Matthew Vadum: ARREST RAHM EMANUEL

It is time to start locking up local officials like Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel for interfering with the enforcement of federal immigration law.

Those who, like Emanuel, enable lawless so-called sanctuary cities deserve to be behind bars.

Radical left-wingers don’t believe America should have borders at all. During the recently concluded election campaign, Democrat Hillary Clinton even endorsed the idea that foreigners have a right to move to the United States.

After Republican Donald Trump said in September, “No one has the right to immigrate to the United States,” Clinton’s Ohio campaign put up a tweet featuring Trump’s statement followed by “We disagree.”

Later that day the main Clinton campaign account retweeted the “We disagree” tweet.

Emanuel agrees with that sentiment. He is a strident supporter of the sanctuary city movement that gave illegal aliens permission to rob, rape, and murder Americans. Cheered on by the Left, sanctuary cities hinder immigration enforcement and shield illegal aliens from federal officials as a matter of policy.

There are hundreds of sanctuary jurisdictions – including a few states – across the country that hinder the federal government’s immigration law enforcement efforts. Some left-wingers use the dreadful euphemism "civil liberties safe zones" to describe them. The phrase blurs the distinction between citizens and non-citizens by implying illegal aliens somehow possess a civil right to be present in the U.S.

The nation got to this point after decades of concerted collusion by radical George Soros-funded groups like the ACLU to get localities to pledge to frustrate or violate laws that protect U.S. national security. Leftist agitation has so intimidated Americans that many refuse to say the phrase illegal alien, preferring to go with undocumented immigrant or other politically correct terms less likely to generate offense.

A spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) explained how sanctuary cities hurt America.

“Sanctuary policies undermine federal law,” he said.

While sanctuary policies vary in language, it is important to note that the United States Supreme Court has repeatedly held that state laws and policies are preempted when they conflict with federal law, as well as when they stand as an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of the full purposes and objectives of Congress. Congress has set priorities through the INA [Immigration and Nationality Act] to determine who may enter and remain in the United States. Sanctuary laws, ordinances, and policies shield aliens from the administration of federal law, thereby frustrating the execution of immigration law as Congress intended.

He continued:

Additionally, federal law at 8 U.S.C. § 1373 and 8 U.S.C. § 1644 prohibits policies that impede cooperation between federal, state, and local officials when it comes to the sending, requesting, maintaining, or exchanging of information regarding immigration status with ICE. Under those provisions, any federal, state, or local government entity or official may not prohibit, or in any way restrict, any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from the federal government, information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.

Which brings us to Mayor Emanuel who last week defied President-elect Donald Trump by reaffirming his support for sanctuary cities that thumb their noses at the U.S. government by shielding illegal aliens.

"To all those who are, after Tuesday's election, very nervous and filled with anxiety ... you are safe in Chicago, you are secure in Chicago and you are supported in Chicago," Emanuel said at a press conference.

"Chicago has in the past been a sanctuary city,” he said. “It always will be a sanctuary city."

Emanuel’s in-your-face statement came after President-elect Trump told “60 Minutes” that he planned to follow through on his campaign promises.

“What we’re going to do is get the people that are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers, where a lot of these people, probably two million, it could be even three million, we are getting them out of our country,” he said.

Trump said he will pressure these hotbeds of immigration anarchy financially. “We will cancel all federal funding to sanctuary cities,” he said.

Emanuel, a Democrat who previously served in Congress and as President Obama’s White House chief of staff, is far from alone.

Since the election, many mayors across the country have thrown their lot in with street gangs and criminals by saying they will fight Trump’s desperately overdue crackdown on sanctuary cities.

On the East Coast, mayors vowing to resist Trump’s push include: Bill de Blasio (D) of New York; Marty Walsh (D) of Boston; Jim Kenney (D) of Philadelphia; Muriel Bowser (D) of Washington, D.C.; Ras Baraka (D) of Newark, N.J.; Steven Fulop (D) of Jersey City, N.J.; Brian P. Stack (D) of Union City, N.J.; Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (D) of Baltimore; Kate Stewart (D) of Takoma Park, Md.; Jorge Elorza (D) of Providence, R.I.; Toni Harp (D) of New Haven, Conn.; and Miro Weinberger (D) of Burlington, Vt.

Mayors on the West Coast and elsewhere promising to fight the enforcement push include: Eric Garcetti (D) of Los Angeles; Ed Lee (D) of San Francisco; Libby Schaaf (D) of Oakland, Calif.; Tom Butt (D) of Richmond, Calif.; mayor-elect Jesse Arreguin (D) of Berkeley, Calif.; mayor-elect Darrell Steinberg (D) of Sacramento, Calif.; mayor-elect Ted Wheeler (D) of Portland, Ore.; Ed Murray (D) of Seattle; Michael Hancock (D) of Denver; Suzanne Jones (D) of Boulder, Colo.; Javier Gonzales (D) of Santa Fe, N.M.; Betsy Hodges (D) of Minneapolis; and Steve Adler (D) of Austin, Texas.

Left-wingers only pretend to support the Constitution when it advances their causes.

A case in point is Mayor Jim Kenney who has been particularly sanctimonious. He no longer refers to Philadelphia as a “sanctuary city,” preferring instead the phrase “Fourth Amendment city.”

“We respect and live up to the Fourth Amendment,” he said, “which means you can’t be held against your will without a warrant from the court signed by a judge.”

New York’s Marxist mayor Bill de Blasio vowed to shield the estimated 500,000 illegal aliens living in his city from immigration enforcement officials. "We are not going to sacrifice a half million people who live among us, who are part of our community," he said. "We are not going to tear families apart."

De Blasio even promised to destroy a database of undocumented aliens who have city identification cards rather than let the Trump administration have it.

There are a number of ways that the incoming administration could go after Emanuel and rogue mayors like him.

During Bobby Jindal’s brief run for the Republican presidential nod last year, the then-governor of Louisiana vowed to “criminalize” sanctuary cities by “making city officials that enact those policies as an accessory to the crimes committed by the illegal aliens those policies enabled.”

“Absolutely, I would hold them as an accomplice,” Jindal said on a radio show. “Make them criminally culpable. I’d also make them civilly liable so that families, victims’ families could sue. Especially if the prosecutor isn’t taking action or the mayor’s not changing their ways, I’d allow the families to go to court as well to recover damages.”

While Attorney General Loretta Lynch and her predecessor Eric Holder spent their time making up excuses for not acting to end the lawlessness, under Trump it seems likely a way could be found for sanctuary city-related prosecutions to move forward.

Lawyers caution that the First Amendment guarantees Americans very wide latitude in public discussions and that mere advocacy of something illegal at some indefinite time in the future is not necessarily a crime. So these city officials have to be nailed for specific acts of lawlessness.

With newly nominated Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) as attorney general, Trump’s new Department of Justice doesn’t have to follow the Obama DoJ’s see-no-evil approach to sanctuary cities. U.S. attorneys could set up sting operations using FBI agents.

As one lawyer told FrontPage:

Many U.S. attorneys have political instincts, so there is little being done with the current DoJ overlooking them. When the new Trump DoJ takes over and/or Congress passes stronger sanctuary policy legislation – such as by withholding federal funding to cities that act contrary to federal policy -- I would expect some U.S. attorneys to act on this as a way of making a name for themselves, especially with the new DoJ actively encouraging it.

Actively interfering with immigration enforcement could constitute obstruction of justice, another lawyer said in an interview. Moreover, the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act contains provisions making it unlawful to "harbor" an illegal alien.

According to FAIR, “It is a violation of [federal] law for any person to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection in any place, including any building or means of transportation, any alien who is in the United States in violation of law.”

The FAIR summary continues:

Harboring means any conduct that tends to substantially facilitate an alien to remain in the U.S. illegally. The sheltering need not be clandestine, and harboring covers aliens arrested outdoors, as well as in a building. This provision includes harboring an alien who entered the U.S. legally, but has since lost his legal status.

An aggressive federal prosecutor could make the argument that a jailer refusing to hand over a prisoner to U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) constitutes harboring within the meaning of the statute.

And then there is the possibility that the Trump Justice Department could install federal monitors in local governmental agencies as it did in Ferguson, Mo., which it accused of violating local residents’ civil rights. If officials in monitored governments run afoul of immigration laws, the DoJ could drop the hammer on them.

And President-elect Donald Trump would go down in history as a champion of the American people who restored law and order to lawless sanctuary cities.