Well, this will be an interesting conundrum…
President Elect (ha!) Donald Trump throughout the campaign trail has promised to cut off federal funding for sanctuary cities across the US in order to get them into compliance with federal immigration laws. In the aftermath of Trump’s victory, mayors of the cities of Los Angeles, Chicago and New York (as well as the governor of New York) have openly stated refusal to cooperate with the Trump administration on immigration.
So typically in America it’s the folks on the right/conservatives who are the biggest proponents of local over federal…and people on the left/liberals tend to view federal oversight as a way to put a check on local governments violating rights. Admittedly both sides can make valid cases for these mile-high world views. Although I tend to lean towards local knows better than federal, I’ll readily admit that sometimes local governments can overstep their power and it’s good to have the federal check on potential abuses. So I’m not going to make a value judgment on which way of thought is inherently correct on this one.
Either way, it looks like the roles are about to be reversed on this one with the liberals standing up to the federal government while the conservatives scream about how “you lost, get over it”. I just think it will be funny when this happens and might put some people in some ideologically uncomfortable positions.
In fact, it puts me in an ideological uncomfortable position. I’m opposed to illegal immigration. I even think there’s too much legal immigration. In fact, I’ll even say that I don’t believe that filling out paperwork and following procedures really changes much. So I’m not one of those guys who say “Well, god damn it, if they come here legally and get a job…” and I’ll even say that the more immigration happens, the less I feel I really identify with *America* as my parents and grandparents knew it, even though I’m supposed to be squarely in the “real America” camp as a white midwestern blue collar war veteran. But just because I’m not ok with the current levels of immigration, does that mean that people in New York City or Los Angeles should shut their doors?
If the people of Los Angeles or whatever have decided that they don’t mind illegal immigrants living amongst them and are ok with using municipal funds for their benefit and it doesn’t directly affect people living outside the city, then what can I really say about it? It’s just like someone in Oklahoma bitching about people being able to legally smoke dope in Denver.
And I’ll add this too – although I’m generally opposed to immigration, I’ll readily acknowledge that there’s some places in the United States where the situation and dynamics are different. Los Angeles and Miami should be Hispanic cities. There’s places in this country where that’s the culture and it cannot and shouldn’t be separated by people in places like Iowa making policy. I’ll also say that one thing that is cool about the US is even though we’re seen as an anglo country, places like Miami, Los Angeles, New York and Chicago are very, very important Latin American cities. It is a national strength that sometimes we don’t think about.
Here’s where it gets a little stickier – the places I’ve mentioned as coming out opposing Trump’s call to deport the illegals and shut of federal funding are in deep shit financially. It’s pretty much a matter of “when” rather than “if” the turnip stops bleeding from these places and they’re going to have to look to their respective states and/or the federal government to get bailed out. There’s a good chance that something like that could happen on Trump’s watch.
What happens when the federal government (or maybe the state) dangles the carrot in front of their face and says “if you want our help, it’s time to start cooperating with us on immigration…”? For one, the federal government would be better able to sell it to the rest of the country if they get something (compliance with federal law) out of it. Realistically there would be a lot of screaming and dragging of feet over this – why should these crackers in flyover country tell us that we need to deport our employees, neighbors, family, etc?
As if we needed something else, this could lead to another huge rift between the two Americas that exist.