Do sanctuary cities make America unsafe? | The Tylt
Do sanctuary cities make America unsafe?
Federal agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have been cracking down on undocumented individuals living in sanctuary jurisdictions.
The operation came amid an escalating conflict between these jurisdictions and the Trump administration, which has faced several legal challenges in its efforts to mandate cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities. The arrests this week were a stinging rebuke to sanctuary cities, several of which have passed ordinances or policies preventing full cooperation with ICE.
The recent arrests of nearly 500 people is part of President Donald Trump's promise to be tough on immigration and go after sanctuary cities.
Honoring a campaign pledge, President Trump has made cracking down on illegal immigration a top priority. His attorney general, Jeff Sessions, has been a key proponent of punishing localities that refuse to cooperate with immigration authorities.
Sanctuary cities have long been a point of political contention, with critics claiming they do nothing more than provide shelter for criminals and endanger law abiding Americans. Rich Lowry argues in the National Review that beyond being unsafe, sanctuary cities are inherently unlawful.
Through the years, the Left has created dozens upon dozens of so-called sanctuary cities devoted to frustrating federal immigration enforcement.
San Francisco has long been a sanctuary city that doesn’t honor so-called federal detainers (i.e., notices that Immigration and Customs Enforcement wants to take custody of an illegal immigrant upon release from jail). It is a policy of calculated irresponsibility meant to create a zone of lawlessness.
Lowry argues that at the very least, undocumented individuals who have gone to jail should not be allowed to remain in the United States.
The immigration debate is famously fraught. Maybe we can’t agree on building a fence. Maybe we can’t agree on a pathway to citizenship. But surely we can agree that illegal aliens who have landed in jail should be deported?
But the data surrounding sanctuary cities paints a very different picture. Christopher Ingraham argues in The Washington Post that sanctuary cities actually make communities safer.
An analysis of FBI crime data by Tom Wong, a professor of political science at the University of California at San Diego, finds that counties designated as “sanctuary” areas by ICE typically experience significantly lower rates of all types of crime, including lower homicide rates, than comparable non-sanctuary counties.
The research indicates sanctuary cities may lead to a reduce in the crime rate because undocumented immigrants feel safer going to law enforcement without fear of deportation.
Wong says more research needs to be done to determine whether a causal effect is at work here. But he said he suspects that, by becoming a sanctuary area and refusing to involve local authorities in deportation matters, a city or county may actually make itself safer. If immigrants who came to the United States illegally fear working with police will lead to deportation, they're less likely to report crimes and assist with investigations.