By Rick Oltman, March 30, 2017
The city of Pittsburg has, for now, rejected adopting “Sanctuary City” status. Local news reported, “In what will likely come down to a financial decision more than anything else, Pittsburg leaders say it’s unlikely their city will join the list of ‘sanctuary’ cities and school districts … .”
Not Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but incredibly Pittsburg, California, a city of 60,000 about 30 miles northeast of San Francisco, in the Bay Area.
On the same day that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions again described plans for the Trump Administration to cut off federal funds to self-declared sanctuary cites, the Pittsburg City Council held a 4-hour workshop hearing from forty people of the overflow crowd. Some supported the sanctuary idea, others opposed it.
Councilman Juan Antonio Banales summed it up from the elected bureaucrat’s point of view, “I can’t in good conscience jeopardize that money.”
“That money” represents about 15% of the city’s annual budget, nearly $60 million federal tax dollars over the last four years.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has its own travails when it comes to sanctuary status. In February, the Pennsylvania State Senate passed a measure that would cut off state funds to sanctuary cities and counties. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, receives $9 million a year from the state, which could be in jeopardy.
The city of Dublin has also rejected the idea of sanctuary city status. No, not Dublin, Ireland, Dublin, California. Which is also in the San Francisco Bay Area, about 25 miles east of San Francisco.
A local business owner in Pittsburg, California, boiled the entire illegal immigration issue down, “If somebody is a criminal or on drugs or whatever, then yes, take them and deport them.” But he added, “… I would hate to see some of my customers disappear.”
The bureaucrats don’t want to lose the money, and the businessmen don’t want to lose their money.
Forget all the talk about “our values” or “nation of immigrants” or “dividing families” or “raids” or any of the other shibboleths we’ve endured for decades. In the final analysis, it’s all about the money. Always has been, always will be.
And, therein, lies an advantage.
The Trump Administration is simultaneously dealing with two separate addiction syndromes. It has just announced an effort to combat the nation’s opioid addiction epidemic (Vicodin, Oxycontin, Codeine, Fentanyl, Morphine).
Local jurisdictions’ dependence on tax money, especially tax money from outside their tax base: state and/or federal money, is also an addiction. And rogue communities are now being threatened with “cold turkey” if they openly proclaim they will not support the rule of law.
If two cities in one of the most leftwing parts of the country are so worried about losing federal money, that even the politically correct sanctimony they would revel in by touting their sanctuary city status can’t convince them to declare, then the Trump Administration has the perfect means to coerce law and order at the local level.
What’s going on in the minds of your city council?
You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life. [Winston Churchill.]
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