Austin city officials, responding to Donald Trump’s threats to strip federal funds away from cities that defy immigration law, promised this week that they would keep Austin a “sanctuary city” regardless of what the Trump administration did.
Asked about that promise on Twitter, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he would handle that matter himself.
“I’m going to sign a law that bans sanctuary cities,” Abbott said Sunday. “Also I’ve already issued an order cutting funding to sanctuary cities.”
Austin is one of 200+ cities across the U.S. with policies preventing law enforcement officials from cooperating with federal immigration authorities. In practice, this means that police departments in places like Austin do not contact ICE when they arrest an illegal immigrant and they do not hand detainees over to immigration officials.
President Obama consistently denounced sanctuary cities but did nothing to enforce the law. President-elect Trump, on the other hand, campaigned vigorously against these cities and promised to cut off their funding if they did not come into compliance.
So far, officials in 18 of these cities have said they will remain immigrant sanctuaries despite Trump’s threats. Among them: Seattle, Portland, New York City, Chicago, and, of course, Austin. Shortly after the election, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel issued a statement in defiance of the new administration:
“To all those who are, after Tuesday’s election, very nervous and filled with anxiety as we’ve spoken to, you are safe in Chicago, you are secure in Chicago and you are supported in Chicago. Chicago will always be a sanctuary city.
“I would say to the president-elect, that the idea that you’re going to penalize Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia — these are the economic, cultural and intellectual energy of this country.”
Do these Democrats really think they’re on firm ground with this position? Do they really think Americans are going to side with non-citizens and the erosion of our national sovereignty? Our rule of law? This isn’t about a deportation force going in and ripping millions of hardworking migrants out of their homes; this is about getting violent, dangerous felons out of our country.
There’s nothing wrong with local leaders standing up to the federal government; where the hell would our country be without governors and mayors willing to do just that?
In this case, these officials aren’t just standing up to the Trump administration; they’re standing against the American people.