Sanctuary city

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Not to be confused with Cities of Refuge.

As of March 2017, US counties highlighted in green on the map indicate that either the county contains a sanctuary city, or the county itself is a sanctuary for people who are in the country illegally, according to the Center for Immigration Studies.[1]

In the United States and Canada, a sanctuary city is a city that limits its cooperation with the national government in order to help people who are in the country illegally avoid deportation. Such people are frequently described as illegal immigrants or undocumented immigrants. Leaders of sanctuary cities want to reduce the fear of deportation and possible family break-up, so that such residents will be more willing to report crimes, use health and social services, and enroll their children in school. Municipal policies include prohibiting police or city employees from questioning people about their immigration status and refusing requests by federal immigration authorities to detain people beyond their release date, if they were jailed for breaking local law.[2] Such policies can be set expressly in law (de jure) or observed in practice (de facto), but the designation “sanctuary city” does not have a precise legal definition.[3][4] Approximately 300 U.S. jurisdictions, including cities, counties and states, reportedly have adopted sanctuary policies.[5]

Supporters of local immigration enforcement argue that it supports the mission of federal agents, while opponents argue that the duty of federal agents does not belong to localities.[6] Legal opinions vary on whether immigration enforcement by local police is constitutional.[7]

In the United Kingdom and Ireland, sanctuary city refers to cities that are committed to welcoming refugees, asylum seekers and others who are seeking safety. Such cities are now found in 80 towns, cities and local areas in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.[8] The emphasis is on building bridges of connection and understanding, which is done through awareness raising, befriending schemes and forming cultural connections in the arts, sport, health, education, faith groups and other sectors of society.[9] Glasgow, Sheffield and Swansea are noted Cities of Sanctuary.

History[edit source]

The concept of a sanctuary city goes back thousands of years. It has been associated with Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Baha’i, Sikhism, and Hinduism.[11] In Western Civilization, sanctuary cities can be traced back to the Old Testament. The Book of Numbers commands the selection of six cities of refuge in which the perpetrators of accidental manslaughter could claim the right of asylum. Outside of these cities, blood vengeance against such perpetrators was allowed by law.[12] In 392 AD, Christian Roman emperor Theodosius I set up sanctuaries under church control. In 600 AD in medieval England, churches were given a general right of sanctuary, and some cities were set up as sanctuaries by Royal charter. The general right of sanctuary for churches in England was abolished in 1621 AD.

Executive Order 13768

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Executive Order 13768
Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States
Seal of the President of the United States
Executive Order 13768.pdf

Executive Order 13768 in the Federal Register
Type Executive order
Executive Order number 13768
Signed by Donald Trump on January 25, 2017

Executive Order 13768 titled Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States was signed by U.S. President Donald Trump on January 25, 2017,.[1][2] The order states “sanctuary jurisdictions” including “sanctuary cities” who refuse to comply with immigration enforcement measures will not be “eligible to receive Federal grants, except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes” by the U.S. Attorney General or Secretary of Homeland Security.

Legal challenges to the order were brought almost immediately after its issuance by San Francisco (supported by the State of California) and a number of other cities and countries. In late April 2017, a federal court issued a nationwide preliminary injunction halting enforcement of the executive order, determining that the localities were likely to succeed on the merits of their challenge.


During his campaign, Trump proposed the mass deportation of illegal immigrants as part of his immigration policy.[3][4][5] Jeff Sessions was confirmed on February 7 as Attorney General “after a series of divisive congressional hearings over his record on civil rights”. Among his first statements, Sessions claimed that, “We need to end this lawlessness that threatens the public safety, pulls down the wages of working Americans.”[6]

On August 31, 2016 Trump laid out a 10-step plan as part of his immigration policy where he reiterated that all illegal immigrants are “subject to deportation” with priority given to illegal immigrants who have committed significant crimes and those who have overstayed visas. He noted that all those seeking legalization would have to go home and re-enter the country legally.[7][8][9][10][11]

On February 8, 2017, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested 36-year-old Guadalupe García de Rayos, when she attended her required annual review at the ICE office in Phoenix, and deported her to Mexico the next day based on a removal order issued in 2013 by the Executive Office for Immigration Review. The arrest prompted protests from her family and others[12][13][14][15] Immigrant advocates believe that she is one of the first to be deported after the EO was signed and that her deportation “reflects the severity” of the “crackdown” on illegal immigration.[16] ICE officials said that proceedings in Immigration Court had resulted in a finding that she “no legal basis to remain” in the country.[17] In 2008, she was working at an amusement park in Mesa, Arizona when then-Sheriff Joe Arpaio ordered a raid that resulted in her arrest and felony identity theft conviction for possessing a false Social Security number.[16][18]

Provisions[edit source]

Section 5 – Priorities for removal[edit source]

Section 5 of the order prioritizes removal of aliens who “have been convicted of any criminal offense; have been charged with any criminal offense, where such charge has not been resolved; have committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense; have engaged in fraud or willful misrepresentation in connection with any official matter or application before a governmental agency; have abused any program related to receipt of public benefits; are subject to a final order of removal, but who have not complied with their legal obligation to depart the United States; or in the judgment of an immigration officer, otherwise pose a risk to public safety or national security.”[19]

This provision of the executive order greatly expands the category of people classified as “priorities for removal,” making all aliens who have been charged with a crime, or believed to have could be charged with a crime, priorities for deportation.[19][20] The order expands to even those convicted of minor crimes, such as traffic offenses.[21] This marks a change from the Obama administration, which placed the highest priority for deportation on aliens who had been convicted of serious crimes.[20]

Section 9(a) – Disqualification of sanctuary cities from federal grants[edit source]

Section 9(a) deals with disqualification of “sanctuary cities” from receiving U.S. federal grants. Section 9(a) states:

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.

It is currently the subject to legal challenges:

Section 9(b) – Publication of list of crimes by immigrants[edit source]

Section 9(b) deals with the compilation and publication of information about immigrant crime. Section 9(b)states:

To better inform the public regarding the public safety threats associated with sanctuary jurisdictions, the Secretary shall utilize the Declined Detainer Outcome Report or its equivalent and, on a weekly basis, make public a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens and any jurisdiction that ignored or otherwise failed to honor any detainers with respect to such aliens.[22]

Criticism of Section 9(b)[edit source]

There is no evidence that undocumented immigrants commit crimes at a higher rate than native-born Americans.[23][24] Critics say that the effort to publicize immigrant crime is an effort to skew public perceptions about crimes committed by undocumented migrants.[23]

Historians said that Trump’s proposed list of crimes committed by immigrants recalled the Nazi Germany-era policy of publishing lists of crimes supposedly committed by Jews.[25]Historian Claudia Koonz of Duke University, an expert on Nazi Germany, said that the proposal was deeply troubling and that: “It’s tough to make parallels when the scapegoat is so different. But the process is the same. The process was to exaggerate every piece of evidence showing the criminality of the targeted group. So even though it was atypical and not representative, by the media blitz that accompanied it, people began to see it as normal.”[26] A number of commentators, including Amanda Erickson of The Washington Post, Christopher Hooton of The Independent, and Tessa Stuart of Rolling Stone also compared the policy of distributing list of criminal actions committed by undocumented immigrants to antisemitic Nazi propaganda that focused on crime in order to stir up anger and hatred toward Jews.[23][27][28][29]

Section 13 – VOICE office[edit source]

Section 13 creates the Office of Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement which operates to assist victims of immigrant crime.

Legal challenges[edit source]

Legal basis for the challenges[edit source]

The challenges are based largely on the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. This amendment was the basis for the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Printz v. United States (1997), in which the Court, in an opinion by Justin Antonin Scalia, struck down a law, held that the U.S. government cannot engage in “federal commandeering of state governments.” While an emphasis on the Tenth Amendment has historically been championed by conservative jurists, the states and local governments challenging the executive order in this case reflect the amendment’s use by liberals.[30]

A federal statute involved in the cases is section 1373 of title 8 of the United States Code. That section provides that “a Federal, State, or local government entity or official may not prohibit, or in any way restrict, any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual,” and makes jursidictions with such restrictions ineligible to receive federal grants, “except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes by the Attorney General or the Secretary.”

Legal scholar Ilya Somin, writing in the Washington Posts The Volokh Conspiracy, wrote:

There are two serious constitutional problems with conditioning federal grants to sanctuary cities on compliance with Section 1373. First, longstanding Supreme Court precedent mandates that the federal government may not impose conditions on grants to states and localities unless the conditions are “unambiguously” stated in the text of the law “so that the States can knowingly decide whether or not to accept those funds.” Few if any federal grants to sanctuary cities are explicitly conditioned on compliance with Section 1373.
Any such condition must be passed by Congress, and may only apply to new grants, not ones that have already been appropriated. The executive cannot simply make up new conditions on its own and impose them on state and local governments. Doing so undermines both the separation of powers and federalism.
Even aside from Trump’s dubious effort to tie it to federal grants, Section 1373 is itself unconstitutional. The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that the federal government may not ‘commandeer’ state and local officials by compelling them to enforce federal law. Such policies violate the Tenth Amendment.[31]

California legal cases: City and County of San Francisco v. Trump, County of Santa Clara v. Trump, and City of Richmond v. Trump[edit source]

City and County of San Francisco v. Trump
United States District Court for the Northern District of California
Full case name City and County of San Francisco, Plaintiffs, v. Donald J. Trump, in his official capacity as President of the United States of America, et al., Defendants
Citations No. 3:17-cv-00485
County of Santa Clara v. Trump
United States District Court for the Northern District of California
Citations 3:17-cv-00574[32]
City of Richmond v. Trump
United States District Court for the Northern District of California
Citations 3:17-cv-01535[33]

City and County of San Francisco v. Trump or San Francisco v. Trump, No. 3:17-cv-00485 (N.D.Cal. 2017), currently pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, challenges Executive Order 13768 on the grounds it violates the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.[34][35][36]

On January 31, 2017 the City and County of San Francisco filed a civil action challenging the executive order on the grounds that it violates the Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution with regard to State Sovereignty. San Francisco sued the Trump administration over the executive order requiring the federal government to withhold money from so-called sanctuary cities that protect undocumented immigrants from federal prosecution. The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California alleges that Trump’s order violates the Tenth Amendment, which states that powers not explicitly given to the federal government by the Constitution are reserved for the states.[37][38].[39]

The civil suit alleges three causes of action (1) Declaratory Relief – San Francisco complies with 8 U.S.C. § 1373, (2) 10th Amendment – 8 U.S.C. § 1373(a) is unconstitutional, and (3) 10th Amendment – Executive Order Section 9(A) enforcement directive is unconstitutional. The suit seeks a Declaratory Judgment and Injunctive Relief holding that, (1) 8 U.S.C. § 1373(a) is unconstitutional and invalid on its face; (2) Enjoin Defendants from enforcing Section 1373(a) or using it as a condition for receiving federal funds; (3) Declare that Section 8 U.S.C. § 1373(a) is invalid as applied to state and local Sanctuary City laws, (4) Enjoin Defendants from enforcing Section 1373(a) against jurisdictions that enact Sanctuary City laws for legitimate local purposes; (5) Declare that San Francisco complies with Section 8 U.S.C. § 1373; (6) Enjoin Defendants from designating San Francisco as a jurisdiction that fails to comply with Section 8 U.S.C. § 1373; (7) Enjoin unconstitutional applications of the Enforcement Directive in Executive Order Section 9(a).[34]

Unlike other suits brought in United States district courts across the United States challenging Executive Order 13769, this suit is the first one to challenge Executive Order 13768 on the basis of the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.[40]

On February 3, 2017, Santa Clara County, California filed a separate lawsuit challenging the order on the same grounds.[32][41] The two cases “were assigned to the same judge for purposes of judicial efficiency.”[41] The State of California, represented by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, filed an amicus brief in support of the two counties’ challenge.[42]

On April 25, 2017, U.S. District Judge William Orrick III issued a preliminary injunction, effective nationwide, that halts implementation of the order. Judge Orrick ruled that the plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits of their challenge.[43][44][45]

The city of Richmond, California filed a similar lawsuit on March 21, 2017.[33] This lawsuit was also assigned to Judge Orrick.[41]

City of Chelsea v. Trump[edit source]

City of Chelsea v. Trump
United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
Full case name City of Chelsea, City of Lawrence, Plaintiffs, v. Donald J. Trump, President of the United States, United States of America, John F. Kelly, Secretary of United States Department of Homeland Security, Dana J. Boente, Acting Attorney General of the United States, Does 1-100, Defendants.

On February 8, 2017, the cities of Chelsea, Massachusetts and Lawrence, Massachusetts filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Boston, challenging the validity of the executive order.[46][47] The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice and the law firm Goodwin Procter are representing the cities pro bono in the suit.[46]

The civil suit alleges eight causes of action: (1) declaratory relief that the City of Chelsea complies with 8 U.S.C. § 1373; (2) declaratory relief that the City of Lawrence complies with 8 U.S.C. § 1373; (3) the Section 9(A) of the executive order (the “enforcement directive”) is unconstitutionally coercive under the Tenth Amendment; (4) the executive order is facially unconstitutional under the Tenth Amendment; (5) the executive order is unconstitutional under the Tenth Amendment as applied to plaintiff cities, (6) 8 U.S.C. § 1373(a) is unconstitutional under the Tenth Amendment; (7) the executive order violates the separation of powers recognized by the United States Constitution, and (8) the executive order as unconstitutionally vague in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.[47]

United States[edit source]

Terminology[edit source]

Several different terms and phrases are used to describe immigrants who enter the U.S. illegally. The federal government uses the term “alien” to refer to a non-citizen. The word has been used in a combination, as in “illegal alien.” In general readership media, this phrase is now used much less than previously. The phrase “illegal immigrant” has been used frequently in media reports. Two newer phrases are competing for wide acceptance: “undocumented immigrant” and “unauthorized immigrant.” Political opinion about immigration and sanctuary controversies can determine which phrase a person or organization chooses to use.[13]

Electoral politics[edit source]

This issue entered presidential politics in the race for the Republican Party presidential nomination in 2008. Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo ran on an anti-illegal immigration platform and specifically attacked sanctuary cities. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney accused former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani of running it as a sanctuary city.[14] Giuliani’s campaign responded saying that Romney ran a sanctuary Governor’s mansion, and that New York City is not a “haven” for undocumented immigrants.[14]

Following the shooting death of Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco (a sanctuary city) by an undocumented individual, Hillary Clinton told CNN that “The city made a mistake, not to deport someone that the federal government strongly felt should be deported. I have absolutely no support for a city that ignores the strong evidence that should be acted on.”[15]The following day, her campaign stated: “Hillary Clinton believes that sanctuary cities can help further public safety, and she has defended those policies going back years.”[16]

Political action[edit source]

State[edit source]

Georgia banned “sanctuary cities” in 2009, and in 2016 went further by requiring local governments, in order to obtain state funding, to certify that they cooperate with federal immigration officials.[17]

Arizona, through SB 1070 (enacted in 2010), requires law enforcement officers to notify federal immigration authorities “if they develop reasonable suspicion that a person they’ve detained or arrested is in the country illegally.”[18]

Tennessee state law bars “local governments or officials from making policies that stop local entities from complying with federal immigration law.”[19] In 2017, legislation proposed in the Tennessee General Assembly would go further, withholding funding from local governments deemed insufficiently cooperative with the federal government.[19]

In Texas no city has formally declared “sanctuary” status, but a few do not fully cooperate with federal immigration authorities and have drawn a negative response from the legislature.[20] Bills seeking to deprive state funding from police departments and municipalities that do not cooperate with federal authorities have been introduced into the Texas Legislature several times.[20] In February 2017, the Texas Senate passed legislation that would require city, county, and college campus law enforcement “to hold an arrested person in custody while U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement looks into his or her immigration status” and deny state grant funding if they fail to do so.[21] The legislation has the support of Republican Governor Greg Abbott.[21]

Federal[edit source]

The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 addressed the relationship between the federal government and local governments. Minor crimes, such as shoplifting, became grounds for possible deportation.[22] Additionally, the legislation outlawed cities’ bans against municipal workers reporting a person’s immigration status to federal authorities.[23]

Section 287(g) makes it possible for state and local law enforcement personnel to enter into agreements with the federal government to be trained in immigration enforcement and, subsequent to such training, to enforce immigration law. However, it provides no general power for immigration enforcement by state and local authorities.[24] This provision was implemented by local and state authorities in five states, California, Arizona, Alabama, Florida and North Carolina by the end of 2006.[25] On June 16, 2007 the United States House of Representatives passed an amendment to a United States Department of Homeland Security spending bill that would withhold federal emergency services funds from sanctuary cities. Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) was the sponsor of this amendment. 50 Democrats joined Republicans to support the amendment. The amendment would have to pass the United States Senate to become effective.[26]

In 2007, Republican representatives introduced legislation targeting sanctuary cities. Reps. Brian Bilbray, R-Calif., Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Fla., Thelma Drake, R-Va., Jeff Miller, R-Fla., and Tom Tancredo introduced the bill. The legislation would make undocumented immigrant status a felony, instead of a civil offense. Also, the bill targets sanctuary cities by withholding up to 50 percent of Department of Homeland Security funds from the cities.[27]

On September 5, 2007, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told a House committee that he certainly wouldn’t tolerate interference by sanctuary cities that would block his “Basic Pilot Program” that requires employers to validate the legal status of their workers. “We’re exploring our legal options. I intend to take as vigorous legal action as the law allows to prevent that from happening, prevent that kind of interference.”[28][29]

On January 25, 2017 President Donald Trump signed an executive order directing the Secretary of Homeland Security and Attorney General to defund sanctuary jurisdictions that refuse to comply with federal immigration law.[30] He also ordered the Department of Homeland Security to begin issuing weekly public reports that include “a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens and any jurisdiction that ignored or otherwise failed to honor any detainers with respect to such aliens.”[30] Ilya Somin, Professor of Law at George Mason University, has argued that Trump’s withholding of federal funding would be unconstitutional: “Trump and future presidents could use [the executive order] to seriously undermine constitutional federalism by forcing dissenting cities and states to obey presidential dictates, even without authorization from Congress. The circumvention of Congress makes the order a threat to separation of powers, as well.”[31]

On April 25, 2017, U.S. district judge William Orrick issued a temporary ruling halting the executive order that withheld funding from sanctuary cities.[32][33]

Effects[edit source]

Crime[edit source]

A study by Loren Collingwood of the University of California at Riverside and others found that sanctuary policy itself has no statistically meaningful effect on crime.[34][35][36][37]

According to a study by Tom K. Wong, associate professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego, published by the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank: “Crime is statistically significantly lower in sanctuary counties compared to nonsanctuary counties. Moreover, economies are stronger in sanctuary counties – from higher median household income, less poverty, and less reliance on public assistance to higher labor force participation, higher employment-to-population ratios, and lower unemployment.”[38] The study also concluded that sanctuary cities build trust between local law enforcement and the community, which enhances public safety overall.[39] The study evaluated sanctuary and non-sanctuary cities while controlling for differences in population, the foreign-born percentage of the population, and the percentage of the population that is Latino.”[38]

Economy[edit source]

Advocates of local enforcement of immigration laws argue that more regulatory local immigration policies would cause immigrants to flee those cities and possibly the United States altogether,[40] while opponents argue that regulatory policies on immigrants wouldn’t affect their presence because immigrants looking for work will relocate towards economic opportunity despite challenges living there.[6] Undocumented migrants tend to be attracted to states with more economic opportunity and individual freedom.[41]Because there is no reliable data that asks for immigration status, there is no way to tell empirically if regulatory policies do have an effect on immigrant presence. A study comparing restrictive counties with nonrestrictive counties found that local jurisdictions which enacted regulatory immigration policies experienced a 1-2% negative effect in employment.[6]

Health and well-being[edit source]

A preliminary study’s results imply that the number of Sanctuary cities in the U.S. positively affects well-being in the undocumented immigrant population.[42] Concerning health, a study in North Carolina found that after implementation of section 287(g), prenatal Hispanic/Latina mothers were more likely than non-Hispanic/Latina mothers to have late or inadequate prenatal care. The study’s interviews indicated that Hispanics/Latinos in the section 287(g) counties had distrust in health services among other services and had fear about going to the doctor.[43]

Laws and policies by state and city[edit source]

Alabama[edit source]

  • In Alabama, state law (Alabama HB 56) was enacted in 2011, calling for proactive immigration enforcement; however, many provisions are either blocked by the federal courts or subject to ongoing lawsuits.[citation needed] On January 31, 2017, William A. Bell, the mayor of Birmingham, declared the city a “welcoming city” and said that the police would not be “an enforcement arm of the federal government” with respect to federal immigration law. He also stated that the city would not require proof of citizenship for granting business licenses. The Birmingham City Council subsequently passed a resolution supporting Birmingham being a “sanctuary city”.[44]

Arizona[edit source]

  • Following the passage of Arizona SB 1070, a state law, few if any cities in Arizona are “sanctuary cities.” A provision of SB 1070 requires local authorities to “contact federal immigration authorities if they develop reasonable suspicion that a person they’ve detained or arrested is in the country illegally.”[18] The Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates restrictive immigration policies, labels only one city in the state, South Tucson, a “sanctuary city”; the label is because South Tucson does not honor ICE detainers “unless ICE pays for cost of detention”.[18]

California[edit source]

  • Berkeley, California, became the first city government in the United States to pass a sanctuary resolution on November 8, 1971.[45] Additional local governments in certain cities in the United States began designating themselves as sanctuary cities during the 1980s.[46][47] Some have questioned the accuracy of the term “sanctuary city” as used in the USA.[48] The policy was first initiated in 1979 in Los Angeles, to prevent police from inquiring about the immigration status of arrestees. The internal policy, “Special Order 40“, states: “Officers shall not initiate police action with the objective of discovering the alien status of a person. Officers shall not arrest nor book persons for violation of title 8, section 1325 of the United States Immigration code (Illegal Entry).”[49] These cities have adopted “sanctuary” ordinances banning city employees and police officers from asking people about their immigration status.[50][51]
  • Los Angeles – In 1979, the Los Angeles Police Department adopted Special Order 40, barring officers from initiating contact with a person solely to determine their immigration status.[53] However, the city frequently cooperates with federal immigration officials.[52] Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti does not use the phrase “sanctuary city” to describe the city because the label is unclear.[52]
  • San Francisco – “declared itself a sanctuary city in 1989, and city officials strengthened the stance in 2013 with its ‘Due Process for All’ ordinance. The law declared local authorities could not hold immigrants for immigration officials if they had no violent felonies on their records and did not currently face charges.”[52] The 2015 shooting of Kathryn Steinle provoked debate about San Francisco’s “sanctuary city” policy.[54]

Colorado[edit source]

  • Boulder[57]
  • City attorneys for Denver, CO say that Denver does not “fit the bill” of a sanctuary city. Nonetheless, Denver does not enforce immigration laws on behalf of the federal government or honor federal “detainer” requests to hold jailed immigrants past their release dates.[58]

Connecticut[edit source]

  • Hartford passed an ordinance providing services to all residents regardless of their immigration in 2008. Said ordinance also prohibits that police from detaining individuals based solely on their immigration status or inquiring as to their immigration status. In 2016, the ordinance was amended to declare that Hartford is a “Sanctuary City”, though the term itself does not have an independent legal meaning.[59]
  • In 2013, Connecticut passed a law that gives local law enforcement officers discretion to carry out immigration detainer requests, though only for suspected felons.[60]
  • On February 3, 2017, Middletown, CT declared itself a sanctuary city. This was in direct response to President Trump’s executive order. Said Middletown’s mayor, “We don’t just take orders from the President of the United States”[61]

Florida[edit source]

  • In January 2017 Miami-Dade County rescinded a policy of insisting the U.S. government pay for detention of persons on a federal list. Republican Mayor Carlos Gimenez ordered jails to “fully cooperate” with Presidential immigration policy. He said he did not want to risk losing a larger amount of federal financial aid for not complying. The mayor said Miami-Dade County has never considered itself to be a sanctuary city.[62]
  • St. Petersburg Democratic Mayor Rick Kriseman said residents from all backgrounds implored him to declare a sanctuary city. In February 2017 he blogged that, “I have no hesitation in declaring St. Petersburg a sanctuary from harmful federal immigration laws. We will not expend resources to help enforce such laws, nor will our police officers stop, question or arrest an individual solely on the basis that they may have unlawfully entered the United States.” He said the county sheriff’s office has ultimate responsibility for notifying federal officials about people illegally in the city. The mayor criticized President Trump for “demonization of Muslims.”[63][64]

Georgia[edit source]

  • The mayor of Atlanta, Georgia in January 2017 declared the city was a “welcoming city” and “will remain open and welcoming to all”. This statement was in response to President’s Trump’s executive orders related to “public safety agencies and the communities they serve”. Nonetheless, Atlanta does not consider itself to be a “sanctuary city”.[65]

Illinois[edit source]

  • Chicago became a “de jure” sanctuary city in 2012 when Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the City Council passed the Welcoming City Ordinance.[66][67] The ordinance protects residents’ rights to access city services regardless of immigration status and states that Chicago police officers cannot arrest individuals on the basis of immigration status alone.[68] The status was reaffirmed in 2016.[69][70]
  • Urbana, Illinois[71]
  • Evanston, Illinois[72]

Louisiana[edit source]

Maine[edit source]

  • A 2004 executive order prohibited state officials from inquiring about immigration status of individual seeking public assistance, but in 2011, the incoming Maine governor Paul LePage rescinded this, stating “it is the intent of this administration to promote rather than hinder the enforcement of federal immigration law”. In 2015 Governor LePage accused the city of Portland, Maine of being a sanctuary city based on the fact that “city employees are prohibited from asking about the immigration status of people seeking city services unless compelled by a court or law”,[74] but Portland city officials did not accept that characterization.[74]

Maryland[edit source]

  • In 2008, Baltimore and Takoma Park are sometimes identified as sanctuary cities.[75] However, “[m]ost local governments in Maryland – including Baltimore – still share information with the federal government.”[76] In 2016, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said that she did not consider Baltimore to be a “sanctuary city.”[77]

Massachusetts[edit source]

  • Boston has an ordinance, enacted in 2014, that bars the Boston Police Department “from detaining anyone based on their immigration status unless they have a criminal warrant.”[78] Cambridge, Chelsea, Somerville, Orleans, Northampton, and Springfield have similar legislation.[78] In August 2016, Boston Police Commissioner, William B. Evans re-issued a memo stating “all prisoners who are subject to ICE Detainers must receive equal access to bail commissioners, which includes notifying said prisoner of his or her right to seek bail.” Bail commissioners are informed of the person’s status on an ICE detainer list and may set bail accordingly.[79]

Michigan[edit source]

  • Detroit and Ann Arbor are sometimes referred to as “sanctuary cities” because they “have anti-profiling ordinances that generally prohibit local police from asking about the immigration status of people who are not suspected of any crime.”[80] Unlike San Francisco’s ordinance, however, the Detroit and Ann Arbor policies do not bar local authorities from cooperating and assisting ICE and Customs and Border Protection, and both cities frequently do so.

Minnesota[edit source]

  • Minneapolis has an ordinance, adopted in 2003,[81] that directs local law enforcement officers “not to ‘take any law enforcement action’ for the sole purpose of finding undocumented immigrants, or ask an individual about his or her immigration status.”[82] The Minneapolis ordinance does not bar cooperation with federal authorities: “The city works cooperatively with the Homeland Security, as it does with all state and federal agencies, but the city does not operate its programs for the purpose of enforcing federal immigration laws. The Homeland Security has the legal authority to enforce immigration laws in the United States, in Minnesota and in the city.”[81]

New York[edit source]

New Jersey[edit source]

North Carolina[edit source]

  • The state of North Carolina currently restricts any city or municipality from refusing to cooperate with federal immigration and customs enforcement officials.[92] There are therefore no official sanctuary cities in the state. A bill under consideration as of March 2017, is entitled Citizens Protection Act of 2017 or HB 63. Under the new provisions, the state would be able to deny bail to undocumented immigrants whom Immigration and Customs Enforcements (ICE) has issued a detainer; allow the state to withhold tax revenues from cities who are not in compliance with the state-wide immigration regulations; and encourage tipsters to identify municipalities who are in violation of these laws.[93]

Ohio[edit source]

Oregon[edit source]

  • State law passed in 1987: “Oregon Revised Statute 181.850, which prohibits law enforcement officers at the state, county or municipal level from enforcing federal immigration laws that target people based on their race or ethnic origin, when those individuals are not suspected of any criminal activities.[95][96]
  • Beaverton city council passed a resolution in January 2017 stating, in part, “The City of Beaverton is committed to living its values as a welcoming city for all individuals …regardless of a person’s … immigration status” and that they would abide by Oregon state law of not enforcing federal immigration laws.[97]
  • Corvallis[98]
  • Portland[99]

Texas[edit source]

Washington[edit source]

Canada[edit source]

Toronto was the first city in Canada to declare itself a sanctuary city, with Toronto City Council voting 37–3 on February 22, 2013 to adopt a formal policy allowing undocumented migrants to access city services.[103] Hamilton, Ontario declared itself a sanctuary city in February 2014 after the Hamilton City Council voted unanimously to allow undocumented immigrants to access city-funded services such as shelters, housing and food banks.[104] In response to US President Donald Trump‘s Executive Order 13769, the city council of London, Ontario voted unanimously to declare London a sanctuary city in January 2017[105] with Montreal doing the same in February 2017 after a unanimous vote.[106]

While Vancouver is not a sanctuary city, it adopted an “Access to City Services without Fear” policy for residents that are undocumented or have an uncertain immigration status in April 2016.[107] The policy does not apply to municipal services operated by individual boards, including services provided by the Vancouver Police Department, Vancouver Public Library, or Vancouver Park Board.[108]

As of February 2017, the cities of Calgary, Ottawa, Regina, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg are considering motions to declare themselves sanctuary cities.[108][109]


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