03.15.2018 0

If Congressional Republicans won’t stand with President Trump, defund sanctuary cities and build the wall now, they won’t ever

By Robert Romano

President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have all but declared war on sanctuary states, cities and counties that refuse to comply with federal immigration law.

The Justice Department has initiated a federal lawsuit to strike down California’s unconstitutional attempt to ignore the Supremacy Clause and prohibit cooperation with federal law enforcement officials.

Speaking in San Diego, Calif. after reviewing prototypes for the southern border wall, the President called out California officials for putting national security in danger: “California sanctuary policies put the entire nation at risk.  They’re the best friend of the criminal.  That’s what exactly is happening.  The criminals take refuge in these sanctuary cities, and it’s very dangerous for our police and enforcement folks.”

Trump continued, “The smugglers, the traffickers, the gang members, they’re all taking refuge, and I think a lot of people in California understand that.  A lot of people from a lot of other places understand it, and they don’t want sanctuary cities.”

Moreover, the President stated, these state and local officials are putting the rule of law and the supremacy of federal law on the line: “These policies release dangerous criminal offenders to prey on innocent people and nullify the federal law.  They’re threatening the security and the safety of the people of our country.  In the upcoming omnibus budget bill, Congress must fund the border wall and prohibit grants to sanctuary jurisdictions that threaten the security of our country and the people of our country.  We must enforce our laws and protect our people.”

Trump is right. It’s the new nullification.

And now the President is presenting Congress with Republican majorities a golden opportunity to show just where they stand. Are they with the President and the American people on enforcing the rule of law and defending the Constitution? Or do they stand with the lawbreakers running California? This was an issue that was critical to Republicans winning the elections of 2016.

All Congress has to do is insist on the omnibus spending bill that the House has already acted on, which will bolster the Trump administration’s efforts by denying federal funds to any jurisdiction to will not respect illegal immigrant detainer requests by federal immigration officials.

And build the entire southern border wall while they’re at it. It’s time to keep out the drugs, gangs and the endless, unregulated stream of migrants. What are Republicans waiting for?

The midterm elections are up in November, and the way Republicans are running their campaigns — away from President Trump, his policies and his supporters — they’re going to lose big-time. And they’ll deserve to lose.

They won’t stand with Trump on trade, and now, when it comes to securing the border and taking on the greatest crisis since nullification, once again they are nowhere to be found.

It’s not too late to stand with President on these issues, but really, it’s now or never. Even in a good year, Republicans might still lose their majorities. Midterms are tough for the incumbent party. Always have been. Meaning, this is Republicans’ best shot to implement the Trump agenda —  and prove that they have finally learned their lesson after neglecting their constituents and the American people’s interests for decades.

2016 was the year of the forgotten men and women, when President Trump spoke to the neglected concerns of the American people. Have Congressional Republicans already forgotten them — again?

Unfortunately, the word on the street is that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are ready to trade away defunding sanctuary cities and building the wall to Democrats. Apparently in exchange for keeping the government open. When are they going to fight?

If the Republicans are so concerned about losing the majority, the question is why do they care?

Because if they’re going to let the Democrats determine every deal anyway, then they are truly a majority in name only. Not worth voting for. Why should everyone get riled up for the midterm elections if this is how feckless the legislative process is when Republicans are in charge?

President Trump might be better off just waiting until 2019 to make a deal with a Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). That might be more honest.

Or, Republican leaders can prove, finally, that they are up to the task of leading this nation — by defeating this new nullification in its cradle. We either have a country or we don’t. If Republicans won’t stand up for the supreme law of the land now, then they are no longer the party of Lincoln, and we won’t have a country for very long.

President Trump won the Republican nomination and then the general election in 2016 by promising to restore the rule of law and secure the border. And in 2020, he’ll do fine politically, win or lose, with or without Republican majorities. At least he’s trying.

To prove they deserve to keep their majorities, the GOP Congress needs to use its power of the purse and take funds away from the lawless sanctuary states and cities and build the wall. Punish lawless officials that do not respect the supreme law of the land.

The Pennsylvania special election was a wake-up call. If Congressional Republicans won’t do what they promised now and stand with President Trump, giving the tools the administration needs to enforce immigration law and keep the promises that were made in 2016, when they have a majority, they won’t ever, and they certainly won’t be winning many more elections any time soon.

Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.

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