Every City a Sanctuary City

By Mark Krikorian, December 16, 2009

The Democratic amnesty bill (HR 4321) is relatively modest in size, compared to other recent efforts, at a "mere" 644 pages. But those pages are packed with juicy bits of open-borders goodness. I mentioned some of the highlights yesterday, here and here, but there's plenty more.

For instance, Sec. 183 of the bill prohibits any state or local assistance in enforcing immigration law. This means repeal of the successful 287(g) program (examined in a Center for Immigration Studies report here). But it would also seem to preempt laws in Arizona and Oklahoma and elsewhere requiring that some or all employers in those states use the E-Verify program for screening out illegal aliens among new hires.

Such a prohibition on state and local governments from partnering with federal immigration authorities would reverse the modest gains that have been made over the past couple of years in enforcement. As constitutional law professor Kris Kobach has written, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) "has a Herculean task on its hands — one that it simply cannot accomplish alone. The assistance of state and local law enforcement agencies can mean the difference between success and failure in enforcing immigration laws. The more than 650,000 police officers nationwide represent a massive force multiplier." And it's not just a practical matter; Kobach explains the "inherent arrest authority that has been possessed and exercised by state and local police since the earliest days of federal immigration law."

Jim Edwards has also written on this topic, concluding that:

Local law enforcement’s involvement in enforcing immigration violations would increase homeland security. It would raise the stakes of illegal immigration. It would increase the chances of an illegal alien getting caught. And it would help protect public safety at all levels.

And that's precisely why the amnesty folks don't want it.


If you enjoyed this blog, please visit our HR 4321 overview page.