By Steve Hunley
President Donald Trump’s Justice Department suing the State of California can come as no surprise to any rational person. A battle has been raging well before Trump’s election in 2016 over immigration policy in this country. California has for decades brazenly harbored illegal aliens. Leftist politicians have routinely protected illegal aliens over the rights of law-abiding citizens. The late Edwin Lee, mayor of San Francisco, casually referred to illegal immigration as “part of the DNA of the city.” At the same time California politicians expanded sanctuary status for illegal aliens, Governor Jerry Brown was giving an early release from prison to a wide variety of drug dealers, felons, and offenders. At last count, 13,500 inmates are released early in California. According to the Los Angeles Times, that is a 34% increase over recent years. Of those remaining in California prisons, approximately one-fourth of the criminal population are illegal aliens. National statistics are even more sobering; illegal aliens represent 3.5% of the entire population, yet account for between 22% – 37% of all murders committed in the United States.
Hundreds of communities across the nation have declared themselves to be sanctuary cities, refusing to cooperate with federal authorities seeking to find illegal aliens. The refusal of these cities to cooperate with the federal government is in direct violation of the Immigration and Customs and Enforcement Act (ICE), which clearly states neither the federal, state or local governments may prohibit another government from “sending or receiving information about an individual’s immigration status.” Naturally, the notion of sanctuary attracts illegal aliens like moths to flames.
California has passed state laws inhibiting the ability of state and local government officials, including law enforcement officers, to cooperate with the federal government. Yet the very same folks who are now crying about states’ rights and opposing the federal government were hailing the decision of the United States Supreme Court in a decision that struck down a law in Arizona that did not impede the federal government’s ability to deal with illegal immigration. Facing an ever-growing tide of illegal immigrants, Arizona passed a law giving state officials broader powers to enforce federal laws already on the books. The Arizona law did not in any way conflict with the federal law and Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote even a law “complementary” to federal law was “impermissible.” The opinion of Justice Kennedy was supported by Justices Roberts, Sotomayor, Ginsburg and Breyer and calls into question whether California can withstand the suit filed by the DOJ.
Still, justice in California is served with its own special brand of nut sauce. The decisions issued by the wildly liberal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals are frequently astonishing, albeit predictable. They are astonishing inasmuch as they oftentimes have not a thing to do with the law. One Ninth Circuit judge, in writing about President Trump’s revised travel ban, readily admitted he could find no basis for racial discrimination in the order. “It is undisputed that the Executive Order does not facially discriminate for or against any particular religion, or for or against religion versus non-religion.
“There is no express reference, for instance, to any religion nor does the Executive Order – – – unlike its predecessor – – – contain any phrase or term that can be reasonably characterized as having a religious origin or connotation.”
After conceding those points, the judge concluded “any reasonable, objective observer would conclude…that the stated secular purpose of the Executive Order is, at the very least, ‘secondary to a religious objective’ of temporarily suspending the entry of Muslims.” The judge said this “assessment rests on the specific historical record,” which he said “focuses on the president’s statements about a ‘Muslim ban.’”
Eugene Kontorovich, a law professor at Northwestern University, noted “there is absolutely no precedent for court’s looking to a politician’s statements from before he or she took office, let alone campaign promises, to establish any kind of impermissible motive.”
More illegal aliens live in Los Angeles County than any other county in the country; fully 25% of all illegal aliens residing in the United States live in California. Almost 10% of California’s work force is made up of illegal aliens.
The Trump “resistance” in California may have started something else that will come home to roost in the near future. Most assuredly, the leftist in California are certain the rest of us will merely fall into line should the Democrats regain control of the White House and Congress. They will doubtless be surprised to see Red States begin to pass laws getting around some of the left’s federalist agenda and will certainly be outraged, indignant and horrified. The left may see Red States begin to insist upon states’ rights and resist. Of course they will howl and complain and be unable to discern the utter hypocrisy of what they themselves were guilty of.
There has already been one bloody war fought in this country over disagreement between the states and the federal government. Things are almost surely going to become more and more polarized. Will we continue to be a nation of the same laws for everyone or individual communities following whatever laws they like the most?
Perverting the law for the sake of ideology has never ended well for the people of any country. Zealots never heed the call of reason.