President Trump’s Twitter warning about an impending immigration crackdown may have been executed carelessly, but at the end of the day the law is the law and our elected leaders are charged with upholding it.
As the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter reports, Mayor Marty Walsh is brushing off Trump’s warning, saying, “The president plays us all. It’s all a game to him, and I think anytime he feels a little heat by some news, he goes back to the immigration thing to get his base riled up — and I wish they would see through that.”
Trump tweeted Monday night, “Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States. They will be removed as fast as they come in.”
The sudden proclamation raises a couple of questions.
Why would the president tip his hand to illegal aliens that ICE raids are forthcoming?
Also, who exactly is being rounded up? Felons? Families? “Dreamers”?
If there are indeed raids coming, the announcement contains both too much information and not enough information. Perhaps President Trump should have rolled out this plan somewhere other than Twitter.
That said, Mayor Walsh sends a terrible message when he says, “Certainly in Boston, we’re not going to help him going after undocumented immigrants — that’s not going to be the case.”
With such sharp rhetoric counter to the rule of law, Walsh is further marginalizing the credibility of our immigration services. Already this week, Democratic superstar Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, “This administration has established concentration camps on the southern border of the United States for immigrants, where they are being brutalized with dehumanizing conditions and dying.”
In response to Trump’s tweet, ICE added, “The border crisis doesn’t start and stop at the border, which is why ICE will continue to conduct interior enforcement without exemption for those who are in violation of federal immigration law. This includes routine targeted enforcement operations, criminals, individuals subject to removal orders, and worksite enforcement.”
Meanwhile the Boston City Council is looking to make changes to the Trust Act, a 2014 sanctuary-city law that prevents local law enforcement from working with ICE.
Asked about the changes to the Trust Act, ICE Boston Deputy Field Office Director Todd Lyons said in a statement, “Without the cooperation of local officials, ICE’s ability to perform its mission is seriously impaired and dangerous criminal aliens, like those apprehended by ICE in our recent enforcement action in the region, can remain in our communities to re-offend.”
It would benefit the residents of Massachusetts for their elected leaders to listen to law enforcement when it comes to enforcing our laws. Certainly, these laws can be changed if lawmakers find them repugnant, but it is not acceptable that civil servants stand as obstructions to law enforcement just because they find the president odious.
You don’t have to like the messenger, Mayor Walsh, but you have to respect the message as it is supported by the laws passed by the representatives of the people you serve.