Imagine the headlines if the D.C. City Council adopted a resolution offering sanctuary to people who make illegal campaign contributions. Just this week, another member of the “shadow campaign” that helped elect Mayor Vincent Gray pled guilty to campaign finance violations. Isn’t it really unjust, however, for undocumented campaign contributors to be forced to remain in the shadow of our political campaigns? Wouldn’t it make it easier for police to build trust with the powerful, undocumented Medicaid contractors who are forced to use intermediaries so they can buy the electoral results (and subsequent contracts) they want — if these undocumented contributors knew that they would be free to live without the oppressive fear of discovery during routine traffic stops?
Of course, that’s not what really happened this week in D.C. Instead, “the D.C. Council approved a bill that will limit the ability of the federal government to enforce immigration laws by restricting the circumstances in which individuals can be held in the custody of local law enforcement at the request of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement,” says a story in the Huffington Post. So, our nation’s capital is now a sanctuary city for illegal aliens – refusing valid detention requests from ICE and, in effect, frustrating the Obama administration’s woeful effort to maintain any pretense of enforcing immigration laws.
Frustrating the administration’s policies of enforcement (or lack of enforcement) is something that the Supreme Court has ruled states may not do. Only Congress has that authority, but they refuse to exercise it (but that’s another matter). Maybe the D.C. City Council figures that as a non-state, they are free to ignore the recent ruling about SB 1070. Or, maybe, it’s just the Council’s latest ploy to make D.C. a state.