The New Sanctuary and Anti-Sanctuary Movements

15 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2018

See all articles by Rose Cuison Villazor

Rose Cuison Villazor

Rutgers Law School

Pratheepan Gulasekaram

Santa Clara University School of Law

Date Written: September 28, 2018


Since the November 2016 election, new forms of "sanctuary" have emerged. In addition, many have engaged in "anti-sanctuary" activities. What do these two trends — the expansion of sanctuary in sites and scope of protection provided to immigrants and increasing of public and private anti-sanctuary expressions — that developed after Donald Trump’s election to the Presidency suggest about immigration law? This Essay sketches our initial answers to this question that we will explore more in-depth in our forthcoming work. Ultimately, this Essay argues that these developments call for a rethinking of how we descriptively, doctrinally, and theoretically understand governance in immigration law. Specifically, we contend that traditional doctrinal and normative conceptions about governance on immigration law place too much emphasis on the federal government’s plenary role and power over immigration law. This conventional approach overlooks the important roles that non-federal stakeholders — states, cities, individuals, and other private actors — play in immigration law governance that are occurring on the ground. Ignoring the role of these stakeholders is curious given that the federal immigration statutory and administrative regulatory scheme relies on the participation of state, local, and private individuals. Thus, greater attention must be paid to these emerging trends in sanctuary and anti-sanctuary movements, and how they are changing how governance over immigration is and should be conducted.

Suggested Citation

Villazor, Rose Cuison and Gulasekaram, Pratheepan, The New Sanctuary and Anti-Sanctuary Movements (September 28, 2018). UC Davis Law Review, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN:

Rose Cuison Villazor (Contact Author)

Rutgers Law School ( email )

United States

Pratheepan Gulasekaram

Santa Clara University School of Law ( email )

500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053
United States
408.554.4188 (Phone)

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