Sanctuary Cities and the Rule of Law, by Andrew P. Napolitano

Andrew Napolitano does not, the best that SLL can tell, allow his political predilections influence his legal analyses, which is certainly refreshing. From Napolitano at lewrockwell.com:

Earlier this week, the Trump Department of Justice told the mayor of Chicago that it would cease funding grants to the Chicago Police Department that had been approved in the Obama administration because Chicago city officials were not cooperating with federal immigration officials.

The DOJ contended that Chicago officials were contributing to lawlessness by refusing to inform the feds of the whereabouts of undocumented foreign-born people, thereby creating what the feds derisively call a “sanctuary city,” and Chicago officials have argued that their police officers and clerical folks are not obligated to work for the feds.

Who is correct?

The concept of a sanctuary city does not mean it is a place where federal law is unenforced by the feds. Rather, it is a place where local authorities have elected not to spend their tax dollars helping the feds to enforce federal law. The term “sanctuary city” is not a legal term but a political one. The Trump administration has used the term to characterize the governments of towns and cities that have created safe havens for those who have overstayed their visas by refusing to tell the feds who these folks are and where they can be found.

Can local authorities refuse to help the feds enforce federal law? In a word, yes. There is no legal obligation on the part of local authorities to help the feds with manpower or resources or data to enforce federal law within the jurisdiction of those local authorities.

During the Clinton administration, when Congress passed legislation that directed local law enforcement to enforce a federal gun registration scheme, the Supreme Court invalidated the statute. It ruled that the feds cannot commandeer local and state officials and compel them to enforce federal laws; the feds can enforce their own laws.

To continue reading: Sanctuary Cities and the Rule of Law

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3 responses to “Sanctuary Cities and the Rule of Law, by Andrew P. Napolitano

  1. The County where I live in North Carolina is a “Freedom County”. The Sheriff will not ask if illegal (inquire) and you don’t tell him and all is well. The housing, education, food, and health care are all free.

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