On Federalism and Sanctuary Cities

If you’ve wondered how sanctuary cities work–and how Pres. Trump’s recent executive orders may affect them–here’s a great breakdown from The Washington Post. The article begs some important questions, among them the degree to which federal law must supersede local law. All Mississippians should know how often that’s the case.

Always.

Citizens in sanctuary cities may be sympathetic to the plight of immigrants. Immigration laws are convoluted. Families get torn apart. People who are willing to work for under-the-table wages get exploited. Better laws must be written and passed at the federal level. However, local laws cannot be followed to the exclusion of federal law. When that happens, local prejudices can have terrible effects. I suspect that those protesting Trump’s executive order have their hearts in the right place. But their anger may be more accurately directed towards Congress for having failed to develop reasonable immigration policies than at the White House.

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17 Responses to On Federalism and Sanctuary Cities

  1. Campbell Rolph says:

    I think that immigration is the reason that our country is the way that it is today. Without hard-working immigrants, it can be said that cities like New York and San Francisco would have never grown to the size that they are today. Considering all the benefit that they have brought us in the past, I can’t image any good reasons for us to discriminate against them now. And, to be fair, if an immigrant without any higher education and an inability to speak English can take your job, then he/she probably deserves it. Now this isn’t to say that there isn’t discrimination against current immigrants once in the workforce, as evidence shows that they earn far less for the same or comparable work. Overall I am not threatened in any way by immigration, and feel that those who do feel that way are simply xenophobic, and have little to no factual basis for their beliefs.

  2. Darby Meadows says:

    I think immigrants built the country we live in. It is unfair that they are discriminated against. They work for less money than they deserve and work hare for what the do earn. I also think that no one should be in this country illegally, but our system is broken. The United States doesn’t want people here illegally, but makes it almost impossible for a person to become a citizen. Our government can complain how these people are taking US jobs, but won’t give these people a chance to be US citizens. They won’t be working for less if they are citizens, therefore jobs would be fairly up for grabs for all US citizens.

  3. Sara Kostmayer says:

    Immigration is now and has always been a topic of great debate within our country. Many people claim that all immigrants are coming to our country, stealing jobs, and committing crimes. However, what most people fail to realize is that a big factor in why many immigrants in the US are illegal is the difficulty faced when attempting to gain citizenship here. I have gone to school with people who have both passed and failed the tests and etc that go into earning citizenship. I know that I myself, as an American born and raised, would be unable to pass a similar examination. Many of the people who are screaming “America First” and up in arms about the bad hombres are immigrants from Europe to begin with. Hypocrisy is alive and well in today’s political and immigration scene. I realize that the reason that certain bans and immigration restrictions are in place is to keep American people safe, however I do not believe that this is the right route to take. There is always a certain danger in allowing people into the country, but there is also great danger in other policies. If the US wants to stay safe, it may need to reexamine other aspects of domestic policy before restricting an entire group from entrance and safety in our country. Many people are fleeing war and discrimination, and while it may be difficult to answer definitively one way or the other, the current president’s actions were not the best choice for the current situation.

  4. Leigh Motes says:

    Immigrants work as hard and receive less pay for the same jobs that Americans work. I feel that if immigrants work as hard as Americans and want to live in the United States, then they deserve to live in America if they choose to. However, I do recognize that as more immigrants leave their country and start a life in America, there will be less jobs for the citizens of the United States. On the other hand, it is not hard to forget that America was founded by immigrants in the first place.

  5. Mary Owings says:

    Banning immigrants from America would be like banning America’s background from America – completely irrational. Banning people from embracing this country in flee of their detrimental homes completely contradicts the ‘dream’ that it contains. There is no reason to remove immigrants that are already here. They contribute to this country just as much as somebody who’s great-great grandparents already moved here for them, if that’s what a Trump supporter is worried about. Outside of a moral level, efforts to remove immigrants would be extremely detrimental the economy. Many of these people fill a whole working class of people who do the jobs that the rest of us are too lazy to do. Removing these occupations, such as agricultural workers, would leave the country scrounging to fill these back in, resulting in damaging effects on production and money circulation.

  6. Samuel Patterson III says:

    Immigration is a touchy topic, especially for my latino roommate who believes that there shouldn’t be a border. I believe that there should be strict border laws to ensure that drugs and other things don’t flow freely into our country. However, people who want to immigrate here should be able to come without waiting years. This is a great country and opening it up to people who are willing to become a part of our society should be encouraging. God bless the mayors of Sanctuary Cities because hard working and law abiding families shouldn’t be deported.

  7. Liam McDougal says:

    Immigration is one of the hottest words in the political scene recently, as a result of the Syrian civil war and President Donald Trump’s extreme views on immigrants. Unfortunately, there is no real solution to the problem. Obviously, everyone wants illegal immigration to stop. The problem is that legal immigration is a clunky process that takes years. If it were made easier, people would be more able to become legal citizens, rather than illegal immigrants. I feel like this would help cut down on peoples’ fears. As for the idea that immigrants are terrorists, I feel like that is a silly concept. The majority of the immigrants are fleeing the actual terrorists, and just searching for a place to live freely. Unfortunately, there will always be people to whom unsavory and inappropriate names can be given, who will take advantage of our hospitality and use it against us in terror attacks. In no way do these people make up any form of a majority, but they create stereotypes for the actual innocent people by committing crimes, which the media reports, and everyone sees. They don’t take the time to consider that these people are exploiting our hospitality to cause terror and harm to the actual innocent refugees. They just think IMMIGRANT = TERROR. It’s a shame.

  8. Yousef Abu-Salah says:

    Immigration is one of the most important topics in current American politics, and it seems that our country is being led astray. Our country is one that was founded by immigrants, grown by immigrants, and raised by immigrants; however, many people in our country still seem to put this word in a negative connotation. No one that lives in America, apart from NATIVE-Americans, is a true “American” in that sense. We as Americans must understand that not all immigrants are terrorists, and that they are escaping from something that we can never understand. I used to live in Palestine, where missiles were constantly fired and gunshots could be heard every night. I lived in this for five years, until I was finally able to come to America. Finally! I could sleep in silence and peace and not fear that my house was to be bombed, yet it seems that there are countless children in Syria that face a far greater obstacle. This ban is not something new, as Obama did something similar yet far less strict a few years ago; however, this ban paints a far more powerful picture.
    This ban has not only affected immigrants living outside the country, but it has affected U.S. citizens living inside the U.S. Many Muslim-Americans are beginning to feel unwelcome and treated as outcasts when they have lived here their whole life. Islamophobia is on the rise, and countless mosques are being vandalized throughout the country. I have been stopped for terrorist checks countless times just this past year, and my mother has suffered heavy discrimination due to her religious attire. This is not okay, and this is not the American taht I know. Trump has incited a toxic and hateful atmosphere for America, and this is something that I believe will take a long time to recover from. No one understands the turmoil that those from Syria are feeling, but rather we view them as a number or word. There are millions of immigrants fleeing Syria, yet the majority of Americans do not understand why they are fleeing Syria. We only care if they coming in or not, and this is not ok. I hoped to see discrimination decrease with the travel ban postponement; however, it seems that it will soon be back up. I just hope that this summer will be safe for my family when we try to go on a plane, because there have been incidents before and I fear there may be more on the horizon.

  9. Kendall Wells says:

    Immigration is one of the most debated topics today. While our country is almost entirely made up of immigrants, the laws placed on immigration over time, have made immigrating into this country a grueling task. On the other hand, banning a entire group of people from the country for religious reasons goes against what this country stands for. I don’t have a side in this argument because I understand where both sides are coming from. While it is wrong to ban these people, it is for the safety of Americans. Not all immigrants are terrorists and not all people are burglars, but you still lock your door at night.

  10. Kayla Patel says:

    Many people discriminate against immigrants … but we often forget that somewhere in our families, they were immigrants who migrated here from somewhere else. It’s funny how often we forget about our history. America needs a major reality check and needs to try to really understand the situation before creating laws to get rid of immigrants. Immigrants are people too and we need to start treating them like it.

  11. Landry Filce says:

    I believe that, as a principle, individual cities should not be able to violate federal law. This could easily lead to local prejudices taking an even larger effect than they do right now. However, I believe that desperate times call for desperate measures, and families have been torn apart and lives have been lost due to this executive order. I believe that both congress and the White House are at fault, but the White House is more at fault, after all, they were the ones who issued the order. A combination of the defiance of unjust laws and protest against the laws must be utilized. We cannot hold up as heroes those who hid Jews in their homes during the reign of the Nazis while simultaneously condemning sanctuary cities. It is far easier to be brave and moral when talking about something that happened over 50 years ago than when talking about something that is happening right now.

  12. Vera L. Taire says:

    So, the argument here seems to be state’s rights? If we blur the line on this issue, we blur the line on other issues. Mississippi is only a hair’s breadth away from returning to Jim Crow. Federal government needs to take a strong and constitutionally appropriate stand on this ban.

    However, the ban has been temporarily:permanently benched. This is a nice account of what’s been going on: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38880877

    Other presidents have enacted travel bans as well, notably and recently Barak Obama in 2011. While many people offer this isn’t relevant to the current discussion, as it was a single visa restriction, I’ll include two links for your further perusal. http://www.snopes.com/president-obama-ban-muslims-2011/
    and
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38798588

  13. Kamal Bhalla says:

    This ban is a very shameful thing for Americans who came here as immigrants…but wait…mostly everyone that is in America today, WAS an immigrant. How can we forget our own history and stop others from continuing what created America? It is just pathetic how the Congress could not create a bill that isn’t just downright disgrace. People are saying that the Statue of Liberty is crying; they might as well be gosh darn right.

  14. Stephanie Dauber says:

    Legal immigration vetting can take up to two years for some, and if you are fleeing war-torn countries like Syria, waiting that long is just not possible. This ban on seven countries is a play on his promise to ban Muslims by ambiguous and inclusive to many who do not deserve it. This ban is affecting many who wish to seek safety and a better life here, ahem, what we sought for since the very beginning.
    This ban is xenophobic and has no factual basis, as no one has ever been killed by immigrants from the seven countries. If you take 9/11 for as a prime example of the hatred towards immigrants and radical Islam, those perpetrators were from Pakistan and one was even a United States citizen. More people are killed by lawnmowers, or falling out of bed every year than every jihadist in the past 10 years.
    The blame is ill-placed and I shame Trump for what he has done and the lack of foresight and preparation that came with this executive order. Protests and detainments of innocent people who are legally allowed should speak volumes to the lack of competence and ability of this Cheeto and his orders.

  15. Brianna Ladnier says:

    Witness both sides of the argument. Immigration is something I am definitely on the line between the republican and democratic view. I ask you a question. What does immigration do for the country they are evacuating? Those who are immigrants can be considered the lucky ones. They tend to be the most educated and privileged. America isn’t taking in the worst of the country, we are actually taking some of their best. Although this mainly applies for over-seas immigrants, we are taking educated people away from their home country. Those educated people could easily affect and revolutionize their own country of orgin. However, I still believe we should take in refugees and other immigrants.

    I recommend this video, a video from a different perspective than most of us:

  16. Harlynn Robinson says:

    “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” This is what the plaque at the bottom of the Statue of Liberty reads. From its inception, America has been a place of immigrants. The denying of immigration goes against this and against the “religious freedom” our country is supposed to have. The protesters have recognized how wrong it is to try and ban a people from entering the country. But have misdirected their energy. A clear cut, federal law would clarify this immigration issue. If all places were sanctuary cities then fewer immigrants already in the country would be afraid of being deported. Of course, I wish all immigration would be done legally so as to now skew the system, realistically I understand this isn’t doable for everyone. If the immigration process was perhaps made simpler and more well known that would lower the number of illegal immigrants in the country. This is something that Congress can do. While picketing the White House sounds very appealing right now, more would get done to rectify the scenario if the protest were for trying to convince Congress.

  17. Devon M says:

    There are both sides to the immigrant conundrum happening in the US. On one hand, the taxes payed by us everyday citizens are going toward illegal immigrants health care and care in the hospital that they do not pay for. However, families will be torn and sad when their closest relatives are sent away and many of our lower paying and low labor jobs will not be filled by other average Americans.

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