Sanctuary Cities Defund the Police to Pay for Illegal Immigration


April 26, 2024

By William Davis

As sanctuary cities across the nation continue to sacrifice their way of life at the altar of illegal immigration, one anti-borders city is now putting its police department on the chopping block. 

The city of Denver announced recently that it plans to shave more than $8 million off its police department budget in order to pay for the large number of illegal aliens flooding the city. Overall, the city plans to spend nearly $90 million providing services to illegal aliens. Denver has been hit especially hard by the current crisis at the southern border, with nearly 40,000 illegal aliens having moved to the city, the most per capita of any city in the U.S., according to The Denver Post. However, nobody should shed any tears for Denver. The city invited this crisis onto itself.

In 2017, the city’s then-Mayor Michael Hancock issued an executive order prohibiting local law enforcement from cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and creating a taxpayer-supported legal fund for illegal aliens seeking to avoid deportation. As other so-called sanctuary cities across the country have demonstrated, this political stunt had consequences the city simply wasn’t prepared for. In January, Denver’s current mayor Michael Johnston admitted the city was at its breaking point, and his proposed solution was very familiar. 

“Yes, we need federal dollars, but the most important thing is we need, you know, work authorization for folks when they arrive,” the mayor said at the time.

Johnston’s call for a federal bailout and work authorizations for illegal aliens echoed the demands of other sanctuary city mayors, especially New York City’s Eric Adams, who has spent years pushing work authorizations for illegal aliens as a panacea for his city’s illegal immigration crisis. The common denominator between Johnston, Adams, and other anti-border mayors is that they will push for any solution other than the one that would actually solve the problem, which is an end to sanctuary policies in their cities. 

The common denominator between Johnston, Adams, and other anti-border mayors is that they will push for any solution other than the one that would actually solve the problem, which is an end to sanctuary policies in their cities. 

A federal bailout of sanctuary cities like the one Johnston and Adams have demanded would be deeply immoral and would force taxpayers across the country to subsidize lawless policies. On the other hand, handing out work permits to illegal aliens would only exacerbate the crisis by encouraging more illegal immigration, and would also force already struggling low-income Americans to compete with foreign nationals for blue collar jobs, driving down wages in the process. As it has always been, the only realistic solution on the table for these sanctuary cities is an end to their anti-border policies and a restoration of the rule of law. 

Illegal aliens and their enablers are not stupid. They understand full well that if they make it to the U.S. and settle in a sanctuary city, they will be awarded benefits, including free housing, free food, and even debit cards, all on the taxpayer dime. Sanctuary cities offer illegal aliens lives of relative luxury, and then have the gall to complain that more aliens keep coming there. 

Those who follow the immigration issue closely can’t help but notice that cities in states like Florida and Texas are not facing these kinds of problems. This is because those states follow longstanding federal immigration law, and don’t reward illegal aliens with taxpayer-funded goodies. There is a clear lesson here if anybody in a position of power in a sanctuary city would care to learn it. The only way for these cities to prevent illegal aliens from draining their resources is to stop expending their resources on illegal aliens at the expense of their citizenry. 

Perhaps the most shocking aspect of the years-long illegal immigration crisis is the complete lack of leadership and courage demonstrated by elected officials in American cities. Like most other sanctuary cities, Denver is in the middle of a violent crime crisis. By gutting its police department in service of illegal aliens, the city is ensuring more of its citizens—as well as those here illegally —will be victimized by preventable acts of violence. The only explanation for these decisions is that elected officials in Denver care more about importing foreign nationals than they do about the well-being of their citizens. This is not just bad policy. It is a betrayal of the social contract by which all citizens in a constitutional republic consent to be governed. 

Denver and other sanctuary cities will only continue to hemorrhage resources as foreign nationals realize the tremendous lifestyle upgrade they will enjoy once they settle there. As always, it will be law-abiding, tax-paying American citizens who will pay the greatest price.

William J. Davis is a communications associate for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.

Also published at Townhall, April 26, 2024.

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