The Washington Post published an article on January 26 titled "Trump's intervention into policing, voting and immigration sets up showdown with America's largest cities". Several mayors throughout the country are quoted reacting to recent statements by our newly inaugurated president about policing and immigration.
The statements are what we are coming to expect from any number of state and local officials who step up to declaim their newfound fondness for "federalism" — code for state and local rights, at least as envisioned by these banty roosters as they condemn President Trump's assertion that he may use federal officers to aid in quelling out-of-control crime and homicide rates in some locales, most notably Chicago, which has become the new Murder Capitol of America. He may additionally withhold federal monies from jurisdictions that impede the lawful functioning of the nation's immigration laws through sanctuary policies that shield illegal aliens, almost invariably criminal aliens who have been arrested by the police, from the reach of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.
For instance according to the article, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh (D) said "You are safe in Boston. If necessary, we will use City Hall itself to protect anyone who is targeted unjustly." What, exactly, is the "injustice" in taking custody of illegal aliens, particularly alien criminals, and subjecting them to due process in the immigration courts for a judge to make a decision as to whether they should be deported?
But putting aside the absurdity inherent in such statements, they fall flat to the public ear as a matter of tone. There is something fundamentally skewed in putting forward arguments in favor of "local control" while at the same time whining about the need for federal funding:
Elorza [Jorge Elorza, Democratic mayor of Providence, R.I.], who has vowed to defy any federal order to change how his city handles undocumented immigrants, said that officials within his administration have watched anxiously as Trump and his surrogates have leveled threats and suggestions that federal funding for sanctuary cities could be at stake. He estimates that about 10 percent of the city's $700 million budget consists of federal money.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, when asked about President Trump's suggestion that he would send federal agents to stop the carnage in his city, responded that what the president should send instead is federal dollars for more police officers.
Yet at the same time, Emanuel has announced that the city is forming a legal fund to "protect" migrants from the long reach of ICE, a la Mayors Walsh and Elorza. The Chicago fund will initially consist of a million dollars.
How about this instead, Mr. Mayor? Use that money for all those additional police officers you say you need. I took a quick look, and apparently the yearly average salary for a police officer in Chicago is a bit less than $56,000. The base cost would be considerably less for bringing on new hires at the lower pay range, but you have to add in benefits, so let's say you hit maybe $75,000 annually per officer. This means that for every million dollars that you are ponying up to protect alien criminals from federal justice, Mr. Mayor, you could afford nearly 14 new police officers. Sounds like a fair trade to me.
As the saying goes, put your money where your mouth is. Want local control to defy the federal government? Then use all that local control to raise the money you need to run your local government and don't go asking for handouts from Uncle Sam even as you thumb your nose.