Apparently for some on the left, “states’ rights” is a good thing.
Two Democrat governors are ordering law enforcement in their states to ignore immigration “hold” requests from federal officials. The orders are the most serious challenge yet to the federal government’s new immigration policies and promise immediate pushback from the Trump administration.
Washington state Governor Jay Inslee signed an executive order preventing state law enforcement agencies from detaining undocumented immigrants at the request of federal officials, while Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy sent a memo to law enforcement agencies and school districts telling them the same thing.
Inslee’s order prevents state agencies from discriminating against or refusing service to those in living the country illegally. It also blocks those agencies from spending state resources to create or enforce a registry of citizens on the basis of religious affiliation.
The order blocks the Washington State Patrol and the state Department of Corrections from detaining anyone solely on the basis of immigration status.
“This executive order makes clear that Washington will not be a willing participant in promoting or carrying out mean-spirited policies that break up families and compromise our national security and, importantly, our community safety,” Inslee said at a press conference Thursday.
No one has said anything about a “Muslim registry” but by God, Washington state is going to be ready for one — even if it’s imaginary.
In Connecticut, Governor Malloy is equally sanctimonious in his defiance of federal authority.
“Putting all opinions about this presidential executive order aside, its enforcement is going to have a local impact, especially given the constrained resources and financial impacts this will have on state and municipal budgets, which we already know are stretched to their limits, in addition to giving rise to serious concerns in affected communities,” Malloy said in a statement.
Connecticut is one of a handful of states that call themselves sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants. A state law passed in 2013 requires law enforcement agencies to detain an individual for breaking immigration laws if they have been convicted of a felony, are a known gang member, are on a federal terrorism watch list or face criminal charges and have not posted bond.
In a memo to state school districts, Malloy’s office urged education officials to develop a plan in the event that immigration agents show up at schools. Malloy said he expected the Trump administration to adhere to the same guidelines as the Obama administration, which put schools, courthouses and other “sensitive locations” off limits to immigration enforcement actions.
Um…maybe a big reason that state and municipal budgets are “stretched to their limits” is because illegal aliens are siphoning dollars from social services that should be going to citizens and legal residents?
How does President Trump respond to this? By cutting every dollar he can as chief executive from going to those states. It won’t be much — Congress has the power of the purse. But the chief executive has some discretion about how some funds are allocated. Freezing out Washington and Connecticut will put those states on notice that worse is yet to come if they don’t play ball.
It won’t matter, of course. Those two states are set on a collision course with the federal government that will probably be decided in the courts.