There has been bad news at the border between the U.S. and Mexico. In an outrageous move, Donald Trump commanded his cabinet soldier, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, to tear babies and toddlers from their mothers’ arms and tried to kill funds for sanctuary cities. Then, his head of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, defied the president
Ralph King is a Trump fan and the co-founder of the very conservative organization, Main Street Patriots. He said:
‘If you want to cut off sanctuary cities, then cut them off. If you don’t want to enforce the federal laws of this country … you don’t get the federal funding.’
Trump chewed Nielsen out in front of all of his cabinet members so badly that she wrote her resignation letter after the meeting. She did not submit it, but she did something else.
The Homeland Security administrator gave $1.7 billion in state and local grants throughout the country. Yes, she designated some of that money for sanctuary cities.
Nielsen’s top staff members tried to dissuade her from doing it, especially given that defunding sanctuary cities was one of the man sitting in the Oval Office’s campaign pledges.
One source told McClatchy:
‘This is typical of Nielsen. She is known for deliberately ignoring warnings that her decisions are not in keeping with the president’s agenda, but that she proceeds forcefully and simply misrepresents what she is doing.’
One former employee said:
‘It’s frustrating for officers and agents who work to support localities not supporting them.’
Director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies, Jessica Vaughan said Congress needs to do its job:
‘If the administration wants to impose meaningful consequences for sanctuaries, which I think would be good policy, then they need to start working with congressional appropriators to establish the process.’
Nielsen decided to include sanctuary cities in this round of funding just days after she talked with her department people. The timing was good, given the heat that Trump has been getting over the lost children who came across the border.
Back in 2016, Trump campaigned on the very tenants of punishing sanctuary cities and being harsh on immigration. He believed that would force the government to catch and deport those who came into the U.S. illegally. He said:
‘We will end the sanctuary cities that have resulted in so many needless deaths. Cities that refuse to cooperate with federal authorities will not receive taxpayer dollars.’
Those sanctuary areas have sued multiple times to get the grants. Thus far, the judges have gone against Trump for withholding federal monies.
Last March, a northern California judge agreed to grant Trump his desire to withhold the federal funds. Yet, a month later a Chicago federal appeals court went against the president. That judge said that the commander-in-chief did not have the authority to withhold grants. Instead, that power belonged strictly to Congress.
Nielsen was a DHS staff member under President George W. Bush. Then, she fell directly under now Chief of Staff John Kelly. When 45 moved Kelly to work for him, Nielsen stepped into his role.
Featured Image via Getty Images/Mandel Nagan.