Last Saturday I was proud to be one of the thousands of people who went to Copley Square to protest the Trump administration’s immigration policies because I believe these policies negatively impact civil liberties (of citizens and legal travelers as much as anyone else) and public safety.  But I also think they are a MASSIVE waste of money, and my strong opposition to Trump’s threat to defund so-called “sanctuary cities” is due to the fact that this policy will make the costs associated with mass deportation less transparent and easier to hide, and thus make their job of justification easier. It will also affect all US cities and towns, not just the ones under attack as Sanctuary Cities.

When a person is arrested, their info is sent to the FBI and ICE. If ICE finds that person is in the country illegally, they issue a request to the arresting municipality to hold the person for up to 48 hours after their criminal case is completed. Since holding a person without a warrant is a violation of the 14th amendment, courts have ruled many times that the federal government cannot make the police hold that person after they would normally have been released, and in many counties, the police will not comply with that order. That’s what a Sanctuary City is. Also, many cities which do not call themselves “sanctuary cities” and which comply with all requests from ICE do NOT ask their officers to perform the duties of immigration officers in addition to providing public safety. Los Angeles is one of them. All these cities still arrest criminals, and charge them with crimes, regardless of status. They just don’t enforce immigration laws. Many police chiefs, officers and public officials say it makes it easier for the police to do their jobs, catch criminals who are a threat to the public, and keep the community safe, because immigrants are more likely to cooperate with police by reporting criminal activity or talking to them as a witness if they aren’t afraid of being deported. Not all cities do this. But In the executive order – for which the administration is already being sued by the City of San Francisco, who says it is unconstitutional – the following appears:

It is the policy of the executive branch to empower State and local law enforcement agencies across the country to perform the functions of an immigration officer in the interior of the United States to the maximum extent permitted by law.

Note that this goes beyond making cities hold undocumented immigrants arrested for other crimes, and demands that the local and state police do the job of Federal Immigrations Officers. This action has been called unconstitutional, especially by conservative legal scholars. When the Supreme Court ruled in Printz vs. The United States that the federal government cannot “commandeer” state governments to help enforce federal law because it violates the 10th Amendment, the majority decision was written by conservative hero Antonin Scalia.

But beyond the un-Constitutionality of this order is the fact that it’s an attempt to do the job but hide the cost. ICE’s budget is $6 BILLION a year. They have 20,000 employees. LET THEM ENFORCE IMMIGRATION LAWS. Don’t make our local police do it and at the same time allow Trump to hide the massive cost in their budgets, so you now get less bang for your buck out of your local and state taxes, as well as seeing your federal tax money wasted on deporting people who are mostly harmless. Police budgets are stretched thin as it is. The costs will include training and education of policies as well as enforcement, dragging resources and manpower away from keeping our families safe from criminals regardless of their nationality or immigration status, actual criminals and drug dealers and rapists. 

If we keep the cost of deportation transparent and easy to see, it’ll be easier to see whether it’s worth it, right? Let’s take the real cost of keeping them and the real cost of deporting them and put them side by side. We’ll see how much more it costs to kick in doors, detain, and deport than it does to just leave people alone.

I’ve become aware that the GOP voters and pols don’t really care about the Constitution anymore. It’s one of the many long-standing GOP principles abandoned in favor of Trumpism. Soon you will see more of these principles fall by the wayside, much like their objections to executive orders during the Obama administration have turned to giddy jubilation over EOs during the Trump admin. That guy who didn’t care about the deficit during the Bush administration but got really mad about it during the Obama administration will soon go back to not caring about the deficit. Those folks who wanted to rein in government spending will soon be cheering rampant runaway spending, and as long as they’re assured that money is not going to the sick and the poor, they won’t be too concerned about the fact that Trump and his cronies seem to be pocketing quite a lot of it while none makes its way down to the middle class. That Christian who demands nothing less than the full outlawing of abortion now will soon realize that abortion is fine as long as only rich people can get one.  And people who worked themselves into an apoplectic fit about having to pay taxes will soon start talking about the patriotism of sacrificing so that we can Make America Great Again.

Please don’t abandon your principles. Take a good look at where your tax money is going. You’ve got the federal government’s hand in one pocket and the state’s in another. Is there room in your pockets for more federal hands? Not in mine. Get your hand out of my pocket, Mr. Trump. Quit trying to grab me by the wallet. 


4 thoughts on “Let ICE Do It and Show Us The Money

  1. Chris St.Peter says:

    I totally agree with that and when is it ever okay to just turn your back when someone is in need? We are all brothers and sisters. (that’s a whole other rant) When did we stop caring about the FAIR treatment of all? Tougher vetting process? Okay?? Were does it stop then??? No answers to that question?????? What is the plan??? Crickets!!!! I don’t know??? Just didn’t seem right or fair on how it was done. Now people are throwing around “Well Obama did it” and “Carter did it. How come nobody rioted then?” Not sure what to think about that??? All I heard Trump talk was how he had a great plan, how he was gonna build a wall, how he was gonna make America great again and bring back all the jobs/build our economy back up. Okay how??? Not sure on that either because he never said anything.

    • Hi, Chris! Sorry it took me so long to reply, I didn’t know there were comments in the queue. Still figuring out this whole blogging thing, now that people have been doing it for ten years or more, I’m just learning it. I figure in 2025 I’ll start a podcast.

      Anyway, it’s definitely true that Trump never fully outlined how he planned to get anything done. Many of the plans he has revealed won’t work (trade bans to combat unemployment, Muslim bans to combat terrorism) or are illegal (“keep the oil”, Muslim bans again, kill the terrorists’ families).

      I will say, whenever you hear something compared with an event in the past, take it with a grain of salt and do some research. Often you’ll find it wasn’t the same thing. Even when it was, pointing at a past wrong policy doesn’t justify a present wrong policy.

      I hope to have something up again soon. Thanks for reading!

  2. Barbara Mahoney says:

    Cabinet posts are up for sale. Never any doubt that Pence would vote for DeVos. The only reason that she was nominated is because she donated millions to Repubs. This unqualified person was looking to be important, does not give a sh–t about schools.

    • Absolutely true, Barbara! She’s actually been damaging to schools, if you look at what she did in Michigan without a Cabinet post, it’s scary to imagine what she’ll do with one.

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