Jeff Charles is a freelance writer specializing in politics, issues of race and law enforcement.He is the founder of Artisan Owl Media.
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The Democratic leadership of the City of Chicago believes that they are entitled to federal funding –regardless of the fact that their sanctuary city status makes it easier for illegal immigrants to break the law.
On Monday, March 27, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump administration plans to deny law enforcement funding to sanctuary cities. The announcement is part of the Trump administration’s comprehensive strategy to curb illegal immigration. According to the Chicago Sun Times, however, Mayor Rahm Emanuel will maintain the city’s status as a sanctuary city.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel has staunchly defended Chicago as a sanctuary city that welcomes immigrants, and his spokesman, Matt McGrath, said, writing in an email that nothing Sessions said will change City Hall policy.
“The administration’s plan to deny federal funds to cities that are standing up for their values is unconstitutional, and Chicago is proud to stand with 34 cities and counties across the country in asking a federal court to prevent the federal government from illegally withholding federal funds,” McGrath wrote.
The city’s leadership contends that if the Trump administration cuts its funding, it will damage law enforcement efforts in a city with an already gargantuan problem with crime. In a recent press conference, Sean Spicer was asked about the issue. He said:
“You can’t be a sanctuary city and at the same time seem to pretend or express concern about law enforcement or ask for more money when probably a number of the funds that you’re using in the first place are going to law enforcement to handle the situation that you’ve created for yourself.”
The Trump administration’s stance on this issue makes sense. It is the City of Chicago that is creating its own dilemma. If they are unwilling to assist federal law enforcement in pursuing justice, they should not be entitled to federal funds. When a sanctuary city’s police department refuses to inform Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of criminals who may be in the country illegally, they are helping illegal immigrants break our laws. Spicer is right; Chicago should not expect to receive funding if they choose to be part of the problem.
Unfortunately for those on the left who support sanctuary cities, most of the nation agrees with the Trump administration. The Hill reports:
A survey from Harvard–Harris Poll provided exclusively to The Hill found that 80 percent of voters say local authorities should have to comply with the law by reporting to federal agents the illegal immigrants they come into contact with.
It is also interesting to note that Chicago wants more funding for its law enforcement agencies, but one of the main reasons why they have a high rate of homicides is because they have taken steps that make it difficult for their police force to arrest criminals. According to the National Review:
Chicago’s problems are a result of putting politics ahead of sensible policing for decades. For example, after becoming mayor, Emanuel did three unfortunate things to the Chicago police force:
1) Emanuel closed down detective bureaus in Chicago’s highest-crime districts, relocating them to often distant locations.
2) The mayor disbanded many gang task forces.
3) In cooperation with the ACLU, Emanuel instituted new, voluminous forms that have to be filled out by police each time they stop someone to investigate a crime. All this time wasted filling out forms is time that can’t be spent policing neighborhoods.
These policies have made it much more difficult to catch criminals, and when you don’t catch criminals, the result is more crime.
It is not unreasonable for the Trump administration to insist that cities like Chicago do their part to address the illegal immigration problem. It has been a critical issue for decades — and now we have an administration that intends to do something about it. If Chicago wants funding for its police force, perhaps they ought to start taking law enforcement seriously.