Why shouldn't asylum seekers be transported to sanctuary cities? Wouldn't asylum-seekers be better off in welcoming locations?
Sometimes you just have to shake your head and laugh…Progressivism formed around the idea of making the US an Anglo-Saxon Protestant nation and, so, limiting immigration to Western European countries. Progressives• first foray toward this goal was the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which ended Chinese immigration until we were their allies in World War II. They did want to show some sensitivity to the “deplorables” already here, so long as they stayed out of white society, workplaces and markets. And most of their social policies, like minimum wage and child labor laws, were aimed at precisely that goal.But, in those days, progressives amounted to some sixty percent or even more of voters, at their peak. These days, in large part owing to the toll their own preference for abortion has taken on their voting numbers, they amount to around fifteen percent of the populace, which means they are forced to form voting coalitions with the very “deplorables” their grandparents and great-great-grandparents openly deplored. (In yet another delicious irony, our first anti-abortion law came in New York State in 1872, a result of the first progressive campaign (as far as I can find anyway) led by the New York Times, with other states following suit.)That flexibility is to be expected, after all, progressives invented the ethics of pragmatism• whatever works for them is good. Besides, most progressives now live and work in places securely free from the “unwoke.” Furthermore, owing to their success in getting abortion legalized with the Roe v. Wade SCOTUS ruling of 1973 (a century after they made it illegal in the first place), starting eighteen years later, they began realizing a net loss of some quarter of a million voters (probably more like a third of a million) per year since the early 90s.With those numbers piling up, Democratic progressives have, during this millennium, shifted to pushing for more immigrants and refugees, ideally ones in need of prolonged government hand-holding who then become accustomed to the progressive welfare state and vote accordingly. It’s part and parcel of the old Democratic strategy of getting a political lock on our larger cities using the Curley Effect (academic version.pdf) to shape the electorate in order to maintain control at the cost of a bit of economic stagnation. (And you thought most of America’s largest cities have enjoyed Democratic control since forever because it has been just so lovely.)And so we have today’s postmodern progressives pragmatically extolling the virtues of wide-open immigration in a way that should have their Progressive Era and New Deal forebears turning over in their graves. Some of their recent talking points (stolen from Charlie Fortin’s answer to a similar question—What do you think of President Donald Trump’s plan to put migrants in sanctuary cities?):Illegals pay more in taxes than they costIllegals do jobs Americans won’t doIllegals are completely moral human beings, more moral than Americans. If they were affected by drugs or human trafficking in their native country then they should receive asylum here.Who knows, the next Nobel Laureate or president of INTEL could be among themNinety percent of them show up for their immigration hearingThey are bringing their children to keep their family intactWe need them to pay taxes for our aging populationAny limit on illegal immigration is racistEtc.Okay, taking that at face value, why would they refuse Trump’s offer? According to their own expressed take on the matter, they should leap at the chance to receive an influx of released detainees and asylum seekers, or has this all been just so much virtue signaling? Still, this reluctance seems to be where they’re at now (which could pragmatically change):Pelosi’s spokeswoman Ashley Etienne issued a standard statement: “The extent of this administration’s cynicism and cruelty cannot be overstated. Using human beings—including little children—as pawns in their warped game to perpetuate fear and demonize immigrants is despicable.” Like the media, Pelosi, whose district covers the sanctuary city of San Francisco, didn’t directly challenge the unspoken but clear premise that something terrible would happen to these cities if immigrants came to them.(That is from Masha Geeson of The New Yorker, who goes on to urge the Democrats to take Trump up on his offer.)Thanks to progressives, we don’t have a federal government anymore, more at a national government—shaped to fit their preference for a top-down, hierarchical state not limited to the governmental public sector but able to impose its will on the private and civil sectors and on the various states and even their counties and cities. It’s just that it does not do for Republicans to be in charge of such a well-oiled, super-charged machine• like your wacky brother-in-law taking your car out for a spin unbidden.So, will they go for it or resist just on principle (the principle of not allowing Republicans to tell them what to do even when it is supposedly what they want to do)?We have eight states—California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon and Vermont—that have declared themselves Sanctuaries. We have 141 counties (by my possibly incorrect hand count) in 21 states and 32 cities (including most of our largest) in 17 states. That provides plenty of real estate for released immigrants without overburdening any few of them.There are also law agencies in Rhode Island and New Mexico refusing to cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which was formed in 2022 pursuant to the Homeland Security Act, that passed with bipartisan support. What “refusing to cooperate” means is that when ICE presents a detainer to take control of an alien in custody, law enforcement agencies within the jurisdiction are required to refuse to honor the demand.Very, very curious for people who worship at the altar of top-down control• but then Democrats have a long history of resorting to states• rights when they do not accept the law of the land—pragmatism.And Trump seems determined to let us all find out the true underlying motives of Democrats in forming so many sanctuaries. Troll level: Mastermind. With Pelosi’s demur above, he’s already won round one—bluff called. Now to see how he continues to box them in. Pass the popcorn.Just for the record, I am quite pro-immigrant, to the point of favoring an open-borders policy, with this reservation, paraphrasing Milton Friedman: Open borders? Welfare state? Pick one. With Democrats trying to mesh both policies together in order to gain ascendancy over us, I’m glad to put both on hold until sanity returns.