How Sanctuary Cities Work to Undermine Rule of Law

1 May

The fight over sanctuary cities is heating up. Last week, a federal judge blocked President Trump’s executive order barring sanctuary cities from receiving federal fund. Judge William H. Orrick issued an injunction blocking enforcement of Section 9(a) of the executive order on the grounds that it is unconstitutionally vague.

Section 9a of Executive Order

In a statement, the White House blasted the ruling as an “egregious overreach by a single, unelected district judge”:

Today, the rule of law suffered another blow, as an unelected judge unilaterally rewrote immigration policy for our Nation. Federal law explicitly states that “a Federal, State or Local government entity or official may not prohibit, or in any way restrict, any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.” 8 U.S.C. 1373(a). That means, according to Congress, a city that prohibits its officials from providing information to federal immigration authorities — a sanctuary city — is violating the law. Sanctuary cities, like San Francisco, block their jails from turning over criminal aliens to Federal authorities for deportation. These cities are engaged in the dangerous and unlawful nullification of Federal law in an attempt to erase our borders.

Trump tweeted he will appeal the ruling all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Trump Sanctuary City Ruling Tweet

Meanwhile, Baltimore’s sanctuary city policy works like a charm. In a memo obtained by The Baltimore Sun, the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office says prosecutors should go easy on illegal immigrants:

In considering the appropriate disposition of a minor, non-violent criminal case, please be certain to consider those potential consequences to the victim, witnesses, and the defendant.

Will American citizens be given the same consideration?

In Philadelphia, Mayor Kenney and City Council work overtime to flout the rule of law. Last week, City Council passed a resolution that invoked a nonexistent “human right” to work in the United States:

Recognizing every person’s fundamental right to earn a living, regardless of immigration status, and affirming the City of Philadelphia’s commitment to protect and secure a safe and dignified workplace for all.

Philadelphia Daily News Columnist Stu Bykofsky noted the resolution is not worth the paper it’s written on:

There is no such right. That notion is not just harebrained, it is criminal. Under federal law, only people here legally have the privilege of a job, and they need a permit for that. Even legal visitors have no “right” to work without permission. Employers are prohibited from hiring the undocumented.

Immigration law was passed by Congress and if you don’t like it, go to Congress to change it. That’s how democracy works. You don’t ignore it or rewrite it. The Council resolution didn’t reference U.S. law or the U.S. Constitution. It instead cited the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We’re all Globalists, now.

In the same vein, Jay McCalla, a former deputy managing director of Philadelphia during the administrations of Mayors Ed Rendell and John Street, said Mayor Jim Kenney has some explaining to do:

While Kenney has boldly asserted the general policy, he has neither defined it nor invited public debate to affirm it. City Council adopted a resolution of support, but the few seconds set aside for a voice vote hardly qualify as a sincere sorting of the issues in what may be the most significant, potentially impactful declarations of values a city can make.

While we wait for Kenney to explain himself, check out the surprisingly evenhanded explainer from Vox.

Jazz Appreciation Month 2017

31 Mar

Founded by the National Museum of American History in 2002, April is Jazz Appreciation Month.

JAM Collage

On Monday, April 3, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts will celebrate the 2017 NEA Jazz Masters at an all-star concert featuring music from their careers to tell the story of their lives.

NEA Jazz Masters

The event will be moderated by Kennedy Center Artistic Director for Jazz Jason Moran, who said in a statement:

This will be another special celebration for people who have been integral to the ever evolving stage of jazz. From the journalist, to the innovator, each of the honorees has demonstrated a timeless devotion to jazz ethics. Each honoree arrives at the music from a different avenue and helps focus the audience’s vision of as the music continues to evolve. Kudos to the NEA for continuing to honor artists who have devoted their livelihoods to contributing to the cultural fabric of America.

The tribute concert will feature conversations with the 2017 NEA Jazz Masters alongside musicians whose lives they have influenced. The performers will include NEA Jazz Masters Paquito D’Rivera and Lee Konitz; National Medal of Arts recipient and Kennedy Center Honoree Jessye Norman; vocalist Dianne Reeves; multi-instrumentalist Booker T. Jones; Sherrie Maricle and the Diva Jazz Orchestra; and Hammond B-3 artist Matthew Whitaker, a 15-year-old protégé of Dr. Lonnie Smith.

The free concert is “sold out.” You can view a live-stream of the event beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET at arts.gov, Kennedy-Center.org and NPR.org/Music. The concert will be broadcast live on SiriusXM Channel 67, Real Jazz.

Rise of the Machines: Meet Bina48

27 Mar

Over the weekend, I attended a symposium that featured panel after panel of dynamic black women.

Amplify! Black Women of the Movement - Feature

All of the speakers were inspiring and motivating. Stephanie Dinkins shared her conversation with a “black woman” who wasn’t in the room, Bina48.

Stephanie Dinkins - Bina48

This was my first introduction to Bina48, a social robot modeled in the image of the creator’s wife.

I celebrate fierce black women, but I thought Bina48 was a bit creepy. But after I got home, I remembered my own experience with laser scanning.

FMA - Laser Scan - April 2015

Hmmm. When time permits, I might create a mindfile account, where “death is optional.” Who knows? Perhaps the second time around will be better than the first time.

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