This sort of massive resistance is critical. It will happen around undocumented immigrants and sanctuary cities. If ICE agents actually invade churches to take out undocumented people, the national outrage will be tremendous.
In New York, with a large and diverse Latino population, Mayor Bill de Blasio has pledged not to cooperate with immigration agents. And Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago has declared that it “will always be a sanctuary city.”
Across the nation, officials in sanctuary cities are gearing up to oppose President-elect Donald J. Trump if he follows through on a campaign promise to deport millions of illegal immigrants. They are promising to maintain their policies of limiting local law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration agents.
In doing so, municipal officials risk losing millions of dollars in federal assistance for their cities that helps pay for services like fighting crime and running homeless shelters. Mr. Trump has vowed to block all federal funding for cities where local law enforcement agencies do not cooperate with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents.
Some believe Mr. Trump could go further than simply pulling federal funding, perhaps fighting such policies in court or even prosecuting city leaders.
“This is uncharted territory in some ways, to see if they’re just playing chicken, or see if they will relent,” said Jessica Vaughan, the director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, which supports reduced immigration.
Cities have “gotten away with this for a long time because the federal government has never attempted to crack down on them,” Ms. Vaughan said.
The fight could also signal a twist in the struggle over the power of the federal government, as this time liberal cities — rather than conservative states — resist what they see as federal intervention.
Cities “may not have the power to give people rights,” said Muzaffar Chishti, the director of the Migration Policy Institute’s office at the New York University School of Law. “But they have a lot of power of resistance, and that’s what they’re displaying right now.”
It’s hard to really say to what extent some cities will resist. When city budgets decline by 10 percent, will that lead to tensions that harm immigrants? If mayors are prosecuted, what will happen? But if people stand tall in this situation, the moral correctness of their stance will win out in the end, I believe. While a lot of Americans are pretty racist, many of them, or at least the average Trump voter, is some degree of passive in that racism. Will they go so far as to see troops invade churches? Well, some will. But some won’t and I refuse to believe that the country has become so depraved that it will squash resistance like a bug. Maybe I am just overly optimistic right now.
Overall, this is a fine story except to say that at the very end, they very heavily mischaracterize the meeting in Providence that Mayor Jorge Elorza spoke at. I was at that meeting. It did not have 150 people. It had approximately 1000 people. That’s the sort of mass resistance meeting that can really lead to something positive. And right now, we all need something positive to hang some hopes upon. What we need is massive resistance to crackdown on voting rights, to the doubling down on the war on drugs, to the treatment of Muslims, and to all the outrages that could potentially be starting in less than 2 months.