A headline at TheHill.com reads, “Homeland Security money went to sanctuary cities despite Trump vows: report.” The article reports that:
“The Homeland Security Department recently authorized $1.7 billion in grants to states, some of which went to “sanctuary” cities that do not enforce federal immigration laws, despite President Trump’s vows to cut off the funding.
A spokesman for the department said Nielsen had little choice but to approve the grants given a court order that prevents the federal government from withholding funding.
‘We cannot implement or enforce the portion of the Executive Order that instructs us to withhold funding from sanctuary cities,’ the DHS spokesman said.”
Now, according to FEMA’s description of the program for FY 2008, A core mission of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is to enhance the ability of state, local and tribal governments to prepare, prevent, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks and other disasters.
“The Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) is a primary funding mechanism for building and sustaining national preparedness capabilities … Grants fund a range of preparedness activities, including planning, organization, equipment purchase, training, exercises and management and administration costs.”
In respect of the DHS grant program, these purposes require securing our national borders, vetting and regulating entry into our territory by terrorists, and effectively enforcing such regulations. Among other things, this enforcement must inhibit entry by criminal gangs and others who intend us harm, as well as entry by persons who act in contravention of constitutionally approved laws intended to secure our nation’s goods including, of course, our sovereignty as a people.
In detailing the powers of the President of the United States, the Constitution’s ultimate commandment is that “he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” But so-called sanctuary cities, as well as state government’s like that of California, have adopted measures, ordinances and laws intended to frustrate and subvert the president’s power to obey this constitutional mandate.
Such places, therefore, pose a threat to the authority of the Constitution and the purposes for which ‘we, the people’ ordain and establish it. Border security and the enforcement of our immigration laws are activities indisputably necessary “to provide for the common defense … and ensure domestic tranquility.”
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen may think she had “little choice but to approve the grants” that President Trump decided to deny. But, in fact, she had no choice but to obey the president’s order. By that order, he preempted her judgment. Her action thwarts the president’s efforts to secure state and local respect for the Supreme law of the land. It aids and abets what amounts to an administrative insurrection, involving all the states and localities working to thwart that law.
When dealing with insurrectionary acts against the Constitution, the president is bound to suit his actions to exigent circumstances as he deems fit. He is not bound to follow court opinions that aid and abet the insurrectionists. Unless he approved her countermanding action, Secretary Nielsen’s insubordination directly violates the Constitution’s allocation of power to the individual elected to occupy the Oval Office.
Her action, therefore, constitutes an attack on the Constitution. Ironically, it is an attack only the president has the power to pardon. But her use of presidential power to deny the president’s paramount authority is a damaging abuse of her position of public trust. President Trump should summarily dismiss her.
Secretary Nielsen’s contempt of President Trump’s authority may not be the only instance of such abuse. Justice Department officials including, by some reports, attorney general Sessions, have similarly refused to follow the President’s orders.
My readers know that I remain skeptical about the basis and intent of President Trump’s commitment to various elements of the agenda he espoused during his campaign. But defiance of presidential authority is not about President Trump’s individual situation.
Unproven personal allegations against him are being used to excuse what may be the most determined assault in our history on the cohesiveness of the U.S. government’s executive power. People who care about the Constitution and sovereignty of the American people need to reflect on the reasoning that led the framers of the Constitution to reject a hydra-headed plural executive. It had mainly to do with their adamant determination to make sure the national government would be accountable to the people as a whole, not some finger-pointing agglomeration of self-serving factions, mutually accusing one another so that all can escape responsibility — as we suffer today.
Elements of the elitist faction from both the Democrat and Republican Parties, in alignment with others in the Federal government’s so-called “permanent bureaucracy,” are presently yoked in an effort to perpetuate that very scenario. The so-called party system has been used to cloak elitist power-mongering.
Behind a mask of incessant bickering, resources and authority harvested in the name of the American people are being abused to destroy the character of our self-government and usurp control of the institutions meant to embody it. For liberty’s sake, I pray that President Trump will resolutely confront the attack now under way against the integrity and accountability of presidential power.
The first step is to dismiss members of the Executive Branch who, actively or by omission, are co-operating in that attack, beginning with Secretary Nielsen. Though it might only be a good beginning, now’s the time to use the signature phrase attached to his television success and fame: “You’re fired!”
In the context of border security and immigration, such action will energize the supporters of America’s constitutional liberty. They see clearly that the elitists’ disdain for Trump is being used to promote an assault on the sovereign liberty (i.e., self-government) of the American people. They will enthusiastically back action that begins to repair our democratic, republican institutions of government.
Dr. Alan Keyes is a political activist, prolific writer, former diplomat, and the founder of LoyaltoLiberty.com
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.