On Republics and Sanctuary Cities

Eric Andersen Eric Andersen 15 Comments


As a Republican, I don’t particularly enjoy siding with Governor Brown on an issue let alone on one as emotionally charged as sanctuary cities. Not sure our reasoning was the same but to his credit he took Senator Kevin DeLeon’s SB54 and with encouragement from the California Police Chiefs Association multiplied DeLeon’s exclusions twelvefold, from 65 crimes to 800.

My oath as an elected member of the San Diego County Republican Party requires I uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution. My hopes of seeing an inspiring California GOP  depend on it. That being the case I’m taking a minority position opposite three of our San Diego Republican representatives, each of whom I respect and have appeared on Fox News this past week.

I take this role remembering the young attorney, John Adams, who defended the British at the Boston Massacre. Despite being loyal to the Revolution, Adams defended them and risked reputation out of a desire that the law be upheld over his personal beliefs.

Here are nine reasons I’m hesitant to support the President and a number of friends who oppose  Sanctuary Cities.

Limited Government
Immigration is not an enumerated power “we the people” delegated to the Federal Government. I don’t have much confidence in their having jurisdiction in this area in light of the competency demonstrated on healthcare and the budget. If we wish to delegate immigration to them we can amend the Constitution.

10th Amendment
Federalism. Those areas not enumerated are left to the people and the states. I would suggest fifty different experiments and approaches to this issue not one. Each state learning from the others. Anything we can do to get government closer to the people is a win.

1st Amendment
The freedom to associate with whomever we wish is an inalienable right that precedes Government. It is fundamental to another great idea of which Republicans are fond, free markets. The free flow of labor is required for such to exist and constituted, put into legal form, by the 1st Amendment.

Kate Steinle
The tragic death of Kate Steinle is the singular and most common reason my friends oppose sanctuary cities. Consider the following;
1. Zarate was acquitted by a jury specifically chosen by the prosecutor that after hearing the evidence and deliberating on it found,  no intent. No malice. No forethought.
2. Zarate had no recorded history of violence.
3. The gun, a Sig Sauer P239 pistol, is a backup emergency weapon used by law enforcement that has a light trigger mode and no safety.
4. Bullet hit the ground 12’ in front of Zarate before traveling 78’ and hitting Kate.
5. Direct witness testimony didn’t collaborate the prosecutor’s case.

Sanctuary Cities
The Collingwood study on the effectiveness of sanctuary cities on crime is inconclusive, providing  statistics neither Democrat nor Republican can use. It reveals that crime statistics don’t improve or worsen in either direction. While murder rates have climbed in the sanctuary cities of Chicago and Las Vegas they have as well in cities that aren’t, San Antonio and Texas.

Immigrant vs. Native Born Criminality.
This one surprised me. Native born Americans are three times more likely to commit crime than their immigrant counterparts. If individuals in Group ‘A’ are three times more likely to commit violent crime than individuals in Group ‘B’, then a municipality with scarce resources should focus on Group ‘A’. A shrewd city council doesn’t divert resources from the three crime victims of Group ‘A’ to pursue the one crime victim from Group ‘B’.

Fusion of Locke with Marx
Locke and Jefferson are about the individual. All men created in the image of God. Inalienable rights. Marx is about the safety of the State. With Marx, as with the Incas and the Pro-Choice Movement, the individual is expendable and must be aborted for the salvation of the group. Inalienable rights then become privileges bestowed by the State.

The terminology used by the opponents of the free flow of immigration sounds strangely familiar to Marx. Notice the use of a “collective” noun with a singular verb. They make the State a metaphysical person. Stating “our nation” is under “attack” when in fact most Americans are not but benefit economically from immigrant labor.

National Security & Terrorism
If Nation “A” is truly concerned with terror it shouldn’t misuse the lives of its sons and daughters by intervening in 150 nations where their freedoms are not being threatened. Acknowledge cause and effect. “Blowback”. That being said the “odds” of an American losing their life to a terrorist? Probably less than drowning in a bathtub.

Taxes & Welfare
Do aliens pay their share and abuse welfare? Education? The school taxes are paid by a property tax with the rent from the immigrant. Roads? Paid by the immigrant at the pump. Other government services? Paid each time an immigrant makes a purchase with a sales tax. Social Security? The alien pays but doesn’t collect. Which demographic abuses our welfare system the most given current population percentages versus recipients? You might be surprised.

Bottom line. I care about public safety as well but like Augustine and Aquinas I make a distinction between a crime and a vice. Crimes carry with them intent and encroach on their neighbor. Vices do not. It is government’s role to defend us from the first but not the second. Deport the violent alien but look neither here nor there for the rest. Instead focus on the legislator encroaching on our pursuit of happiness and freedoms with law that ignores our ideals and destroys our economy. The free flow of immigration is a prerequisite to a prosperous one.

The solution? I still pledge allegiance to the great ideas constituted in our founding documents. If we uphold them as Cato’s Immigration Policy Analyst Alex Nowrasteh states, we eliminate the black market in immigration just as we eliminated the harms of Prohibition by removing unjust law and allowing Americans to pursue happiness and swing their arms until they reach their neighbor’s nose.


Eric Andersen is a member of the Central Committee of the San Diego County Republican Party and Co-Founder of the Republican Liberty Caucus of San Diego County. He is a Co-Founder of im2moro.com, former Rock Church Citizen of the Year and former Caucus Chair for the 71st Assembly District.


Comments 15

  1. Let’s set aside our difference in opinion about your first point; whether or not immigration is a constitutionally delegated power to the federal government.

    Are you suggesting that any human being should be allowed to traverse the borders, without question?

  2. Post

    No. Simply moving it to the States. Perhaps something similar to the old Bracero Program (1942 – 1964). More market control and away from quotas. Our nation was fine with immigrant labor before visas were required in 1924, largely in response to unions and attempts to protect jobs.

  3. Regarding your last point “Taxes and Welfare”. How do they pay into Social Security without Identity theft and isn’t that a crime?

  4. I think the Bracero Program was a federal program which, among other things, established an actual immigration policy. We agree that a market-based approach is better than quotas. Ironically, it’s success shows how silly arbitrary price fixing is in labor markets.

    Would you stipulate that foreign nationals, visiting or working in the US, should be vetted?

  5. Post

    Jeff – Are you asking me to defend an FDR policy, social security? Shall I also defend his gold confiscation program?

    It is my understanding that the 1996 Welfare Reform Act disqualified illegals from all means tested government programs.

  6. Post

    Brian – Correct. That was a weakness of the Bracero Program and not one to repeat only a direction for reform when immigration was easier. Much of Bracero should not be repeated however a “path to legalization” is key. Note I did not say ‘citizenship’. There needs to be vetting from health, disease and violent crime but I honestly haven’t given this area the study it deserves and how to make it more efficient. That is what Alex Nowrasteh gets paid the big bucks for.

  7. I think we probably agree on everything about immigration policy but which branch of government has the proper jurisdiction.

    I don’t disagree about a “path to legalization” but, at the end of the day, that path is going to have to have a line and foreign nationals are going to have to stand in it. Waving a magic wand and legalizing every illegally domiciled foreign national is amnesty…and we know that just won’t work

  8. Post

    Brian, thanks for pushing me deeper into the “weeds” and to consider what a just border check would entail.

    Think we might help further by dropping the word “line”. There isn’t one nor does a 10-20 year wait constitute such or represent reality. Perhaps referring to the “clog” at the border as a malignant tumor on a major economic artery may. We’ve got a problem and I don’t wish to give our Congressmen who have failed to address it any room.

  9. Here is the big question; is nullification the proper response to enforcement of (what you call unconstitutional) immigration law? I think not. Let me lay out the reasons why:

    1- If it were unconstitutional, why didn’t the California Legislature nullify when the Deporter-In-Chief (aka Barack Obama) was President? ANSWER: This is a political stunt.

    2- California has a long history of LEGALLY challenging federal laws in court, not the Legislature.

    3- SB54 is causing civil discord in the State. I chalk it up to the fact that the State is so big and diverse but most of the Southland and most of the Central Valley want federal immigration law enforced.

    I don’t want federal agents raiding avocado farms but, if a foreign national can’t safely handle a firearm, and kills someone because of his negligence, Californians should expect its LEOs to show him the exit door.

    Maybe (as you have suggested earlier), the Constitution needs to be amended to clarify that immigration is a delegated power to the federal government. Certainly, federal immigration policy needs to be reformed. Immigration enforcement however, is a pressing and immediate issue.

    Nullification muddies the waters and (more importantly) disenfranchises our federal representatives from the important enforcement and reform debate. California is far too important to be left out of that discussion.

  10. The federal government is sovereign in making treaties with foreign nations. By definition that role of interaction with foreign governments confers immigration authority solely to the Feds, irrespective of the 10th. As for the claim illegal immigrants are a net positive to the economy, not a chance. From what I witnessed as a board member to a local hospital on medical costs, to my current position as a school board member, any concept that their sales tax contribution, etc. offsets the social services used but not paid for isn’t supported.

  11. Post

    Jim, think your attempting to state the Constitution can be amended in two ways?

    By a 2/3 vote or a foreign treaty? Yikes. See Article VI giving particular attention to “made in pursuance thereof “.

  12. Post

    Jim, with regard to your personal experience, I’m of the opinion we should avoid such as a basis for law as its anecdotal and doesn’t offer a proper representation of reality. See my example of Steinle or the Ku study from the Center for Health Policy Research at George Washington University.

    Don’t take my word. Read the research. Anecdotal ideas denying inherent rights made Martin Luther King famous. Anecdotal evidence with regard to guns would most certainly take us in a direction frustrating to the both of us.

    In order for our views to be credible I think they should have thoughtful peer reviewed analysis. Are you familiar with the amount of sales tax paid by immigrants? Property tax? Where did you find your numbers? Did you do an analysis comparing native populations of equal incomes and percentage users? If you did I applaud you.

    If we’re truly concerned with property redistribution, an issue I stand by your side on, our focus should be on the root not the fruit, unjust law and the legislator writing without the enumerated authority. Instead we seem to like getting our picture taken with them more and posting it to FB.

    Now you are free to have progressive legal philosophy but that is why Japanese got imprisoned (Korematsu), Government intervenes in the market (Wickard v Filburn), Americans are forced to purchase health insurance (Sebellius) and why anti 2nd Amendment folks are entering school board meetings.

  13. Post

    Brian, the bigger question is on what basis we think it just to apply law arbitrarily. If we do so we must allow Pelosi and Sanders the same.

    1. When did the California legislature become our bright line for just law? I care nothing for their motivation.
    2. See my answer to #1.
    3. “SB54 is causing civil discord.” I disagree. Discord is a function of unjust law and poor character, the consequence of unlimited government or law arbitrarily applied.

    Nullification muddies the waters and more importantly disenfranchises our federal representatives.”

    I disagree. Arbitrary law and legislators supporting such disenfranchise themselves. Arbitrary law is the problem not the answer.

    If we reject the great ideas of our Framers I could see your point on nullification but I haven’t. I still profess Locke and Jefferson in a fashion consistent with orthodox Christianity. That being the case I remain firm on the “few and defined” powers of the State, separation of powers, checks and balances and …. nullification when all the above fail. Failing that, right to trial by jury.

  14. What a bunch of hog wash. Never in my life do I want to hear “Americans commit more crimes than illegals.”

    We have enough of our own criminals, we do NOT need to import them.

    I am dang tired of paying for Welfare, Foodstamps, subsidized housing, school lunch & breakfast programs for the entire families, free education, free medical & all the other supposed FREE PROGRAMS at the taxpayer’s expense FOR ILLEGALS.

    I don’t care what country you are from. Stay OUT of our country unless you come here LEGALLY. THEN, I WELCOME YOU YOU WITH OPEN ARMS.

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