President Donald Trump recently signed an Executive Order aimed at withholding federal funding from so-called Sanctuary Cities. Trump’s order states, “Many aliens who illegally enter the United States and those who overstay or otherwise violate the terms of their visas present a significant threat to national security and public safety. This is particularly so for aliens who engage in criminal conduct in the United States.”
Considering it would take about 25,000 years to read all of the federal laws on the books, it’s calculated that the average person unwittingly commits three felonies per day. Historian David Barton says, “We all know ignorance of the law is no excuse. If you violate a law, you suffer the penalty for it.” Of the countless laws on the books, which grew by 7,410 in 2012 & 2013, “Only 127 went through Congress. [T]he rest of them were regulatory laws. [There have been] 81,000 regulatory laws [added] since 1993.”
Trump’s order goes on to say: “Sanctuary jurisdictions across the United States willfully violate Federal law in an attempt to shield aliens from removal from the United States.”
UPI reports there are actually two types of Sanctuary Cities: “Those where law enforcement does not cooperate with immigration officials, and those that avoid any type of proactive immigration enforcement.” Further, there is not actually a requirement for local governments to enforce federal laws, that includes immigration laws. Therefore, I must ask: what is the practical difference between a municipality becoming a Sanctuary City and a state government using nullification?
Nullification, which is the “act or set of acts which renders a law null, void or just unenforceable,” is oft championed by conservatives and libertarians; however many supporters of nullification fail to see that Sanctuary Cities are simply practicing nullification at a more local level. An even more localized version of nullification is the act of Civil Disobedience, in which an individual (or group of individuals) intentionally refuse to obey an unjust law or regulation.
Remember, the average person unwittingly commits three felonies every day. You may want to ruminate about that fact for a moment before clamoring to deport criminals, as there’s a good chance that you are one too!
Darryl W. Perry was a candidate for the 2016 Libertarian Party Presidential nomination, and is currently running a limited Presidential write-in campaign in the general election.