Up until recently, the term ‘Sanctuary City’ was unknown to me. However, with action taken by Donald Trump since his inauguration as the President to withdraw funding from these cities, it seems to be a relevant topic of discussion for those as ignorant as I am. In the States, a Sanctuary City is any municipality (a city, town, etc.) that has individually decided to flout Federal Immigration Law and protect refugees and undocumented immigrants within their boundaries. These cities do this often by refusing to allocate funding or any resources to the enforcement of Federal Immigration Law as well as not permitting municipal employees or officers to inquire about an individual’s immigration or visa status. Although the Federal law does maintain that state and municipal officials may not withhold personal information in regards to immigration from other local, state, or Federal entities, Sanctuary Cities have found that if the information is not collected by local authorities, then it cannot be distributed.
A recommended accident lawyer says any prominent American cities have adopted this concept of refusing to cooperate with the Federal government on Immigration laws including, but not limited to: Boston, Detroit, Seattle, Chicago, Baltimore, New York City, Dallas, and New Orleans (though the Mayor states differently, its stance is similar to other Sanctuary Cities and so is widely considered one). Although Trump has, in his first week as President, signed an executive order charging the attorney general’s office as well as the secretary of homeland security to withhold Federal funding from Sanctuary Cities, many of their Mayors are redoubling their efforts to protect immigrants residing illegally in the States, defending their stance to not assist Federal officials.
While many are arguing that this is a threat to national security, claiming that cities with such an ‘open-door’ policy attract criminality and undermine the enforcement and upholding of the law, studies have shown that there is no increase in crime rates in Sanctuary Cities. In fact, many supporters of the concept of Sanctuary Cities argue that refusing to ask residents about, or persecute them for, their immigration status, actually builds trust between the people and their municipal officials and actually encourages individuals, even those who reside in a city illegally, to report crime. Furthermore, if an illegal immigrant has been found to have committed a crime, they can still be detained, tried, and convicted for that crime regardless. However, those who oppose the Sanctuary City argue that the crime would have been avoided in the first place had said individual been removed, despite the numerous studies that show that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes compared to permanent residents.
Whatever the argument, it is clear that the United States is tightening its belt around its Immigration Laws, reducing the number of people who can enter the country and remain there without citizenship.