A sanctuary city is a word that refers to American communities, counties, or states that limit cooperation with federal immigration officials to shield unauthorized immigrants from deportation. At the county and state levels, policies prohibiting partnership with immigration detainers are usually in place. Sanctuary policies in cities frequently mean that local officials do not inquire about a person’s immigration status. Many local law enforcement authorities support the measures, claiming that executing federal immigration rules is a job they don’t desire. They claim that their communities rely on immigrants to come forward and report crimes. The government cannot prevent the police from pursuing immigrants who commit crimes by any protected policies. However, ICE demands to detain these localities routinely ignore undocumented immigrants apprehended by local authorities for petty offenses or investigations. Examples of sanctuary cities in the US include Chicago, Cambridge, Concord, New Orleans, Boston, etc.
Sanctuary policies come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they generally fall into one of the following categories:
- Policies limit state and local law enforcement’s authority to make arrests for federal immigration infractions or detain people on civil immigration warrants.
- Agreements in which ICE deputizes local law enforcement officers to enforce federal immigration laws are prohibited by policies.
- Local governments are prohibited from engaging in a contract with the federal government to detain immigrants.
- Policies prohibit immigration detention centers.
- Policies prohibit police officers or other city employees from inquiring about a person’s immigration status.
- Rules limit how much information about immigrants is shared with the federal government.
- Policies limit local police reactions to federal immigration detainers.
- Policies prohibiting ICE from entering local jails without a court order.
Effects of sanctuary cities in jurisdictions that do not involve ICE.
- There is less crime.
- The average household income is relatively high.
- Poverty has decreased.
- The percentage of people who rely on government aid is low.
- The labor force participation rate has increased over time.
- The ratio of employment to population is higher.
- Unemployment has decreased.
Reasons why some communities choose to be sanctuary cities.
Firstly, many individuals across the country see immigration as a beneficial process and a human rights problem and believe it is the responsibility of U.S. citizens and politicians to assist in the protection of all people. People fleeing conflicts, poverty, and famine fall into this category. Chicago is one of these cities, with sanctuary policies stating that city authorities will not assist in the investigation or prosecution of persons purely based on their residency status. Likewise, Chicago does not discriminate against non-citizens when it comes to city services aimed at the poor and even provides a local I.D. that immigrants can use for transportation and library access.
Secondly, in terms of economic growth, several communities around the country where illegal immigrants work contribute to the community and industrial development. Undocumented workers, contrary to popular opinion, do pay taxes. They spend more in taxes than they will ever get back on their investment. Compared to native-born citizens of the United States, undocumented employees cannot file for social security benefits, are less likely to receive welfare, and have lower dollars spent on public entitlement programs.
Lastly, from a constitutional standpoint, being an illegal immigrant is a civil offense, not a criminal, according to the U.S. Constitution. Punishments for criminal crimes include jail time. Penalties are imposed for civil infractions. Deportation is currently the accepted consequence of being in the United States without authorization. Many people consider this a form of punishment and thus a human rights concern.
Pros and cons of sanctuary cities.
- Undocumented immigrants and law police have a stronger relationship in sanctuary communities.
- The Tenth Amendment protects sanctuary policies as legal.
- Undocumented immigrants are protected from federal immigration rules in sanctuary communities.
- Criminals are harbored in sanctuary communities, posing a threat to U.S. residents.
- Federal laws obligate state and municipal governments, but sanctuary policies defy them.
- Due to sanctuary legislation, local and state police personnel cannot carry out their duties.
Some people are against sanctuary cities in the U.S. Sanctuary cities have emerged as a contentious topic in the national debate about immigration and crime. The current argument is on whether sanctuary cities provide a haven for hardworking illegal residents or hardened undocumented criminals, increasing the level of crimes. This is controversial to research. Even though incarceration rates in the United States have risen, research repeatedly demonstrates that immigrants are less likely than native-born Americans to commit crimes. Unauthorized immigrants account for 11.3 million people in the United States. Around 9 million people live in families that include people with various legal statuses. If the entire population is afraid of being arrested and deported if they interact with authorities, they will be hesitant to report crimes, make statements, or testify in court. As a result of this chilling effect, cities become less secure for everyone.
There are other misconceptions associated with sanctuary cities, such as ICE agents’ tasks are hampered by sanctuary city legislation, sanctuary policies protect criminals, and undocumented immigrants benefit financially. They are rewarded for their efforts when they report crimes. These myths are associated with an increased danger to the public, whereas sanctuary cities have reported lower crime rates. There is no statistically significant link between rising crime rates and city sanctuary policies. As the United States’ population and ideas continue to increase, it is critical to view immigration through the prism of humanity rather than as a cost of imprisonment. Cities and communities that have declared themselves sanctuary continue to set an example.
While cities may argue that they should be allowed to operate as sanctuary cities, the next Administration and Congress may try to punish sanctuary towns by reducing federal funds to local governments. As a result, if a sanctuary city’s policy prohibits exchanging information with federal officials, it will already face budget losses. Any changes in federal funds resulting from a city’s failure to carry out a detainer request would almost definitely require Congress’ approval.
Immigration is a problem that affects communities all around the country. From the perspective of human rights, welcoming immigrants and providing them with resources and help will achieve considerably more than arresting and deporting them. According to the research, illegal immigrants do not pose a significant threat to communities; instead, they positively impact them.