Southey, a pacifist, wrote his antiwar poem long after the 1704 battle for which the Duke of Marlborough was awarded Blenheim Palace, where his great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson Winston Churchill would be born. We, however, do not need to wait 94 years to doubt whether the Trump administration's action against “sanctuary cities” is much ado about not much. Four months have sufficed to reveal 'twas a constitutionally dubious gesture.
The executive order was perpetrated in a helter-skelter, harum-scarum, slapdash manner five days after the inauguration, before the administration was humming like a well-tuned Lamborghini. The order says that sanctuary cities have caused “immeasurable harm” to “the very fabric of our republic,” a thunderous judgment offered without evidence of the shredded fabric or even a definition of “sanctuary city.”
They are cities that limit the cooperation of local law-enforcement personnel with federal immigration enforcement efforts. There are defensible reasons for some non-cooperation: e.g., preserving cooperative relations between local police and immigrant communities, which facilitates crime-fighting. But many such cities anoint themselves sanctuaries as an act of self-congratulatory virtue-signaling and to pander to immigrant communities.