While there is no official legal definition of “sanctuary city,” the term refers to towns, cities, or counties that protect undocumented immigrants by refusing to cooperate completely with federal detention requests, often with a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Many people argue that sanctuary cities such as San Francisco, New York, and Chicago should not receive federal funding because they are not enforcing federal immigration laws. Others say that sanctuary city policies are needed to protect both citizens and undocumented immigrants.
“If these sanctuary cities are going to harbor and conceal criminal illegal aliens from [Immigration and Customs Enforcement], which is in direct violation of Title 8 of the U.S. Code, federal arrest warrants should be issued for their elected officials.”
Thomas Hodgens, Massachusetts sheriff
Immigrants have played a significant role in Philadelphia’s population growth in recent years, helping to reverse fifty years of population loss, strengthening our city as a whole. In some Philadelphia neighborhoods, the influx of immigrants has prevented destabilizing blight and helped spur growth in neighborhood commercial corridors.
City of Philadelphia
“If Attorney General Sessions is so concerned about Seattle’s safety, pulling law enforcement dollars from cities nationwide is the height of hypocrisy and makes us less safe. Research shows cities with larger foreign-born populations experience less violent crime. Bigotry, not safety, seems to be at the heart of the White House immigration policy.”
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray
“Even if it was true that illegal aliens committed less crime than citizens, every crime that they commit is an additional crime that didn’t [have to] happen.”
Don Rosenberg, anti-illegal alien activist
Sanctuary cities protect immigrant rights. They improve relations between local law enforcement and the immigrant community, according to the Ohio Jobs & Justice PAC. Illegal immigrants are more likely to work with law enforcement if they are not afraid of deportation as a result.
The crime rate among first-generation immigrants—those who came to this country from somewhere else—is significantly lower than the overall crime rate and that of the second generation. It’s even lower for those in their teens and early 20s, the age range when criminal involvement peaks.
The Census Bureau includes aliens (both legal and illegal) in the statistics used to apportion our 435 congressional districts. This has the perverse effect of helping states with bigger immigrant populations to inflate both their representation in Congress and the number of Electoral College votes they are allotted (the latter is a function of the former). Just through their illegal-alien numbers, the states of New York, New Jersey, California, Florida, and Illinois, which all went for Obama in 2012, received eight additional congressional seats in the last reapportionment, with over half of those gains coming from their sanctuary cities and counties.
61 percent of the 11 million illegal immigrants thought to be living in the United States reside in just 20 cities, nearly all of which are “sanctuary cities” where law enforcement have been instructed to not enforce federal immigration statues unless an illegal immigrant has been charged with other crimes.
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday (3/28/2017) threatened to cut federal funds from so-called sanctuary cities and states that will not comply with immigration laws. The threat, which is not new, applies to major cities such as Los Angeles and Chicago, where policies limit cooperation in enforcing federal immigration laws.
It’s not clear which cities will be targeted and what funds would be taken away.
Mayors of “sanctuary cities” have remained defiant.
These governments labeled themselves “sanctuary” cities, but a better label would be secessionist cities.
Two means of redress and remedy exist: first, the current path, of defunding sanctuary cities, a path much more legally perilous, but well-founded in the same doctrine that integrated American society; and second, an alternative, complimentary path of funding law-abiding cities with aid to enforce immigration law, an indubitably and indisputably legal remedy.
Modified: March 28, 2017
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