THE HILL: N. Rappaport Asks Whether Trump’s Next “Sanctuary Cities” Strategy Will Include Criminal Prosecutions For Harboring?

Nolan writes:

“Gregg Jarrett, a Fox news anchor and former defense attorney, has observed that if this approach fails to force city officials to abide by the law, President Trump can consider charging them with crimes.

According to James H. Walsh, who was an associate general counsel for the Immigration and Naturalization Service, there are several federal statutes that apply to state and local officials and others who interfere with the enforcement of our immigration laws.

I have found at least one provision in the INA that seems to be an appropriate basis for such prosecutions, 8 U.S.C. §1324(a)(1)(A)(iii). It provides criminal penalties for concealing, harboring, or shielding aliens from detection who are in the United States illegally.

It does not specify what actions constitute “harboring.” This has been left to the courts, and the courts have not settled on one uniform definition. But the most frequent characteristic the courts have used to describe “harboring” is that it facilitates an immigrant’s remaining in the United States illegally, and this seems to be the primary reason for sanctuary cities and municipal ID card programs.

Criminal prosecution of responsible government officials is preferable in some ways to withholding federal funding. Withholding federal funding mainly would hurt the people who depend on the funds. It would not have a direct impact on the responsible officials the way prosecuting them would.

Also, the Supreme Court has held that such restrictions on federal funds must “bear some relationship to the purpose of the federal spending,” which may be difficult to establish in this situation.

In any case, we appear to be headed for major conflicts between the Trump administration and state and local governments, which could take a very long time to resolve.”


Go on over to The Hill at the above link to read Nolan’s entire article.

Regardless of whether or not criminal prosecutions become part of the Trump Administration’s arsenal, I totally agree with Nolan’s conclusion that we’re heading for a major confrontation.