Understanding 'Sanctuary Cities'
63 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2017 Last revised: 11 Mar 2018
Date Written: September 29, 2017
In the wake of Trump’s election, a growing number of local jurisdictions around the country have sought to disentangle their criminal justice system from federal immigration enforcement initiatives. These localities have embraced a series of reforms that protect immigrants from deportation when they come into contact with the criminal justice system. In response, President Trump and his administration have labeled these jurisdictions “sanctuary cities” and promised to “end” them by cutting off federal funding.
This Article is a collaborative project authored by law professors specializing in the intersection between immigration and criminal law. In it, we set forth the central features of the Trump administration’s mass deportation plans and his recently-announced campaign to “crack down” on “sanctuary cities.” We then outline the diverse ways in which localities have sought to protect their residents from deportation by refusing to participate in the Trump immigration agenda. Such initiatives include limiting compliance with immigration detainers, precluding participation in joint operations with the federal government, and preventing immigration agents from accessing local jails. Finally, we analyze the legal and policy justifications for sanctuary that local jurisdictions have advanced with increasing intensity since Trump’s election. These insights have important implications for how sanctuary cities are understood and preserved in the age of Trump.
As a complement to this Article, we have created a public online library of sanctuary policies that includes all the policies cited here and many more we considered in our research.
Keywords: immigration, crimmigration, sanctuary, federalism
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