According to a report by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), so-called sanctuary policies that shield illegal immigrants from identification and removal by federal immigration authorities have doubled since the election of President Donald Trump. FAIR’s analysis of state and local policies, ordinances, and laws reveals that 564 jurisdictions across the country – nearly double the number since Trump took office – have adopted policies that protect illegal aliens or obstruct efforts by the federal government to enforce immigration laws.
In their various forms, they forbid state and local officials (including law enforcement officers) from asking people about their immigration status; reporting suspected illegal aliens to the federal government; holding criminal aliens for arrest by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); or otherwise cooperating with or assisting federal immigration enforcement agents.
"There is no rational justification for protecting deportable criminals. Yet, under pressure from radical groups, posing as 'immigrants' rights' organizations, 564 jurisdictions have decided that protecting foreign criminals is more important than the safety of their local communities," charged Dan Stein, president of FAIR. "Countless Americans have been needlessly victimized, and some have lost their lives, because local sanctuary policies prevented the perpetrators from being identified as deportable aliens, or prevented Immigration and Customs Enforcement from taking them into custody."
The proliferation of sanctuary policies from 11 in 2000 to 564 in 2018 occurred despite the fact that such policies are explicitly prohibited under federal law, 8 U.S. Code § 1373, according to FAIR. Several states - most notably Texas - have moved to bar such policies, but in other parts of the country they continue to increase in number and expand the scope of protections offered to illegal aliens.
"California's extreme sanctuary laws have become the object of a citizen-driven rebellion and a federal lawsuit. However, more action is needed - particularly by Congress - which has the authority to hold these rogue jurisdictions accountable by withholding targeted federal funds to local governments that obstruct immigration enforcement," said Stein.
Here follow excerpts from the report:
“Though sanctuary policies have been around since the late 1970s, they were relatively rare until quite recently. Of the 564 jurisdictions cited in this report, only eleven had been adopted before 2000 (including New York City and San Francisco, as wel as the country's first sanctuary state, Oregon, in 1987). Only 40 had been adopted by the time President Barack Obama was inaugurated in 2009.
“During the Obama era, the number of sanctuary jurisdictions grew by 650%. By November 2016, FAIR reported the existence of 300 sanctuary jurisdictions. That exponential growth was spurred on by the Obama administration’s efforts to dismantle immigration enforcement and its tacit encouragement of local governments to do the same.
“Sanctuary Jurisdictions Double under Trump
“This growth of sanctuary jurisdictions has continued under President Donald Trump. Since he was elected in November 2016, the number of sanctuary jurisdictions has nearly doubled. Prior to his inauguration, 38 jurisdictions announced they would refuse to cooperate with President Trump’s immigration enforcement policies. After President Trump’s inauguration, another 236 jurisdictions announced they will disobey federal immigration law and refuse to cooperate with ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).”