Why Relocating Illegal Aliens To Sanctuary Cities Is A Brilliant, Win-Win Idea

Why Relocating Illegal Aliens To Sanctuary Cities Is A Brilliant, Win-Win Idea

Trump’s law-and-order supporters seemed stunned. His critics suspected a vengeful trap. Few saw it as what could become the most magnanimous gesture of his presidency.
J. Michael Waller
By

Until the border wall with Mexico is built, what do we do with the illegal immigrants already in federal detention, and the million more expected to cross into our country this year? Nobody had any idea what to do.

In making an amnesty deal with Democrats, as rumors say his son-in-law Jared Kushner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are brokering, Trump risks angering his base by allowing tens of millions of foreign law-breakers to move ahead of those who respected our country’s laws and people by applying for citizenship lawfully.

Then, out of the blue on April 12, President Trump tweeted a win-win solution: Relocate foreign trespassers to states and communities that have already voted to welcome them. “We are indeed, as reported, giving strong considerations to placing illegal immigrants in sanctuary cities only,” he tweeted.

His law-and-order supporters seemed stunned. His critics suspected a vengeful trap. Few saw it as what could become the most magnanimous gesture of his presidency.

The president’s controversial move offers a political jackpot to liberals and socialists from coast to coast. Within a matter of months, Trump would expand leftists’ constituencies in states and towns that voted to become “sanctuaries” for illegal immigrants. Even better, this idea would grant sanctuary to countless foreign citizens from the frigid clutches of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. No sanctuary area is known to have placed a cap on the number of people it would welcome, so the opportunities are endless.

Trump has taken “winning” to a new level. Under his plan, everybody wins. Legal and constitutional hurdles stand in the way, to be sure. But the nation needs an interim solution, and Trump has found it.

What This Grand Compromise Would Accomplish

First, the illegal immigrants would be sent only to progressive locales that celebrate diversity and inclusion with official sanctuary policies. This is means the poor, huddled masses wouldn’t be trucked to hurtful, bigoted, and racist communities in red states and other places with more respect for the nation’s laws. And they can stay as long as they like.

Many of those sanctuaries are among the nicest places in America. Foreign law-breakers can relocate to the posh and overwhelmingly white Nassau County, New York, or the Washington, DC suburb of Montgomery County, Maryland. Or much of the Pacific Northwest.

Trump’s political opponents would win bigly, too. The president’s plan would instantly expand his top opponents’ base of minorities to cultivate and aggrieve. Trump would instantly make sanctuary cities and states more ethnically, linguistically, and socially diverse.

Like Nassau and Montgomery counties on the east coast, the median income in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s sanctuary San Francisco district is in the six figures. Moving in thousands of illegals will lower the median income level to something more in line with the rest of the world’s. How about that equality.

Trump’s plan doesn’t neglect rural America. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ sanctuary state of Vermont is a shocking 95 percent white. By receiving thousands of new illegal immigrants every year, the Green Mountain state’s pale-faced population would quickly become browner and more diverse. And, because Vermont’s population growth rate is just one-quarter the national average, the sanctuary relocation plan would provide more workers to strengthen the state economy.

The Trump plan miraculously caters to special interests that oppose one another. California’s besieged agriculture industry, about to be wrecked by a $15-an-hour minimum wage, will receive new influxes of illegal immigrant laborers they can pay under the table, and the feds won’t be able to do a thing. Meanwhile the dying United Farm Workers union, whose members keep leaving in droves, could get a fresh injection of dues-payers.

The compromise would help Democrat political machines keep control in cities and states, but, because the sanctuary states themselves are already progressive, the population increase would have no effect on the Electoral College. Win-win again.

Let’s Have an Equitable Distribution of Law-Breakers

The Center for Immigration Studies has compiled a list and interactive map that could guide where the illegal immigrants can live. According to CIS, eight entire states have become sanctuaries: California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, and Vermont.

Let’s presume that, without a wall on the Mexican border, 1 million illegal aliens will cross into the United States in 2019 and every year thereafter. That’s what the trendlines suggest right now. The above eight states total about 81,130,000 residents. For equitable distribution, each state will receive 8,113 illegal immigrants for every million current residents. Here’s how an equitable relocation formula can work:

  • California, with 39,776,830 residents, would receive 322,709 illegal immigrants in 2019;
  • Colorado, with 5,684,023 residents, would receive 46,114;
  • Illinois, population 12,768,320, receives 103,589;
  • Massachusetts, with 6,895,917 people, takes 55,947 illegal immigrants;
  • New Jersey, population 9,032,872, gets 73,284;
  • New Mexico: sparsely populated with 2,090,708, houses 16,962;
  • Oregon, with 4,256,350 residents, takes in 34,532; and
  • Vermont, population 623,960, absorbs 5,062 illegal immigrants in 2019.

Of course, cities, counties, and towns in many of the other 42 states have declared themselves sanctuary zones. Targeted distribution to sanctuary cities, towns, and counties would spread the wealth beyond entire sanctuary states. So we would recalculate the distribution of illegal immigrants to all sanctuary jurisdictions.

Baltimore has almost the same population as the state of Vermont, so including sanctuary cities in addition to the eight states lowers the distribution ratio below 8,113 illegal immigrants per million citizens. Major population centers like New York City (population 8.5 million) and nearby Nassau County (1.7 million), plus Albany, Ithaca, and four other counties have declared themselves sanctuaries, but the rest of New York has not.

Those jurisdictions alone add another 11 million-plus people to the 81 million in the eight sanctuary states, So the per-capita distribution would go even lower.

How to Pay for Everything

ICE can use current taxpayer funds to move the illegal immigrants to sanctuary localities, in a makeshift compromise between enforcing federal law (to detain and deport) and respecting state and local law (jurisdictions that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration law enforcement), and deliver the immigrants directly to those states and communities.

It’s a curious twist that allows big-government progressives to enjoy federalism, too.

The sanctuary states and communities would develop their own policies to cover the costs of settlement and welfare. Sanctuary state and local taxpayers would bear sole responsibility for funding what they voted to enact.

As with federal funding of state and local highways and schools, recipient communities are obligated to abide by federal laws and regulations to receive federal funding. They are not forced to accept federal money, but if they do accept, they must observe federal laws and regulations. For example, states must enforce the federal alcohol drinking age of 21 to receive federal tax dollars for roads, or Department of Education provisions to receive federal school funds. Those practices, in place for decades, are no longer controversial.

Since sanctuary locales, by definition, violate or refuse to observe federal laws, such jurisdictions logically forego federal taxpayer funding. This is fair to the taxpayers in jurisdictions that did not vote for ignoring federal laws.

This Trump compromise, if one accepts the gravity of what’s becoming a national crisis, is both consistent with the founding principles of states’ rights and local self-government. That should appeal to federalists. And it prevents federal intrusion into sanctuary states and localities should they wish not to obey federal law, a curious twist that allows big-government progressives to enjoy federalism, too. So it’s win-win.

C’Mon, Democrats, Don’t Be Bigots Now

There are, of course, occasional mean-spirited people who oppose the Trump compromise.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi denounced it as “vengeful.” She sounded as if, in her heart, she doesn’t really find illegal immigration an enrichment of the diverse social fabric of America. Indeed, some critics sound like they find the very thought of illegal immigrants being relocated to their own communities repulsive.

“I understand helping struggling immigrants but my city (Los Angeles) isn’t taking care of its own,” clucked Cher the entertainer two days after Trump raised his plan. “What about the 50,000+ citizens who live on the streets?” she tweeted (edited for clarity). “People who live below poverty line & hungry? If my state can’t take care of its own (many are vets), how can it take care of more?”

Trump knew he’d bridged the political gap. He had achieved the impossible by finding common ground. The president tweeted back, “I finally agree with Cher!”

J. Michael Waller is vice president for government affairs at the Center for Security Policy in Washington DC. Follow him on Twitter @JMichaelWaller.

Copyright © 2019 The Federalist, a wholly independent division of FDRLST Media, All Rights Reserved.