“You’re fired!”

When you think about it, Ronald Reagan was Trump-ish before Donald Trump. Reagan sent a stern message to air traffic controllers at the outset of his presidency in 1981: if you break the law, I will fire you.

They did… and he did.

Reagan’s decision to terminate 11,345 controllers who were engaged in an illegal strike was a stunning act of presidential authority and managerial leadership. It set the tone for a presidency that would refuse to tolerate lawlessness. No excuses. No political whining.

When he takes office in January 2017, President Trump may face a similar defining moment. Will he allow big city mayors to defy federal law by protecting illegal immigrants in their so-called “sanctuary cities”?

Trump can’t fire them. But he can take away their federal money. In some cases, he could prosecute them or other city officials should they continue to flaunt and obstruct the law.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel all but dared Mr. Trump to do so when he declared, “Chicago will always be a sanctuary city.” So did Mayors in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Minneapolis and Seattle.

President-elect Trump has vowed to deport millions of illegal immigrants. If cities and counties across America refuse to abide by the law, if they refuse to comply with requests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, the new president may decide it is high time to do what President Reagan did. That is, take aggressive legal action against them.

What Is A “Sanctuary City”?

More than 300 cities and counties have sanctuary policies. For some, it is simply a political statement. They have taken no real action to give sanctuary to people who are there illegally.

But other cities like San Francisco actively protect illegal immigrants. They refuse to turn over people who committed low-level crimes to federal agents for deportation. And when ICE asks for a “hold” on a prisoner, the city ignores it. Often they walk free.

That is what led to the tragic shooting death of Kate Steinle in July of last year. Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez of Mexico was in the U.S. illegally. He had 7 felony convictions and was deported 5 times. He kept slipping back through our border, seeking refuge in the safe haven of San Francisco.

Sanchez was in the custody of the San Francisco Sheriff on drug charges when ICE issued a detainer for him requesting that he be held until the feds could pick him up. Instead of handing him over, the Sheriff followed the city’s sanctuary policy by ignoring immigration authorities. He opened the jail doors setting the prisoner free. Sanchez then shot Steinle to death as she was walking with her father on a San Francisco pier.

Steinle’s death ignited opposition to sanctuary cities. During the campaign, Mr. Trump cited her case specifically as he vowed to end the practice of giving sanctuary to criminals who are here illegally.

Giving Sanctuary Is Against The Law...