In the 2016 presidential election, 63 million Americans voted for the candidate who promised to faithfully enforce the immigration laws passed by Congress -- in stark contrast to his predecessor. And now that action against illegal immigration has begun, the spotlight is on more than 650 cities, counties, and municipalities that have their own statutes that directly oppose federal and even state laws. These local governments uphold sanctuary laws that forbid local officials from assisting federal agents who are enforcing U.S. immigration law. From 1990 to 2014, the number of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. tripled from 3.5 million to 11.7 million, meaning that illegal immigrants now account for about 3.5 percent of the nation's population. Because these illegal immigrants aren't 'vetted' before entering the country, a disproportionate number of violent criminals have infiltrated these otherwise hardworking individual families seeking a better life.

Between January 2014 and September 2015, sanctuary jurisdictions refused over 17,000 requests from US Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) to detain an individual for 48 hours after their release date to give federal officials time to put them into the federal deportation system. Nearly 12,000 (70 percent) of these rejected requests were issued for illegal aliens with a criminal record. Thus sanctuary jurisdictions are releasing nearly 600 illegal aliens with criminal backgrounds each month.

If local jurisdictions were able to nullify federal immigration law, then anyone could enter the United States. That is why the Constitution vests the power to determine immigration policies with Congress; not states, municipalities or universities.

Meanwhile in the streets, a segment of American society is digging in and declaring itself to be "ungovernable." When people are out of control, then the sense of personal responsibility and morality degenerates; freedom diminishes; and people are forced to either live in a police state or anarchy.

Wendell E. Carr

Ottumwa

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