Sheriff Clarke…Quoted The Law He Thinks Will Bring Down Sanctuary Cities
By Andrew Clark
Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke, a rising star in conservative circles, spoke Thursday afternoon at CPAC to a crowded ballroom who greeted him with enthusiastic cheers and applause.
During his speech – as part of a panel themed around “World War Three” and security threats at home – Clarke singled out sanctuary cities as one of America’s most dangerous threats and read aloud from the law he argued President Trump can use to bring them down.
Clarke walked up to the front of the stage, directly addressing the audience, and read aloud from a printed copy of U.S. Code 1324, titled ‘Bringing in and harboring certain aliens.’ The law reads in part that “punishment” can be dealt to:
Any person…knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals, harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place, including any building or any means of transportation.
Local officials who encourage sanctuary cities, Clarke said, do exactly that. In addition, Clarke quoted another section of the code that puts sanctuary cities on the wrong side of the law:
…encourages or induces an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law;
“I’m telling you right now folks,” Clarke said to applause, “you charge one mayor, one governor, one council president that adopts these laws, this stuff is going to end right away.”
As Judge Andrew Napolitano has written, the federal government cannot constitutionally force states to enforce federal immigration law. However, as the Center for Immigration Studies argues, there are several laws – including U.S.C. 1324 – that prohibit officials from interfering with federal law enforcement.
The decision to try and prosecute any sanctuary city officials over said laws would ultimately fall to Trump’s Justice Department, which has so far kept its powder dry. An executive order signed by Trump last month directed the Attorney General to pull grant funding from sanctuary cities and “take appropriate enforcement action.”
A spokeswoman for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, when asked for comment, acknowledged that the decision to prosecute anyone under 1324 would fall to the Justice Department, but pointed to another section of U.S law, Section 1373:
Section 1373 was enacted as part of the 1996 Welfare Reform Act to ensure taxpayer money would not be funneled to illegal aliens (“a compelling government interest” and “the immigration policy of the United States”), which also serves the purpose of deterring illegal immigration. As a result, 1373 would be reasonably related to the policy goals of any federal grant providing public assistance of any kind to a state where an illegal alien could possibly benefit from a state’s receipt thereof.
Denying sanctuary cities funding may be the most logical route – at least for now.
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