So in SC, you’d be ‘guilty’ of being kind to illegal immigrants unless you prove your ‘innocence’

Say "sanctuary," and I think of a place like this. And it doesn't make me angry...

Say “sanctuary,” and I think of a place like this. And you know what? It doesn’t make me angry…

I meant to post about this yesterday, but got sidetracked…

South Carolina cities and counties may soon have to prove they are not “sanctuary cities” providing safe harbor to undocumented immigrants.

S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster and Republican lawmakers said Monday they will push to require cities and counties to prove they are cooperating with federal immigration agents and allowing immigration laws to be enforced.

Jurisdictions that fail to comply with federal immigration laws would lose their state money for three years, McMaster said, announcing the proposal in Greenville….

I thought Henry McMaster was a pretty good attorney general — which surprised me somewhat at the time.

But now… how does an attorney, an officer of the court, say that not someone is obliged to prove he is innocent of wrongdoing?

Particularly when the “wrongdoing” is, at worst, being softhearted. Yeah, I know: You’ll say, but they are harboring illegals! And you’ll say it as though they were gunrunners, or terrorists — instead of being poor people who failed to get the proper paperwork before coming to this country to do backbreaking work in order to better their lives, and those of their families.

Of course, we can argue about whether such sanctuaries are a good thing all day, but let me stop you and point out that, to Henry’s knowledge, there are no “sanctuary cities” in South Carolina. (The punchline to this joke, I suppose, is “See what a great job I’m doing keeping them away?”)

So… the governor of our state, having no reason to believe there are any sanctuary cities in South Carolina, nevertheless wants to force these city governments to waste resources going through the rigmarole of proving a negative.

And if they fail to prove their innocence, what happens? He would cut off the state funds that are a significant portion of local government’s budgets — meaning he would deny the law-abiding South Carolinians who live in those cities their share of the state taxes that they are paying to the state.

But you know what? I don’t think Henry cares a bit about this, as a policy matter. I doubt he’s someone who sits up nights worrying about whether there’s an illegal alien in Charleston, or Florence, or Greer who for the moment is free of worrying about imminent deportation.

No, as an early advocate of Donald Trump, he just wants to sound like he’s going to be meaner to illegals than the next guy.

Or gal. And meanwhile, Catherine Templeton is bound and determined to let you know that she was being mean to illegals way before that ol’ softy Henry was:

I’m not sure how that fit into the duties of the chief of DHEC, but whatever. The details don’t matter, as long as you’re sounding like the kind of person who gets indignantly angry at the sound of nasty words such as “sanctuary.”

20 thoughts on “So in SC, you’d be ‘guilty’ of being kind to illegal immigrants unless you prove your ‘innocence’

  1. Doug Ross

    Yes, it is a waste of resources to try and prove it. No, there should not be sanctuary cities for any criminals. Unless you are okay with cities deciding not to enforce federal drug laws as well? Smoking pot is far less of an issue than entering a country illegally and all the other associated illegal activities that become necessary to remain.

    Let’s see how James Smith walks this tightrope with rhetoric. Pretty simple to explain which side he’s on.

  2. Brad Warthen Post author

    I tell you what — I look at the things Republicans have to do and say (or think they have to do and say) in order to win a primary in this insane moment in our country, and I wouldn’t be in their shoes for anything.

    After their loss in 2008, the party lost its mind, concluding that its problem was that, with McCain at the top of the ticket, the problem was it was not EXTREME enough. They’ve been bouncing off the walls ever since.

    And now, a huge number of Democrats are determined to follow their example, actually believing that Hillary’s problem was that she was too moderate and Establishment, and that their path to victory is to line up behind someone like Bernie or Elizabeth Warren.

    Which is just NUTS…

    1. bud

      Headline in USA Today:

      Jeff Flake’s retirement signals a change in the Republican Party and rise of the Steve Bannon wing.

      With semi-sensible Bob Corker and now Jeff Flake out is it even possible to suggest the Democrats are EQUALLY culpable in some type of race to crazy town? All Brad can offer up is Bernie and Elizabeth Warren, two eminently sensible senators who support, among other “crazy” things, stricter regulation of banking to prevent another financial collapse, single payer healthcare and free college tuition. These are normal, moderate positions in every single other developed country in the world. What’s NUTS is that someone can find a war mongering new golfing buddy of Donald Trump “normal” yet inexplicably brands Elizabeth Warren NUTS. No wonder we have someone like Donald Trump. People like Brad who continue to view the 2 major parties as equals even though Steve Bannon is on the verge of taking over just don’t get it. And it’s very scary.

  3. Ralph Hightower

    This is nothing more than “do nothing” “feel good” legislation to ensure that the Trumpers will vote for McMaster. I had initial thoughts when McMaster ran for AG that he would be a partisan hack since he was the former chair of the SC Republican Party; but he proved me wrong. However, when he endorsed Trump, I questioned his senility and I still do.

    Templeton, before she was head of DHEC, was head of LLR. LLR handles the licensing of various professions, which no illegal immigrant would try to go through the process; so I don’t know how she handled illegal immigrants working in either LLR or DHEC.

    None of the current four GOP candidates are appealing to me. There are two Trumpers, one closet Democrat, and one lifelong Democrat currently declared in the GOP primary.

  4. David Carlton

    Evidently the GOP has discovered that people think sanctuary cities are harboring “criminals”–which most people think means “violent criminals.” This is the notion behind Gillespie’s nasty campaign in Virginia–which has at least a shot at working. Frankly I regard the notion that someone who moves to a new community to make a better life for herself and contribute to the prosperity of the community is equivalent to a terorist gang is bizarre–but stereotyping, er, trumps nuance every time.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Yeah, I was reading conservative blogger Jennifer Rubin on the subject of Gillespie this morning:

      After running “Willie Horton”-style ads featuring menacing Hispanic gang members, whipping up the phony issue of sanctuary cities (which don’t exist in the state)…

      Which told me he and Henry are using the same playbook — although I haven’t seen “Willie Horton”-style ads from Henry — yet…

  5. Doug Ross

    “An overwhelming majority of Americans believe that cities that arrest illegal immigrants for crimes should be required to turn them over to federal authorities. The poll shows that President Trump has broad public support in his effort to crack down on sanctuary cities. A survey from Harvard–Harris Poll provided exclusively to The Hill found that 80 percent of voters say local authorities should have to comply with the law by reporting to federal agents the illegal immigrants they come into contact with.”


    1. Brad Warthen Post author


      And where are these sanctuary cities?

      As I said before, I’m reminded of one of the first jokes I learned as a little kid… A vagrant is standing on a street corner, snapping his fingers. A cop comes up and tells him to move along; you can’t just stand around doing nothing. The vagrant says he’s doing his job. Cop says, What job?
      Vagrant: Keeping the elephants away.
      Cop: What elephants? Are you nuts? There are no elephants around here!
      Vagrant: I’m doing a great job, ain’t I?

      I sort of assumed everyone had heard some variation of that joke (it’s one Mark Twain would no doubt refer to contemptuously as a “chestnut”), which is why I only used the punch line.

      Yeah, polls such as that one are the reason why Henry is addressing this non-problem. Next, maybe he’ll promise to keep Viking raiders off our shores, or keep Caesar from crossing the Rubicon…

  6. Claus2

    Just send down an executive order that any city found to be acting as a sanctuary city will lose all state and federal funding for 10 years. That should put an end to all of this stupidity.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      What stupidity? Put an end to what? Where’s the “problem” being addressed here? There are “sanctuary cities” in South Carolina.

      The stupidity is people making a fuss about addressing a problem that doesn’t exist…

      1. Doug Ross

        Well, it does serve the purpose of putting on notice any city that might be considering ignoring the immigration laws… It’s sort of like “Click It or Ticket” campaigns.

        1. Barry

          We need to pass a law in South Carolina banning immigrants from nuclear bomb construction activities in backyards.

          Sure, no one is doing it — NOW

      2. Claus2

        So you’re more of the reactive than the proactive type. Do we handle this like Columbia handled panhandling… wait until it becomes so bad that you have to do something? Is that your solution?

        So we’re now calling people “stupid” because you don’t agree with them?

          1. Barry

            Yeah, it what about those active terrorist training camps in Rock Hill that police are ignoring that I keep seeing discussed on limited government, anti-tax Facebook sites ……..

  7. Patrick Flanagan

    If there are sanctuary cities, I am certain they aren’t in South Carolina. I love my home state, I’ve been here since I was eight years old- but I don’t think we have anything at all to worry about there…

    What we do have to worry about is this:
    [41] “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; [42] for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; [43] I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ [44] Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ [45] Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ [46] These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:41-46)

    And they associate anti-immigration and such with Jesus because so many here claim to follow him- yet our words are hollow. Our Statue of Liberty says: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free… send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

    I heard this read in a room full of people from outside our country, and I hung my head in shame. I am sorry- but we have made a mockery of this saying. We should either tear it down, or change. As a Christian, one who believes the Bible is the living word of God and that all life is sacred- unborn and born, young and elderly, white blonde haired American girl and dark skinned, bedraggled haired Libyan child… I am sorry, I do not believe we should start fights but we SHOULD shelter anyone in need of asylum. We have the room and the land. How selfish can we be?

    Come Lord Jesus.


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