Tags: Immigration | city | federal | funding | sanctuary

DC Would Forfeit Feds' Funds to Remain Sanctuary City

DC Would Forfeit Feds' Funds to Remain Sanctuary City

(John Minchillo/AP)

By Wednesday, 01 March 2017 11:29 AM Current | Bio | Archive

It hasn’t made the national news (except for this column) but for a brief time it looked like Democrats around our nation’s capital were going to accept the fact the federal government can withhold funds from states that don’t cooperate with the feds.

And this wasn’t a mere threat to turn off the spigot; funds for Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia have been cut off.

Yet no Democrats are vowing to fight to the last ditch to get their money.

No state attorneys general are rushing to the courthouse hoping to find a federal judge willing to write legislation from the bench. No legal defense funds have been established. No lawyers have been hired. No posters have been printed.

And no protestors wielding superglue and PVC pipe have blockaded entrances to buildings.

Why George Ramos wasn’t even thrown out of a news conference for asking impertinent questions.

If you’re thinking now that Trump has vanquished the sanctuary city movement, it’s time to move on to Obamacare repeal, I have bad news.

This loss of federal funding wasn’t caused by the states and Washington, D.C. flagrantly violating federal law in an effort to protect a subculture of lawbreakers who just happen to vote Democratic and represent the only future the party has.

Democrats aren’t fighting this funding freeze because it enhances the power of the federal government at the expense of the states.

The federal money was withheld because the legislatures in Maryland and Virginia didn’t pass a law an Obama federal functionary ordered them to pass by an arbitrary deadline set by him.

The Federal Transit Authority ordered the three to establish "a federally-compliant, FTA-certified State Safety Oversight Program for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s Metrorail," The Washington Post reports.

This wasn’t because Metro didn’t have a safety oversight program. It did. It was just Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx didn’t like that particular bureaucracy and he wanted a new bureaucracy in charge. Somehow Foxx equated shuffling the paper shufflers with increased safety for the ramshackle Metro system.

Foxx ruled that if the legislatures and city council didn’t pass the bill necessary for the oversight body by early February the FTA would withhold up to 5 percent of the transit funds Congress appropriated.

A federal bureaucrat ordering Virginia’s Republican legislature and Maryland’s Republican governor to get with the program is just the kind of control Democrats applauded during the Obama administration. Setting a precedent where bureaucrats can order elected officials to pass laws of their choosing is just the kind of government–by–elites the Democrats prefer.

And the loss of funds isn’t confined to just the areas served by the D.C. Metro, the largest mass transit agency in the world run by an improv group. (Details on Metro mismanagement can be found here and here.)

In Virginia transportation systems around the state will take a funding hit. This includes the well-run Virginia Railway Express, along with Hampton Roads Transit and Roanoke. While in Maryland, Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, along with agencies in the Baltimore area and the Eastern Shore will come up short.

Trump’s threat to withhold funds from Sanctuary Cities, which doesn’t affect surrounding jurisdictions and puts direct pressure on the politicians responsible for flouting the law, is met with outrage. Withholding funds from an entire state is only regrettable.

The reaction of Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett makes my point. The mere possibility of a funds cutoff to Montgomery for its illegal alien sanctuary policies got a hot response.\Leggett told the Post, "Clearly, we’re going to fight that, and if needed, we will take appropriate legal action to resist."

In the same spirit, Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser stated in no uncertain terms that D.C. would remain a sanctuary city and that "Being a sanctuary city means we are not an agent of the federal government."

Leggett isn’t even quoted after his county lost transit funds and the official Washington, D.C. response to losing federal money for Metro was a bland, "We did our part first and encourage our partners to follow our lead."

There wasn’t so much as a single weepy news conference with a non-English-speaking single mother worried about her bus running out of gas if the feds don’t cough up the money.

It’s simply bizarre. On one hand a bureaucrat orders states to pass legislation and no one bats a constitutional eye. On the other elected officials are violating the law and the prospect of withholding money to force compliance is somehow an outrage.

The people who shouldn’t be here in the first place are under the protection of the politicians, while the poor stiffs trying to get to work are once again on their own.

Michael R. Shannon is a commentator, researcher for the League of American Voters, and an award-winning political and advertising consultant with nationwide and international experience. He is author of "Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!)." Read more of Michael Shannon's reports — Go Here Now.

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If you’re thinking that President Trump has vanquished sanctuary cities, I have bad news. Democrats aren’t fighting this federal funding freeze because it enhances the power of the federal government at the expense of states.
city, federal, funding, sanctuary
Wednesday, 01 March 2017 11:29 AM
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