Making Sanctuaries "Cheaper" or Just Sticking Local Taxpayers?

By Dan Cadman on January 11, 2017

So much has been in the news lately about "fake news" — kind of an oxymoron, really, when you think about the questionable quality of media today and the partisan divide that cleaves even our mavens of the Fourth Estate.

It seems to me that one of the problems is the blurring of lines between hard news and opinions, and the sway of editorial boards over their journalists in ensuring that a particular line is hewed to, sometimes painfully obviously and sometimes with great subtlety.

An example of that was brought to my attention recently by a friend and former colleague, who forwarded this piece published in The Hill online on January 5: "Sanctuary cities have a new, cheaper way to help undocumented". Needless to say, I was intrigued.

The contributor, Nolan Rappaport (a former Democratic counsel on the House Judiciary Committee), tells us that certain sanctuary cities have decided that they will carry their defiance of federal immigration laws even further than existing boundaries — apparently by way of sending incoming president Donald Trump the middle finger salute. He explains this in his first paragraph:

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel established in December a million dollar Legal Protection Fund for undocumented immigrants living in Chicago. It will help them get the legal assistance they are going to need when President-Elect Donald Trump begins his enforcement program. The money will make it possible for the Chicago-based office of the National Immigration Justice Center to represent 3,000 more undocumented immigrants in removal proceedings. ... This appears to be a growing trend.

Notwithstanding the headline, I'm unable to see any evidence whatsoever of what makes such an effort "cheaper". How is this cheaper and for whom? As far as I can see, this scheme simply transfers the burden of obtaining counsel from the alien (where it belongs as a matter of law) and onto the taxpayers of the city of Chicago (or elsewhere) instead. So much for unbiased truth in media.

Maybe Chicago could also set up little Lucite donation cubes at all of the Starbucks and Chipotles throughout the city so that when the privileged go for their lattes or salsa salads, they can pitch in a few bills to help out some deserving alien criminal in need of representation in his deportation proceedings. Because, notwithstanding the highfalutin' rhetoric, that's what we're talking about. In the lexicon of modern progressives, sanctuaries are those state and local governments that refuse to permit their police to turn alien criminals over to federal immigration authorities after arrest and/or serving of sentence.

Meantime, Chicago and other sanctuaries are going to stick their taxpayer base with the cost of keeping those deportable criminals on the streets of their communities, where they can wreak more harm.