The Corner

Immigration

What to Do about California’s Sanctuary Cities

A U.S. Border Patrol agent walks the border fence in San Diego.

California Democrats have continued their attempts to nullify federal immigration law. This week, Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf warned illegal aliens that ICE was planning an operation in the Bay Area. ICE acting director Tom Homan slammed Schaaf’s “reckless” comment, saying that it endangered officers and the public and helped hundreds of criminal aliens avoid arrest.

If you’re saying, “There oughta be a law,” there is. Three of them, at least. My colleague Dan Cadman explains how the mayor could be charged with harboring, obstruction, and/or “conspiracy against the United States.”

The question is whether the Department of Justice will go forward with charges against Schaaf or other officials in sanctuary jurisdictions. Andy McCarthy would know better than me the decision-making process, but the Department of Homeland Security asked federal prosecutors in January to look into criminal charges against sanctuary leaders.

Although the prosecutors’ case would obviously need to be legally sound, the decision to actually bring charges would be a political decision. Given the explosive nature of such a move, it would be essential to win not only in the courtroom but also in the court of public opinion. And Schaaf seems like a good candidate. She’s a radical leftist who doesn’t even pretend that the city is willing to work with ICE on certain serious crimes. Oakland last year withdrew any cooperation with ICE even on investigations of sex-slavery and drug-smuggling. If she were asked under oath who told her about the upcoming raids, she’d likely take the Fifth, which would make for great headlines. And since it’s likely that ICE informed the Oakland Police Department before the operation, each officer who was alerted would also be deposed to establish the chain that ultimately led to the mayor.

I’d love to hear Andy’s thoughts on all this, but something clearly has to be done. Although the threat of denying certain DOJ grants has moved some less-committed sanctuary jurisdictions to change their policies, bringing the pro-sanctuary Democrats to heel will require sterner measures. The last time states resisted national authority like this, the bravado was met with troops sent to enforce the law.

Mark Krikorian, a nationally recognized expert on immigration issues, has served as Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) since 1995.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Pelosi’s House of Pain

Not so long ago — as recently as the cover of the March 2019 Rolling Stone, in fact — they seemed like the best of friends. I'm referring to Nancy Pelosi and the members of "The Squad": Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and (not pictured) Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley. They shared some good ... Read More
Education

Gender Dissenter Gets Fired

Allan M. Josephson is a distinguished psychiatrist who, since 2003, has transformed the division of child and adolescent psychiatry and psychology at the University of Louisville from a struggling department to a nationally acclaimed program. In the fall of 2017 he appeared on a panel at the Heritage Foundation ... Read More
Film & TV

How Seinfeld Mastered the Comedy Domain

I can’t say whether Larry Charles, Larry David, Alec Berg, Spike Feresten, and the rest of the brilliant writers of Seinfeld were students of F. Scott Fitzgerald, but they might as well have been. Fitzgerald supplied the best advice for sitcom writers: Start with an individual, and before you know it you find ... Read More