Suppressing and punishing liberal “sanctuary cities” and states that refuse to help enforce federal immigration restrictions are a major focus of the Trump administration, supported by most conservatives.Ironically, the effort largely failed, in part because sanctuary jurisdictions won a series of lawsuits In it, they rely on constitutional federalist arguments previously pioneered by conservatives and liberals, such as the claim that the Tenth Amendment prohibits the federal government from “commanding” state governments. recent articlesDavid Lear, a political scientist at the University of Texas and the Hoover Institution, argues that conservatives should reconsider their opposition to sanctuary jurisdictions:
Donald Trump battles ‘sanctuary cities’ from the US very beginning During his presidency, those efforts failed in 2020 for two reasons.The first was that Refuge defeated the government in the Supreme Court in June of that year; technically, the judge refuse to listen United States v.Californiaallowing the Court of Appeal to rule persist in Most protected area laws in California. The second is that Joe Biden won the presidency. The federal government no longer opposes state and local asylum policies. This raises the question: When a Republican returns to the White House, should that person continue the Trump administration’s fight against sanctuaries or choose something else?
This is a matter of consequence. Sanctuary jurisdictions hinder the ability of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to identify and deport illegal immigrants…
Because political debates about these local and state laws generate more heat than luminosity, this article addresses the question: What is an immigrant sanctuary? States and localities must follow the federal government’s immigration enforcement priorities; how do sanctuary disputes affect policy beyond immigration?
A successful federal attack on protected area legislation could lead to spillovers in many policy areas and in ways that run counter to core conservative values. Many conservatives are reluctant to pay such a price, so for the sanctuary debate, it is crucial to consider this larger context…
To change that would require a substantial weakening of federalism, which would run counter to core conservative values and could plague conservatives again…
For example, consider a more “unitaryA federal government run by Democrats in Washington. Such a government may deny funding to conservative regions unless they change laws and policies, thereby forcing “red” states and territories to directly implement and enforce “blue” federal policies. This may allow Washington overturns state and local decisions about the best way to promote safety, health, growth and education.
Leal summarizes a range of policy and constitutional reasons why conservatives support sanctuary jurisdictions, even if in some cases the latter use their autonomy for purposes opposed by the political right.
As Leal points out, conservatives themselves have long relied on sanctuary-style policies to resist enforcement of federal gun control laws.In recent years, several conservative states – trending Started in Montana – Have “Gun Reserve” law passed Modeled after immigrant asylum policy.While the Biden administration initially did little to counter the trend, more recently they have proposed dubious lawsuit Opposition to Missouri’s gun sanctuary law — modeled in many ways on Trump-era arguments against immigrant sanctuaries.
Leal is not the first analyst to highlight the conservative element of the sanctuary city case.I’ve written before about a few questions Leal himself asked, in a 2019 Texas Law Review article Sanctuary city lawsuits in the Trump era, and piece Washington post (see also here and here). But Leal’s article is notable for bringing together major right-leaning policies and legal reasons for sanctuary jurisdictions in one easily accessible place.
He also points out how the anti-immigrant policies that support Trump’s attacks on sanctuary cities are themselves detrimental to traditional conservative values, even in addition to federalism concerns and concerns about consequences in other policy areas:
In addition, principled conservatives must ask whether the assault on sanctuary cities, and the more general impulse toward immigration restrictions and enforcement, is aligned with the values of prosperity, liberty, and family. in his”national farewell speech“President Reagan said:
“I’ve talked about this shiny city my entire political career, but I don’t know if I’ve fully conveyed what I’m saying. But in my opinion, it’s a tall, proud city built on a larger scale than the ocean. Stronger rock, windy, God forbid, full of people of harmony and peace; a city with a free port, full of commerce and creativity. If there must be walls, they have gates, and the gates are open to any People who have the will and the heart to go here. That’s how I see it, and I still see…”
Refuge jurisdictions have demonstrated that such policies reduce crime, while some police chiefs argue Local enforcement of immigration laws actually encourages crime. The reason is that immigrants are increasingly afraid to contact the police, which gives criminals more latitude. This crime can also spread beyond immigrant communities. So a blanket ban on asylum policy could increase the violations that asylum critics denounce.
As Matthew Feeney of the Cato Institute puts it, “While some may like to describe sanctuary cities as lawless die-hards run by politicians who see political correctness as the north star, the truth is that Asylum policy can help improve Police-Community Relations. He noted that “this trust is vital to policing” and that “it’s not hard to see why police officers in certain communities prefer sanctuary policies to being seen as acting federal agents…”
Recent research finds no evidence to support claims that sanctuary cities increase crime rates…
President Reagan saw immigration as the key to America and its success. He would be appalled to see the disparagement of immigrants and disrespect for federalism, and he would be savvy enough to know that decisions made today in the name of fighting sanctuary cities could haunt conservatives again when the party’s fortunes change Pie, as they always do.
In my own writing, I have shown that immigration restrictions are inconsistent with other traditional conservative valueslike Color blindness in government policy and economic freedom – including native citizen.
Of course, the so-called “conservative” is very unstable. Most of the political power in America today It has more in common with Europe’s “big-government conservative” nationalist movements than the ideology espoused by Ronald Reagan. If limiting immigration is your main priority, you’re unlikely to find Leal’s arguments convincing. You may be willing to pay the price of restricting state and local authorities, tightening federal restrictions on gun rights, and hindering law enforcement efforts to combat violent and property crime.many “National Conservatives” It might even be possible to view the resulting increase in federal power as a function, not a bug.
But if you doubt federal power and want to maintain and strengthen the constitutional constraints on it, then you have reason to applaud sanctuary jurisdictions.In a deeply divided society, decentralization can help reduce conflict and tension in a number of ways, including By empowering people to ‘vote with their feet’ on the policies they like. Sanctuary Jurisdictions for Left and Right Breeds . can play an important role in achieving this goal.