FLASHBACK: Biden Says Sanctuary Cities Shouldn’t Exist, Fed Govt Should Enforce Law On Cities

[Screenshot X Maze]

Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
Font Size:

Then Sen. Joe Biden said in 2007 that he would not allow sanctuary cities to exist, arguing they turn cities into dumps and called on the federal government to enforce federal laws to prevent their rise.

While running for the Democratic presidential nomination, Biden was asked, “Would you allow [sanctuary cities] to ignore the federal law regarding the reporting of illegal immigrants and in fact provide sanctuary to these immigrants?”

“The reason these cities ignore the federal law is the fact that there is no funding at the federal level to provide for the kind of enforcement at a federal level you need. Pick up The New York Times today, there’s a city not far across the river from my state, that imposed a similar sanctions and what they found out is, as a consequence of that, their city went in the dumps, in the dumpster. Stores started closing, everything started to happen and they changed the policy.”

“Part of the problem is, you have to have a federal government that can enforce laws. This administration has been fundamentally derelict in not funding any of the requirements … needed to enforce existing law.”

“Senator Biden, yes or no, would you allow those cities to ignore the federal law?” (RELATED: Biden Considers Adopting Trump-Era Immigration Policy He Once Criticized: REPORT)

“No,” Biden said.

Biden’s 2007 comments are a stark contrast to the way he currently handles the issue of sanctuary cities. The Biden administration ended a Trump-era policy in 2021 that denied sanctuary cities from receiving certain federal funds. The policy was put in place after localities refused to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement.

Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams has been thrust into the national spotlight over his city’s status as a sanctuary. Adams has frequently criticized Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for sending migrants to the Big Apple amid an unprecedented border crisis. Meanwhile, Democratic Chicago Alderman Brian Hopkins told Fox News recently that Chicago would not have become a sanctuary city had they known what it would entail.

An October poll conducted by M3 Strategies found 46% of those polled said they don’t want Chicago to be a sanctuary city anymore, while 39% said Chicago should remain one. Fourteen percent of voters were unsure, according to ABC 7.