Opinion: Will Trump bring state back into Union?
Certain quarters of Connecticut are stirring with alarm that President-elect Donald Trump’s new administration might enforce federal immigration law more vigorously than it has been enforced lately.
In recent days illegal aliens and their supporters have gathered in Hartford, New Haven, Middletown, and Storrs proclaiming defiance. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and New Haven Mayor Toni Harp say the state and the city will challenge any reductions in federal financial aid meant to punish the hindrance of immigration law enforcement. Wesleyan University in Middletown has declared itself a “sanctuary” campus, and students at Yale University in New Haven and the University of Connecticut in Storrs have urged their universities to do the same, though there may be little practical value in such declarations. Mainly the students are flaunting what they consider their righteousness.
Their alarm is probably excessive, since Trump, apparently having not really expected to win the election, is quickly backing away from the major positions of his campaign.
While candidate Trump pledged to prosecute and imprison “crooked Hillary Clinton,” the president-elect now deems her, along with her husband, to be “good people” and to have suffered enough.
Having declared warnings of human-induced climate change to be a fraud, the president-elect now says he’s reconsidering.
President Barack Obama is no longer what he was during the campaign — “the worst president ever” — but someone Trump “likes a lot.”
And while during the campaign Trump was pledging to expel immediately the estimated 11 million illegal aliens in the country, now he says he wants to expel immediately only the two or three million he thinks are serious criminals and will worry about the rest later, since they have suddenly morphed into “good people,” too.
This dissembling may be only what Trump’s supporters deserve for putting their faith in his bloviating. But the country deserves coherent policy and the rule of law, even as the “sanctuary” crowd offers only lawbreaking and the devaluation of citizenship.
As an illegal alien attending Yale remarked at the rally there the other day: “We want to show that we will not let Trump normalize deportations and hate crimes against the communities his campaign targeted. ... This is not normal. This cannot become normal.”
But immigration law enforcement is no “hate crime,” even if it is no longer “normal” now that the “sanctuary” crowd and certain municipal and state governments have normalized lawbreaking.
Official disregard of immigration law — a new form of the nullification undertaken in the last century by the segregationist former Confederate Southern states — raises profound questions for Malloy, Harp and other nullifiers whose oaths of office demand support not just for the state constitution but for the national constitution as well.
That is, are there no circumstances in which immigration law should be enforced for its own sake, quite apart from violations compounded by criminal convictions?
Does any illegal entry into the country and transport to Hartford, New Haven, Middletown and Storrs confer a moral right to membership in the community?
If so, how can the country define itself? Or must the country now yield that definition to outsiders? Can there no longer be any evaluation of immigrants?
If not, patriots must hope the new president holds to at least one campaign pledge, is true to his oath, takes care the laws be faithfully executed, and strives to bring Hartford, New Haven, Middletown, Storrs, and all of Connecticut back into the Union, treating nullifiers as Washington, Jackson, Lincoln, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson did.