State’s rights? Oh, forget those. The ugly hypocrisy of republicans rears its collective head. Where they once never shut up about state’s rights, when attempting to foil every move by President Obama, they aren’t so concerned about them now. As a matter of fact, they are quite prepared to run them right over, in quite fascist manner – coercion. How do you force local cops to become your personal deportation goons? By tying federal monies to going along. It’s important to understand this current attempt at legislation.
Remember the Tenth Amendment?
The Constitution’s vague nod to states’ rights was a staple of Republican rhetoric for much of the Obama presidency, with many Republicans claiming that pretty much anything Obama supported violated this amendment. At its peak, “tentherism” seeped so deeply into the GOP’s bones that the party’s House leadership embraced a radical reading of the Constitution that individual GOP candidates used to argue Social Security or Medicare is unconstitutional (although, in fairness, it is far from clear that they understood the implications of their words at the time).
But all of that deep concern for the constitutional balance between federal and state power has fallen by the wayside, now that Republicans are set to control all three branches of the federal government. In a speech on the Senate floor last week, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) urged his colleagues to pass the so called “Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act,” a plan to effectively conscript state and local police into President-elect Trump’s plans to crack down on undocumented immigrants.
Toomey’s legislation would prohibit cities from receiving certain grants, including Community Development Block Grants, if the city’s police has a policy of not cooperating with certain federal efforts to round up immigrants. These grants fund a diverse range of programs, many of which have little, if anything, to do with immigration. In Philadelphia, for example, which Toomey represents, these grants paid for a litter removal program and they contributed to an effort to renovate 12 storefronts.
Full story at Think Progress.