With the recent election of Donald Trump comes a whole new approach to the immigration system for the United States. During the president’s campaign, he said, “Under my administration, anyone who illegally crosses the border will be detained until they are removed out of our country and back to the country from which they came.” Conversely, President Obama took a less militant approach. For example, he believed that children of undocumented families ought to be able to have the ability to earn American citizenship. The recent shift is quite substantial. However, with this shift comes a vast multitude of actions some are taking to combat what they believe to be unjust immigration reform. Some cities, such as San Francisco, have deemed themselves to be “sanctuary cities,” in which local law enforcement is not required to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Their actions are flawed because taking such a stance defies established authority which goes against our democracy, and creates a slippery slope that could lead to a chaotic nation.
While the majority of people in San Francisco may not support the new President, it does not give them the right to defy his authority. We must remember that this authority was not simply given to him. Donald Trump became the President of the United States because the people of this country voted him into office. So, defying his executive order, which is what refusing to cooperate with ICE is, on the city level defies democracy itself. It sends a message to everyone watching that governmental authority will only be respected if the ideas of the one in charge coincide with that of the city’s. How would it feel to be a Trump supporter and witness disrespect for your winning candidate? This brings us to next fundamental flaw associated with defying the president: a slippery slope of chaos. If constitutional authority is not respected among the many branches of government, then we are throwing ourselves into chaos. If authority in this realm of policy is disregarded, then who’s to say that it won’t be disrespected when we get to other pressing issues such as national security?
If we want our government to function, then authority must be respected. Otherwise, what’s the point of government in the first place? While sanctuary cities believe they are helping the country, they are actually harming it. Defying the President disrespects the democratic process and threatens an anarchical system. It’s time that people stop acting selfishly and start acting respectfully and logically.