One of the more ironic political turnabouts since the election and inauguration of President Donald Trump is the sudden resurgence in interest among liberals of reasserting states’ rights versus the power and reach of the federal government.
This was most recently exemplified by Democrat Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, who with the help of his commissioners on Tuesday sent out memos to all law enforcement agencies and schools in the state informing them that they were under no obligation to cooperate with the federal government when it came to Trump’s immigration policies, according to the Hartford Courant.
“Law enforcement should not take action that is solely to enforce federal immigration law,” read Malloy’s memo to police chiefs. “The federal government cannot mandate states to investigate and enforce actions that have no nexus to the enforcement of Connecticut law or local ordinances.”
Similarly, Malloy’s memo to school superintendents read, “(W)e encourage you to consider having a plan in place in the event that ICE agents come to one of your schools requesting information about or access to a student.”
As could be imagined, the memos from Malloy did not sit well with the Trump administration, and White House press secretary Sean Spicer made it a point to say so during Thursday’s daily media briefing, according to WTIC.
“The idea that Gov. Malloy would not want the law followed as enacted by Congress or by the Connecticut legislature in any fashion seems to be concerning, right?” Spicer began. “You, you, whether you’re a governor or a mayor or the president, laws are passed in this country and we expect people and our lawmakers and our law enforcement agencies to follow and adhere to the laws as passed by the appropriate level of government.”
“So it’s obviously concerning, I think, and it’s troubling that that’s the message that he would send to his people and to other governors,” he continued.
“The president has been very clear on this, that if you are a sanctuary city, declared or undeclared, if you are providing benefits or services, we are gonna do everything we can to respect taxpayers and insure that your states follow the law,” Spicer said.
You can watch Spicer make his remarks about Gov. Malloy here, courtesy of Fox News.
That said, immigration policy is widely understand to be one of the few things the federal government does that it actually has legitimate, constitutional authority over. Democrats know this, unless they have already forgotten Obama’s legal tussle with Arizona over whose immigration laws preempt the other’s.
Though some may recoil at the blunt directness of Spicer challenging Malloy for his defiance, it was the right move and sends the message to other states that willful defiance of federal immigration laws will not be tolerated by this administration.
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