The first full day of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference of the American Conservative Union featured top staffers of the Trump administration. White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and others called on conservatives to not squander the Republican party’s current control of both houses of Congress. Priebus said "What you've got is an incredible opportunity to use this victory."  Speaking to President Trump’s plans to boost the economy and cut bureaucracy, Priebus said "We've got to stick together and make sure we have President Trump for eight years."
 
While Trump once elicited boos and catcalls at previous CPAC meetings because of his earlier dalliances with Bill Clinton and Democrats, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told conferees that the event should now be known as  "TPAC," thus acknowledging the contributions and concerns of the Tea Party movement in the Republican party. Many members of the audience chanted "Trump! Trump! Trump!" as White House Counselor Steve Bannon and Priebus made a joint appearance on stage. 
 
Much of the media has been occupied with reports of friction between the two high-ranking members of the Trump administration in what is a supposedly fractured White House. Priebus sought to allay concerns about this narrative, saying, "The truth of the matter is Donald Trump, President Trump, brought together the party and the conservative movement." Priebus added, "If the party and the conservative movement are together, similar to Steve and I, it can't be stopped."
 
Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke said he is committed to assisting the president in the enforcement of federal immigration law. On the subject of sanctuary cities, which refuse to fully cooperate with federal immigration authorities when they are requested to temporarily detain persons wanted for immigration offenses, Clarke said that the application of an appropriate federal statute that criminalizes such a refusal could mean jail time for stubborn governors and mayors. He predicted that, once politicians see that their colleagues are being jailed for their commitment to sanctuary, they will soon begin fully cooperating with immigration law as required under the Constitution.
 

Jail time for mayors and governors

 
 
In a panel entitled "When did World War 3 Begin?" which dealt with "Threats at Home." The discussion was moderated by Ginni Thomas, the wife of US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Introducing Clarke, Thomas said, "Besides our president, I have to say I think he's (Clarke) the most authentic and influential voice in our culture and our politics."
 
Clarke praised  Trump's policy to more stringently enforce immigration laws. Clarke took aim at sanctuary cities, saying they "provide cover" for "criminal illegal aliens to continue to prey on not only law-abiding people but also illegal immigrants in this country."
 
"Here is why they’re able to do that with impunity," Clarke said. "Because if you were a criminal illegal alien and you rape, rob whatever another illegal alien in the country, it’s less likely that they’re going to report that because they don’t want to be discovered to be in the country themselves. So we have a lot of under reporting and unreported serious crimes in America because of sanctuary cities." 
 
Expressing support for Trump's intention to deport criminal aliens, Clarke said, "And I’ve made it clear that in helping President Trump get his arms around this serious problem of illegal immigration that I was going to use the resources I have as the sheriff of Milwaukee County to help him accomplish that," Clarke said. "I have a duty to do that. I have a duty to protect the citizens of Milwaukee County because American citizens come first."
 
Moreover, Clarke said, "I’m telling you right now folks, you charge one mayor, one governor, one council president that adopts these laws, this stuff is going to end right away." Clarke is scheduled to speak to the conference on February 25. 


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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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