The U.S. Supreme Court has, at the request of the Biden administration and jurisdictions involved in the litigation, dismissed cases that grappled with the Trump administration’s attempt to pressure areas across the country into using local authorities as de facto extensions of federal immigration enforcement. The Biden administration is obviously no longer hoping to continue that pressure on local jurisdictions.
Although Trump and other Republicans cast these so-called sanctuary cities and areas as havens for crime, that’s a blatantly false characterization. In no case did a city decide to ignore the law surrounding criminal activity — criminals, of any sort, still go to jail when appropriate. Rather, authorities simply refused to muddle their operations by also acting as the front-people for federal immigration authorities. The Trump administration wanted cities and states to assist with federal enforcement efforts that targeted certain non-citizens.
Dennis Herrera, who serves as city attorney for San Francisco and was a part of the legal proceedings, commented as follows after the Supreme Court dismissals:
‘We’re glad this issue has finally been put to rest. Federal officials can do their job in San Francisco, just like anywhere else in the country. San Francisco is not stopping them. But we were not about to let our police, firefighters and nurses be commandeered and turned into the Trump administration’s deportation force.’
Once in office, President Joe Biden abruptly revoked the Trump administration’s policy of tying federal funds to whether or not local jurisdictions cooperated with federal immigration authorities. As Herrera noted, tasking local authorities with doing the jobs of federal immigration enforcement isn’t exactly a great path to take. Once in power, Biden also ended federal funding for southern border wall construction, and his administration has also moved to phase out the Trump administration’s so-called Remain in Mexico program, which forced asylum-seekers to wait in potentially precarious conditions in Mexico while their claims were processed in the United States.
On a similar note, the Biden administration recently formally reversed the federal government’s position in a court case that the Supreme Court already heard in which Republican Attorney Generals argued for the invalidation of the entire Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. The Trump administration supported that effort to eliminate Obamacare, even though they had no replacement plan ready to go.