Sanctuary cities: What are they?

Legal professional Basic Jeff Classes headed to Miami Wednesday to reward town for backing off its so-called sanctuary metropolis insurance policies as President Donald Trump has vowed to crack down on unlawful immigration.

Classes highlighted cities that cooperate with federal immigration officers. He was accompanied by Tom Homan, appearing director of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement company.

Miami-Dade County earlier this 12 months reversed its sanctuary metropolis coverage, saying the county would honor requests to carry individuals for further time in order that they might be arrested by immigration authorities. Native officers defended the choice, saying they wished to maintain receiving Justice Division grants for group policing.

In his remarks, Classes counseled jurisdictions like Miami-Dade which have expanded their cooperation and data sharing with federal immigration officers.

There isn’t a agency authorized definition for sanctuary cities, and completely different cities might have dissimilar guidelines for a way a lot they adjust to federal immigration authorities.

Right here’s a have a look at what sanctuary cities are and why they’re so controversial.

What are sanctuary cities?

Whereas the precise specs can range, sanctuary metropolis insurance policies total restrict simply how a lot native legislation enforcement officers cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

San Francisco, for instance, handed an ordinance in 1989 that prohibits metropolis workers, funds or assets from helping Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in implementing federal immigration legislation until it’s required by state or federal legislation.


It additionally handed an ordinance that limits when legislation enforcement officers can provide ICE discover that an immigrant has been launched from an area jail and prohibits legislation enforcement officers from cooperating with detainer requests from ICE.

Berkeley, close to San Francisco, is reportedly the unique sanctuary metropolis. It handed a decision in 1971 that protected sailors who wished to withstand the Vietnam Conflict.

It’s tough to nail down a concrete variety of simply what number of cities are thought-about to be a sanctuary for immigrants – some cities have an ordinance or coverage in place; others don’t.


Apart from cities, no less than 5 states – California, Oregon, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Vermont – have enacted legal guidelines that restrict how a lot police can contribute help to federal immigration brokers, based on the New York Instances.

The Immigrant Authorized Useful resource Heart (ILRC) argues that counties – not simply cities – ought to set up sanctuary insurance policies for undocumented immigrants.

How are they seen?

The talk about sanctuary cities intensified in July 2015 when Katie Steinle, 32, was killed as she strolled alongside the San Francisco waterfront together with her father. Steinle was fatally shot by a person with a legal file who had slipped into the U.S. a number of occasions illegally.


Classes addressed a roomful of federal prosecutors and legislation enforcement officers final month and criticized cities like Philadelphia which might be “giving sanctuary” to criminals. He requested them to “rethink the hurt they’re doing to their residents.”

ILRC argues that native legislation enforcement jurisdictions shouldn’t have a “authorized obligation to help with civil immigration enforcement, which is the accountability of the federal authorities.”

“A neighborhood resolution to supply assets to federal immigration enforcement authorities is totally voluntary,” the authorized group mentioned in a 2016 report.

ILRC known as Trump’s risk to limit federal funding of sanctuary cities “purely retaliatory in motivation.”

Many mayors of those cities have additionally bucked the risk and continued to affirm safety for immigrants.

“We’re not going to sacrifice a half-million individuals who dwell amongst us, who’re a part of our communities, whose relations and family members occur to be individuals in lots of circumstances who’re both everlasting residents or residents,” New York Metropolis Mayor Invoice de Blasio, a Democrat, mentioned in November.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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