From the Right: Sanctuary Cities and the debate over immigration


From the Right: Sanctuary Cities and the debate over immigration

By Don Schmitz

Sanctuary cities vote to deny cooperation with Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE). In 2017, the City Council declared Malibu a sanctuary city prohibiting using city funds and resources to enforce federal civil immigration law, but are the proclaimed cities and states willing to actually be sanctuaries? 

Our border with Mexico has completely broken down. Arrests have topped 2 million this year, a historic high, and over 750 have tragically died trying to cross the border. Small county morgues in Texas are overwhelmed. El Paso has 1,500 illegal migrants PER DAY they contend with, and their shelters are overwhelmed. Texas is now busing some to self-proclaimed sanctuary cities like Washington, D.C., and New York, who are complaining bitterly they don’t have the resources to take care of them. Perhaps, but neither do the border towns. 

The Biden administration has been flying and busing thousands to New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, and others, with both Democrat and Republican congressmen complaining that there was no coordination, warning, or resources. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds stated they were investigating whether the administration was conducting a “criminal act of human trafficking” by sending planeloads of migrants to their state without coordination. Four planeloads were sent to Chattanooga, Tennessee, last year, whereupon Sen. Marsha Blackburn said in May 2021, “It is absolutely unacceptable if the Biden administration is facilitating a mass migration without any input or oversight from Tennesseans and the affected communities.”

Now, for overtly political reasons, Florida and Texas are sending migrants to New York, dropping them off next to the VP’s mansion in Washington, and Martha’s Vineyard, where the Obamas reside. The latter were all relocated to a military base within two days. Apparently, when they declared themselves a sanctuary, they didn’t mean that kind of sanctuary! The White House decried it a “cruel, premeditated political stunt”. California Gov. Gavin Newsom asserted it might be kidnapping. An immigration attorney lamented that no one called ahead to alert the local government. Does this sound familiar, like the complaints levied by local governments against the Biden administration?

Red state governors and their supporters are amused that the lofty declarations of northern blue cities seem to evaporate when they share the pain to house, provide health care, and schooling to undocumented immigrants. The whole thing is tragic; these are our fellow human beings. They are pawns in our dysfunctional national debate over the border, which has raged for decades. 

However, the Biden administration threw the doors open. Caravans of thousands walked to the border wearing Biden campaign T-shirts. Drug cartels make over $1 billion annually smuggling people, forcing them to carry their drugs, decorating “rape trees” with the underwear of the women they routinely assault on the journey. Interestingly, the Department of Homeland Security reported that illegal entries plummeted 87 percent when the wall was built in the Yuma sector, and Biden authorized completion of that section this July. But although taxpayers had already paid for large sections of the border wall elsewhere, Biden halted construction, and taxpayers now pay millions to guard the steel as it rusts in the desert. 

Some lament air-conditioned busing of immigrants to other states without having proper arrangements made for them upon arrival. Valid. However, it pales in comparison to our federal government enacting lackadaisical policies whereupon millions of people suffer in the desert on foot, forced into carrying drugs, being murdered and raped by the cartels at whim, to arrive in border states sleeping under bridges. The New York Times reported in July on torture chamber houses in Texas where cartel smugglers mutilated limbs and raped women until their families sent them more money. Fifty-three migrants packed into a tractor-trailer died in June, cooked alive in the heat, the deadliest smuggling incident in our history. Yet this month VP Kamala Harris declared, “We have a secure border”. It’s not secure, it’s a humanitarian crisis. Shame on her, shame on us.

Busing of the migrants by Texas and Florida are indeed a political stunt, but an effective one. It is easy to haughtily declare one’s state a sanctuary, but except for California and New Mexico, none of the 11 states that have done so are on the border. They are far from the suffering, and their communities and taxpayers don’t feel the pain. Maybe they should; perhaps they should “walk their talk”. 

If a community wants to truly be a sanctuary for the plight of the illegal immigrants, they shouldn’t be waiting for desperate border states to bus them to their communities and complain bitterly when they do. They should put their laudable humanitarian mores into action, send the buses on their dime, greet them at their City Hall and escort them into the housing they built for them, make sure they are fed, clothed, and take their children to school. Then, and only then, will they truly be a sanctuary city.