Sanctuary cities have been much in the news lately, particularly after President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order to defund them. Local law enforcement in sanctuary cities decline to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer requests and claim that their resistance makes their communities safer. Some cities have seen the light and agreed to cooperate with ICE. Other cities as well as states continue to protect illegal immigrants who are, by way of definition, in the United States illegally and have committed crimes.
The Executive Order is titled “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States” and is posted on the official White House website.
Section 9. Sanctuary Jurisdictions. It is the policy of the executive branch to ensure, to the fullest extent of the law, that a State, or a political subdivision of a State, shall comply with 8 U.S.C. 1373.
(a) In furtherance of this policy, the Attorney General and the Secretary, in their discretion and to the extent consistent with law, shall ensure that jurisdictions that willfully refuse to comply with 8 U.S.C. 1373 (sanctuary jurisdictions) are not eligible to receive Federal grants, except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes by the Attorney General or the Secretary. The Secretary has the authority to designate, in his discretion and to the extent consistent with law, a jurisdiction as a sanctuary jurisdiction. The Attorney General shall take appropriate enforcement action against any entity that violates 8 U.S.C. 1373, or which has in effect a statute, policy, or practice that prevents or hinders the enforcement of Federal law.
Scott G. Erickson, president of Americans in Support of Law Enforcement, recently published an article at The Daily Signal titled “The Truth about Sanctuary Cities and Crime Rates.” Erickson gave some results from a 2014 draft study about the impact of sanctuary cities have on crime that was conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The study found that during the observation time frame (January 2014 to August 2014), 8,145 individuals were released from jail after arrest due to their respective jurisdictions declining an immigration detainer request from ICE.
Of the 8,145 individuals released, 1,867 were subsequently re-arrested a total of 4,298 times and accumulated a staggering 7,491 charges.
So much for the argument that sanctuary cities have no impact on crime.
Representative Lou Barletta (R-Pa) has taken the fight against sanctuary cities a step further than the President did. According to James Rogers at The Daily Signal, Barletta introduced a bill known as the Mobilizing Against Sanctuary Cities Act in the House of Representatives in early January a few weeks before the Executive Order was issued. Rogers explains that Barletta claimed in his press release that his bill is tougher than the Executive Order and would block federal funding to any designated sanctuary jurisdiction for a minimum of one year. He says that it “directs the attorney general to compile an annual list of such cities and issue a report on any particular state or locality upon request from a member of Congress.” Barletta made the following statement in his press release.
I view the president’s executive action as just a starting point, however, as I will be pushing my own legislation that would remove all federal funding – not just certain grants – from sanctuary cities who refuse to obey the law.
Why is it important to do away with sanctuary cities? The quick answer is that sanctuary cities make the work of ICE officials more difficult in that they will not cooperate with the federal officers. Instead of holding criminal illegal immigrants until ICE can pick them up and deport them, the cities are releasing them into the general public to commit more crimes against Americans. It is obvious that the officials in sanctuary jurisdictions believe that the rights of people who come to the United States illegally have precedence over the rights, freedoms, and even lives of American citizens.