To the Editor:
I applaud the Hopewell Borough Council’s adoption of the Sanctuary City resolution. As a newly minted Borough property owner, I attended the March 2nd Council meeting where Hopwellians debated the merits of the sanctuary city resolution. 90% of the discussion was thoughtful and respectful, with the sad exception of one person who told a new resident to “Shut up.”
Mayor Paul Anzano ran the meeting with respect for the attendees, and allowed the public ample time to express their thoughts and concerns about the resolution.
It seemed that the major objections to the resolution were 1) that “law and order” would be jeopardized, and 2) that Hopewell might lose some federal funding.
With regard to law and order, state and local governments have the right to refuse to help enforce federal law. Printz v. United States (1997), in a decision authored by Justice Antonin Scalia, holds that the Tenth Amendment forbids federal “commandeering” of state governments to help enforce federal law.
Neither is the prospect of losing federal funding a reasonable concern here. The Trump administration can’t cut off federal monies without a showing that the funds were clearly and “unambiguously” conditioned on cooperation with federal deportation policies so the recipient could “knowingly decide whether or not to accept those funds.” Pennhurst State School and Hospital v. Halderman (1981).
Beyond the legal implications of the resolution, I am so proud to be part of a community that is willing to stand up to the threats of this administration. I welcome the statement of solidarity with our residents who may be undocumented, and I thank the members of the Borough Council who voted to adopt the resolution.
Marylou Millard Ferrara
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