News & Politics

On Deportations, States' Rights Suddenly Matter to Progressives

Remember when Texas decided to crack down on illegal immigration because the Obama administration refused? The left went into meltdown, arguing that immigration is the purview of the federal government.

Oh, what a difference a few months can make:

A conversation on Thursday night between Governor Charlie Baker and Alan Solomont, Dean of the Jonathan M. Tisch College for Civic Life at Tufts University, was disrupted on three separate occasions by student protesters who shouted chants at Baker and asked unscheduled questions before exiting the auditorium and holding a protest rally outside the Granoff Music Center.

As Baker was finishing up his first answer to a question raised by Solomont, about ten Tufts students stood up and chanted “No ban, no wall, sanctuary for us all,” as two students in the upper level of the Distler Auditorium unfurled homemade banners declaring, “Education not deportation,” and “Baker: Protect our immigrant communities.”

“Governor Baker, will you make Massachusetts a sanctuary state?” asked a few protesters in unison.

Baker replied that no, he wouldn’t.

The angry children — no, I won’t consider them adults just because they’re over 18 — stormed out to hold a protest outside the building.

Of course, Baker isn’t exactly chomping at the bit to back President Donald Trump’s immigration play. After the protesters left, Baker gave his reasons why:

I don’t want to take away the right of duly-elected local officials to make the decisions that they believe are in the best interests of serving and supporting the people who live in the communities that they see every single day; that they know best, that in many cases know far better than those of us who spend our time on Beacon Hill. We need to remember that state government is not the only government in Massachusetts that is elected.

So, allow me to recap. A group of militant and angry protesters demanded that the blue state of Massachusetts act against federal law on an issue, and the blue governor of that state’s reason why he wouldn’t give in to their demands? He wanted to push that power further down the chain, allowing local communities to make the decision.

Sounds an awful lot like right-leaning federalism, if you ask me.

Funny how that was so taboo under the progressive Obama, but is now a patriotic duty under Trump. Then again, progressives actually think federalism really does apply exclusively to progressive ideas.