Trump Has Great Leverage in His Fight Against Criminal Illegals
In a piece over at National Review, Jessica Vaughan points out some great news about Trump’s immigration reform plans. From the piece:
Public safety is the obvious but not the only reason for enforcing immigration laws. Even as immigration-enforcement officers across the country are breathing what one deportation officer described as “a collective sigh of relief” following Donald Trump’s election, the president-elect’s announcement on 60 Minutes that he plans to start with the estimated 2 million criminal aliens has been met with a combination of scorn and skepticism, at least in the mainstream news media and illegal-alien advocacy circles. But Trump’s enforcement approach is not only reasonable, it is very feasible, and will address the most disastrous failings of the Obama administration’s faux-enforcement regime, which brought interior deportations to a ten-year low and caused the release of tens of thousands of criminal aliens back to our communities to reoffend, instead of back to their homelands. Said Trump: “What we are going to do is get the people that are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers, where a lot of these people, probably 2 million, it could be even 3 million, we are getting them out of our country or we are going to incarcerate.”
It will also help ICE when President-elect Trump gets tough on the sanctuaries that obstruct their work. The stage has already been set for this. Under pressure from Representative John Culberson (R., Texas), who controls the Justice Department’s budget, DOJ has so far identified ten large states and cities that have sanctuary policies that are inconsistent with federal law and that as a result should be ineligible for certain DOJ funding. The new administration could apply this standard to many more sanctuaries and to many more pots of federal funding, thereby making it very expensive to remain a sanctuary. Since some of the die-hard sanctuaries will remain defiant, I hope that the new administration will also consider litigation or even prosecuting them for harboring criminal aliens. Prioritizing the removal of criminals and the most egregious scofflaws is a no-brainer. But public safety is not the only reason immigration laws should be enforced. We need immigration laws enforced in order to protect job opportunities for Americans and legal immigrants, to avoid the fiscal costs of providing welfare to illegal aliens and their children, and to preserve the integrity of our legal-immigration system. For these reasons, the Trump administration needs to go beyond a narrow focus on criminal aliens to reinstate work-site and payroll records–based enforcement as well as work to deter and remove visa over-stayers. Not to mention, build that wall!
Jessica Vaughan is the director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies.
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