Anarchy in Pitkin County?

There’s been a lot of self-righteous virtue signaling around here in the past few days. The sheriff and some locals have re-established their progressive creds as champions of the lawless, i.e., those violating our immigration laws. Proud they are to protect the law breakers; proud they aren’t to honor their oaths to enforce the law.

There’s a serious legal issue about the extent to which local law enforcement, including the police and sheriff, are required to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforecment without violating habeas corpus and other rights of detainees. One shouldn’t argue for enforcement of immigration laws while arguing to ignore civil rights laws. And there are legitimate arguments about whether immigration law needs reform. But law enforcement and citizens shouldn’t ignore the law because they disagree with it. They should work to change it.

These virtue signalers aren’t arguing for law enforcement. They’re proudly announcing their refusal to engage in law enforcement. When the people we elect and pay to enforce the law for our common protection refuse to enforce the law, they’re saying it’s OK for citizens to ignore laws we dislike. In other words, they’re condoning anarchy. Don’t be surprised if they get it.

Maurice Emmer