularly claim to be fighting for.

The federal government relocates unaccompanied minors and other illegal immigrant adults to different U.S. locations on a regular basis. This isn’t a new concept. Under the Obama administration, a number of unaccompanied minors were shipped to sponsors, many of whom are in the country illegally themselves, in cities across the country. Sanctuary cities are a valid solution to the current catch-and-release problem at the border, it’s just a shame leftists who once boasted about sanctuary status are no longer interested.

Pavlich is the editor for Townhall.com and a Fox News contributor.