Trump Administration To Investigate Prosecuting Sanctuary City Government Officials

by BEN SHAPIRO January 17, 2018

On Tuesday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told the Senate Judiciary Committee that she would be asking the Department of Justice to look into prosecuting officials in sanctuary cities. "The Department of Justice is reviewing what avenues may be available," she said. President Trump has already threatened to withhold funding from sanctuary cities.

This strategy could actually bear legal fruit, according to Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies. She told The Daily Caller that, "a criminal case against a sanctuary official or government is possible, although probably as a last resort, after they have exhausted other options, and when the facts of the case are particularly egregious or concerning." The governing statutes are typically used to prosecute human traffickers who hide illegal immigrants from federal detention; that law could theoretically be applied against local officials who refuse to detain illegal immigrants after a request from the federal government.

This argument is legally dicey, since the legal counterargument would be that the federal government cannot use the states as their law enforcement agencies. As Professor Erwin Chermerinsky, dean of the University of California at Berkeley School of Law, writes:

Under the anti-commandeering principle, the federal government can no more require state and local governments to help it carry out mass deportations than it can require local officers to investigate and enforce federal gun laws.

With that said, Nielsen's comments will likely touch off a firestorm - and could lead to conflict between federalists among conservatives and immigration hawks.

 

Benjamin Shapiro is the editor-in-chief at The Daily Wire. He was born in 1984. He entered UCLA at the age of 16 and graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in June 2004 with a BA in Political Science. He graduated Harvard Law School cum laude in June 2007. Shapiro was hired by Creators Syndicate at age 17 to become the youngest nationally syndicated columnist in the U.S.  His columns are printed in major newspapers and websites including Townhall, ABCNews, WorldNet Daily, Human Events, FrontPage Mag, Family Security Matters, the Riverside Press-Enterprise and the Conservative Chronicle. The author of the national bestsellers, Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America's Youth (WND Books, May 2004), Porn Generation: How Social Liberalism Is Corrupting Our Future (Regnery, June 2005), and Project President: Bad Hair and Botox on the Road to the White House (Thomas Nelson, 2008),


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