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Sanctuary Cities Stand to Lose Billions in Federal Funding
According to an analysis of federal grants performed by Reuters, the 10 largest cities in America are in danger of losing up to $2.27 billion in funds if they do not comply with President Donald Trump’s policies on illegal immigration.
The president signed an executive order this week directing the Department of Homeland Security to look at the money flowing to the nation’s sanctuary cities and report on any funding streams that could be cut off in the event of non-compliance.
“The American people are no longer going to have to be forced to subsidize this disregard for our laws,” said White House press secretary Sean Spicer.
Reuters analyzed federal grant records to tally the estimated federal funding at risk among the 10 largest cities which totaled an estimated $2.27 billion.
The total amount remains unclear, as federal money can be filtered through state governments or granted directly to social-service organizations or other groups.
The numbers do not include federal money for law enforcement, which was excluded in the executive order, and programs like Medicaid, which are administered by state governments.
Though details remain vague, the order could jeopardize billions of dollars in housing, health, education and other types of federal aid.
Several cities in the top 10 – Boston and Los Angeles among them – have not officially proclaimed themselves “sanctuaries” for illegal immigrants. Even so, they have policies that prevent local officials from fully cooperating with federal immigration authorities.
Boston, for instance, has a directive in place that forbids police from detaining people based on their citizenship status without a criminal warrant. Depending on how forcefully the Trump administration pushes the issue, the city could be in danger of losing more than $65 million in federal funds.
Most cities with sanctuary policies are about as blue as America gets, and they are predisposed to opposing the Trump administration. City officials in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and elsewhere have already vowed to stand by their resident aliens and fight Trump in court if he strips their cities of federal grant money.
Some analysts say that, legally, Trump can only cut off funds if the original statute providing the funds came with a compliance clause. In other words, unless the funds are already tied to an agreement like, “You get this money only if you comply with ICE agents,” Trump is out of luck. Whether this is true or not, we may soon find out.
Even if it is, though, Trump has a number of other tools at his disposal, including what it perhaps his most powerful weapon: The presidential bully pulpit.
The administration has already suggested publishing an ongoing list of crimes committed by illegal immigrants along with the cities that protect them.
Once public opinion in these cities turns, Trump may not even have to threaten funding to gain compliance.
Why People Are Leaving Blue States in Droves
Some Americans think state boundaries and the principle of federalism are outdated relics from the past. They couldn’t be further from the truth.
New data in a report from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) paint a clear picture:
States with the best policies are being rewarded with an influx of residents, and states with unattractive policies are losing residents.
Take two of the most high-tax, high-spend states in the union: New York and Illinois.
Over the past decade, New York has suffered a net loss of nearly 1.5 million residents and over 650,000 Illinoisans have moved elsewhere.
Meanwhile, Texas, a right-to-work state with no income or estate tax, saw its population grow by 1.3 million.
Despite their appealing metropolitan hubs, New York and Illinois are shedding denizens.
States that scored high on the ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index, which takes into consideration 15 variables from the number of public employees to sales tax rates, have seen an influx of job-creating companies and taxpaying citizens over the last decade, while low-scoring blue states have been losing both.
"The only good tax is a dead tax. I want to bury the business franchise tax in a coffin". — Greg Abbott
While tax rates and labor laws are not the only factors that contribute to a state’s flourishing, the correlation between sound economic policy and private sector growth is clear.
The formula is simple. Good policy contributes to vibrant economies, and vibrant economies attract people eager for opportunity.
‘Laboratories of Democracy’
Federalism is about creating competition between the states by allowing them to craft their own respective policies, and then seeing what policies work best. This system has even more to commend it today than at the time of the founding.
Contrary to the expectations of progressive social scientists and pundits, government spending stimulates the government, but little else. A high minimum wage ultimately hurts those it is meant to serve. Progressive tax rates do not close chasmal blue state budget gaps.
Federalism is not just a boon to citizens—it is an advantage to state policymakers as well.
The states are often thought of as “laboratories of democracy.” That expression was initially coined by Justice Louis Brandeis, who ironically did not subscribe to the competitive view of federalism.
The idea is that when states implement policies, they provide test cases from which other states can learn. When a policy pays off, other states typically follow suit; when a policy is cursed by unintended consequences, other states can avoid the same pitfalls.
Many progressives claim that allowing states wide discretion to establish their own fiscal policies and regulatory regimes will result in a “race to the bottom” in which states attempt to drive out their poor and needy by decreasing welfare payments and lure in corporations by eliminating important regulations.
Political scientists have shown, however, that when it comes to welfare programs, public health regulations, and environmental protections, competition is what drives innovative and efficient solutions.
In other words, for progressives who are willing to pay the high price tag for expensive public services, there are still plenty of states willing to oblige.
Another critique of studies like the ALEC-Laffer Index is they heap too much praise on red states that implement conservative fiscal policies when, in fact, their citizens are shielded from the real downsides of fiscal conservatism—namely, limited spending on social programs.
Federal welfare policies allow frugal state governments to get credit for lowering taxes without taking the blame for cutting popular social safety net programs.
Essentially, critics argue, progressive federal policies end up subsidizing conservative state policies. As a result, states that score high on the ALEC-Laffer Index end up looking more appealing to more people.
On its face, this critique has some merit. Many of the states that score the highest on the ALEC-Laffer Index also tend to be states that get more money back from the federal government—mostly in the form of welfare payments—than they pay in taxes.
North Dakota, ranked No. 3 on the ALEC-Laffer Index, gets back $1.68 for every dollar paid in taxes. Tennessee and Oklahoma, also in the ALEC-Laffer top 10, get more back from the federal coffers than they put in as well.
Meanwhile, California, only four spots from the bottom on the ALEC-Laffer Index, gets only 78 cents back for every dollar sent to Washington. New York, dead last on the index, retrieves only 79 cents.
But federal policy also insulates residents of blue states from the full consequences of progressive fiscal policies.
— Tax Foundation (@taxfoundation) February 7, 2017
Under current law, individuals can deduct their state taxes from their overall income for the purposes of determining what they owe the federal government in taxes. Thus, state politicians can hike up their tax rates without changing the effective tax rate their citizens pay.
While federal spending may make low-tax red states more appealing to residents and potential residents, the state tax deduction does the same for blue states.
Still, the broader thrust of this progressive critique is correct. Federal policy does alleviate some of the downsides that come along with both conservative and progressive fiscal policy.
A More Perfect Federalism
For the states to function as true laboratories of democracy, they should bear even more of the costs—and reap more of the rewards—of their policies.
The federal government should put more of the onus of funding and managing social welfare programs on the states and also consider eliminating the state and local tax deduction. This way, the real costs and benefits of state policies will be clear to citizens who can vote—or move—accordingly.
Were this done, the appeal of economically responsible red states would likely be even higher than ALEC’s study demonstrates it already is.
Lessons learned from state experimentation are of critical importance today.
As ALEC’s recent report shows, every one of the 50 states is wrestling with the mounting expense of unfunded liabilities caused by generous pensions and social welfare programs. Some states, like Arizona, are addressing the problem early and aggressively and others are taking note.
As state governments roll out various packages of cuts and revenue-raising measures to push themselves back into the black, they will provide test cases not just for one another, but for our radically insolvent federal government as well.
Here’s Why State Election Officials Think Voter Fraud Is a Serious Problem
Before he was the chief election officer for his state, Wayne Williams was the El Paso County, Colorado, clerk and saw firsthand how even a small amount of voter fraud can thwart the public will.
“As clerk, I saw two school board races decided by a single vote,” Williams told The Daily Signal. “I oversaw a municipal tax question that failed on a tie vote. So, yes, a single vote can make a difference. If someone is saying, well, it doesn’t happen a lot so it doesn’t matter, they’re just wrong, because it can make a difference. Even a single instance of an illegal vote causes an undermining in the confidence and diminishes turnout.”
Williams, now the Colorado secretary of state, was in the District of Columbia, for the winter meeting of the National Association of Secretaries of State, which included a panel on election integrity.
The panel discussed the pending voter fraud commission that President Donald Trump has said he would appoint, to be headed by Vice President Mike Pence.
Trump has alleged that 3 million to 5 million illegal votes could have been cast in the November 2016 election, which he previously said might have cost him the popular vote against Hillary Clinton. In his pre-Super Bowl interview with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, Trump said he would appoint Pence to head the probe.
Trump administration officials have cited an Old Dominion University study about noncitizens voting, and a Pew Research Center study that found millions of people listed on voter rolls across the country are listed in the wrong address, live in a different state, or in some cases are dead.
Williams, a Republican, thinks state and local election officials will play a major role in assisting in the probe.
“I welcome a process that’s designed to look at how we make the system better,” Williams said. “That’s true as a clerk, as secretary. I believe we ought to have that dialogue and explore ways we can clean up the process.”
Even as several speakers at the conference said that voter fraud doesn’t happen on a massive scale, Williams stressed that’s no reason to ignore it.
“Voter fraud is like bank robbery. It doesn’t happen most of the time, but it’s absolutely critical to take precautions against it,” Williams told The Daily Signal. “So, even though someone doesn’t rob a bank every day, they don’t put the money out in a pile and say, ‘Just take however much you like.’ It’s the same sense for we as elections officials. Most people who are voting accurately. They are eligible. But we have to have processes in place to protect against it. I know most people vote appropriately, but they need to have confidence their vote counts.”
During a panel on election integrity, Miles Rapoport, a senior fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, warned secretaries of state to be ready to answer questions from the Trump administration.
“We don’t know what will happen, but it’s entirely possible there will be a major commission on the subject of voter fraud,” Rapoport, a former head of liberal groups such as Demos and Common Cause, told the assembled secretaries.
Jesse Richman, a political science professor at Old Dominion University, did research extrapolating on a previous study that found 800,000 people may have voted in the 2016 presidential election. That’s significant, though well short of Trump’s alleged 3 million to 5 million illegal votes.
Because voter fraud is such a volatile issue, Richman said the commission must be transparent.
“Any result they find of significant or substantial levels of fraud will almost certainly be attacked,” Richman told The Daily Signal after speaking at a Judicial Watch forum on voter fraud.
"I think they should use the full range of data the federal government already has, as well as soliciting cooperation and collaboration with states, to try to address various aspects of election integrity and try to get a sense of magnitudes because magnitudes are really important. If we are trying to get a sense of a few thousand illegal votes cast by noncitizens across the country, that’s still potentially politically significant in a close race, but it’s not as big a problem as if we are talking about 100,000 or 200,000 or more. So I think it is important to get a sense of magnitude because stopping voter fraud is very costly and we want to figure out the least costly ways in terms of various kinds of cost to go about addressing the challenges."
The nation’s secretaries of state reached out to the administration, but haven’t received any response on details of the commission probe, said Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill, chairwoman of the National Association of Secretaries of State.
“We have very little indication of exactly what they’re going to be doing thus far. I gather it will focus perhaps on lists, the accuracy of lists, the integrity of the eligibility of voters. It’s kind of hard to tell where they are going at this point,” Merrill, a Democrat said.
*** RAY, I AM DOING WHAT I CAN TO 'GET 'ER DONE' ***
"Senator Cornyn" <SenateWebmail@cornyn.senate.gov>
Dear Mr. Cathcart:
Thank you for contacting me regarding the Department of Homeland Security’s electronic employment verification system (E-Verify). I appreciate having the benefit of your comments on this matter.
U.S. employers must be able to accurately verify the identity and legal status of their employees and be confident that they are following the law. Congress must also ensure that law-abiding U.S. employers are not unduly burdened or penalized for the acts of a few employers who deliberately ignore the law by hiring undocumented labor.
I support a real-time, effective employment verification system and secure identity documents for foreign nationals working in the United States. For this reason, I supported a provision in the Further Continuing and Security Assistance Appropriations Act of 2017 (P.L. 114-254), which reauthorized E-verify through April 28, 2017 to provide Congress time to pass a long-term extension of the program.
While participation in the E-Verify program is voluntary for most employers, legislation has been proposed that would mandate that all U.S. employers, with few exceptions, utilize E-Verify.
You may be certain that I will keep your views in mind should the Senate consider such proposals.
I appreciate having the opportunity to represent you in the United States Senate. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.
United States Senator
517 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Tel: (202) 224-2934
Fax: (202) 228-2856
"Jim F." <email@example.com>
This cannot wait! Our friend Sheriff Joe Arpaio's back is really up against the wall.
Since I last wrote to you, it's become abundantly clear that the crooked leftists involved with Sheriff Joe's case don't just want to send him to jail -- they want to make an example of him by prolonging their bogus, Kangaroo Court trial for as long as it takes in the hopes of utterly DESTROY his good reputation!
YOU SEE: prosecutors still in place from the Obama Department of Justice have already successfully argued to delay Sheriff Joe's trial to later this year -- a move that will cost Sheriff Joe and taxpayers thousands in court costs -- because college basketball's Final Four tournament will interfere with the trial!
...and now it appears that the 'clinton-appointed federal Judge' presiding over Sheriff Joe's case will fail to honor his request for a Trial by Jury! TALK about a rigged case!!
Friend, it's hard enough to accept the fact that a decorated Sheriff like Joe Arpaio is being charged with the "crime" of enforcing the law in the first place.
But for the liberals to deliberately be manipulating the court date and leave this case hanging over his head truly makes my blood boil!
Yet instead of giving into discouragement, I'm more motivated than ever to keep Sheriff Joe out of jail and that's why I'm reaching out to you today.
*** Send money--- NOPE! ***
Make no mistake: the right to a speedy trial -- BY JURY OF ONE'S PEERS -- is enshrined in the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
But an Arizona Judge is set to deny Sheriff Joe Arapio BOTH because liberal prosecutors fear the strong support for his anti-illegal immigration policies in Maricopa County will render it next to impossible to earn a conviction.
My friend, the case against Sheriff Joe is clearly not only rigged, but has always been politically motivated to destroy him as a person.
After 24 years of defeating every leftist attack imaginable as "America's Toughest Sheriff," Joe Arpaio's enemies are bound and determined to win their final battle at all costs.
That's why in addition to our effort to cover his legal expenses, we're fighting tooth and nail to take Sheriff Joe's case out of this partisan Judge's hands before it even goes to trial!
Let me tell you...
...I'm getting ready to hand deliver roughly 5,000 signed Petitions to President Donald Trump and Attorney General Sessions to ask them to DROP all charges!
Ultimately, I'm confident that this Petition drive could have a dramatic impact on this case.
But if Sheriff Joe's case does proceed to trial later this year, the unvarnished truth is he'll need at least $1,000,000 more in generous donations.
And while our special NCPD fund has already contributed more than $250,000 to the cause, we still have a long way to go.
That's why I reached out to you just as soon as I could to inform you of the latest developments in Sheriff Joe's case and to ask for your immediate renewed support.
So before you close this email, please consider the excellent law enforcement role model Sheriff Joe has been for every American.
Friend, after 56 uninterrupted years of doing the Badge proud, Sheriff Joe Arpaio deserves to spend retirement with his lovely wife Ava and four grandkids -- not surrounded by criminals he put away.
However, that's EXACTLY what would happen if Sheriff Joe were left to fend for himself on his retired public servant's salary alone.
That's why your continued involvement is so vital.
Friend, Sheriff Joe Arpaio and I thank you in advance for your continued generosity!!
"Office of Senator Ted Cruz" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
February 3, 2017
Last year, after the unexpected passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the Senate drew a line in the sand on the behalf of the American people. Exercising our constitutional authority, we advised President Obama that we would not consent to a Supreme Court nominee until We the People, in the presidential election, were able to choose between an originalist and a progressive vision of the Constitution. This week, President Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch, who is a brilliant and immensely talented jurist.
Judge Gorsuch has clerked at the Supreme Court, excelled in private practice, served at the highest levels of the Justice Department, and garnered a stellar reputation over the past decade as an appellate court judge. Our country desperately needs Supreme Court Justices who revere the Constitution and are willing to elevate it over their own personal preferences, and Judge Gorsuch has previously demonstrated that faithfulness. I look forward to supporting his confirmation in the Senate. Judge Gorsuch Takes Seriously His Obligation to Interpret the Law and Follow the Constitution
Keep Texas Strong,
Sen. Ted Cruz
Sen. Ted Cruz released the following statement after his meeting with Supreme Court Nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch:
“Judge Neil Gorsuch is an impressive jurist who takes seriously his obligation to interpret the law and to follow the Constitution. One of the things I was most encouraged about, when talking with him today, was his understanding that the job of a judge, as outlined in Article III of the Constitution, is simply to apply the law. And he contrasted that to the job of Congress, as outlined in Article I, which is to pass laws.
“We need judges who understand this distinction, who do not think that when you put on a robe, you suddenly get to enact whatever policies or laws you might personally favor. That’s the judicial humility that used to be characteristic of the Supreme Court. Judge Gorsuch understands the critical, yet limited role of a judge which is to apply the law, not to decree whatever policies that particular judge might favor."
"Senator John Cornyn" <email@example.com>
517 Hart Senate Office Bldg.
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