At the Post Independent immigration forum on Sept. 26, Mr. Jankovsky stated “Garfield County is not going to put in place a sanctuary city or a sanctuary county policy. We do believe … that we need to follow the rules and the laws.”
The United States has more than 18,000 police departments, these operate at the local and state level and operate under the purview of local and state law. This leads to local accountability for the safety of all residents, all human beings living in the community.
The idea of commandeering local and state agencies has been ruled a violation of the 10th Amendment by the U.S. Supreme Court. This means that federal law enforcement agencies cannot come into the local community and declare local officers “deputies” of the federal agency and command them to carry out law enforcement activities beyond the local and state purview. A sanctuary city designation declares that these local law enforcement officers will not be commandeered by federal agencies.
Clearly, different local and state agencies can choose to work as closely with federal agencies as they want or their population desires. Further, a sanctuary city designation does not prevent close cooperation. What a sanctuary city designation does is tell the federal agencies: “If we choose not work with you, you cannot commandeer our forces for your goals.” These designations protect local and state authority and local accountability for the safety of all residents, all human beings living in the community.
Colin J. Wilhelm