According to the Austin (Texas) American-Statesman newspaper a federal judge in that city has stated in open court that he was told firsthand by federal agents that aggressive immigration raids in that city this February were made in direct retaliation for sanctuary policies adopted by a local sheriff.

The newspaper says that this statement was made on March 20 by U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew Austin.

If this report is accurate, it could be an ominous sign that Donald Trump's agenda for mass deportation of Hispanic and other minority immigrants is bringing America closer to being a police state where any resistance to the leader or his policies brings forth swift and massive retaliation from the state.

A local activist organization, Travis County Campaign, ICE Out of Austin, described the raids as:

"...a vengeful tactic by ICE for all the progress that the immigrant community has gained in this county in the past four years".

These and other raids against Sanctuary jurisdictions described in the above article were followed on March 27 by renewed threats by the administration in the form of a statement by AG Jeff Sessions stating that the administration will cut off funding to any Sanctuary Cities that refuse to cooperate with Trump's mass deportation agenda by withholding information about immigration status from federal officials.

Sessions' threat focuses on 8 USC Section 1373, which prohibits any state of locality from refusing to share such information with the federal government, but this section has been attacked by some legal experts as unconstitutional. Seattle has now filed a lawsuit against implementation of Trump'a executive order.

Beyond the merits or lack of same in the details of the various immigration executive orders that Trump has signed since he became president, one thing has already become clear about the future of immigration under the Trump presidency:

Trump regards large parts of America's immigration system as subject to his one-man control by the simple stroke of a pen, without consulting Congress or anyone else, except a tiny group of top advisers, who, like Bannon and Sessions, have suggested taking America back to the Europeans-only immigration regime of the 1920's.

What this says about the future of America's democracy, and of equal protection of the law regardless of race, creed or color in Donald Trump's America remains to be seen.

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law