Wednesday April 18, 2018
Issue has to do with immigration, not criminal law.
Sanctuary cities do not protect dangerous criminals. Sanctuary policies apply only to immigration law. Breaking immigration law is not a crime. It is a civil violation. If a person commits a crime, his immigration status is irrelevant. He will be charged, and the legal system will take its course.
Since the Constitution gives Congress sole power over immigration matters, local governments do not have the authority to enforce immigration law. As to cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the courts have ruled that ICE detainer requests do not have the force of law. Local law enforcement is only obligated to hold a person for an immigration violation if the ICE agent goes to a judge and gets a warrant.
The current political mood against sanctuary cities is rooted in a false belief that undocumented immigrants are likely to commit crimes. Actually, many studies, including one published by the conservative U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have found that undocumented immigrants commit crimes at lower rates than native-born Americans.
Sanctuary policies actually make communities safer. People will be less likely to report a crime, cooperate in the investigation of a crime or serve as a witness if they are made to fear that contact with police or an appearance in court will lead to having their families torn apart by deportation.
Sanctuary policies widely misunderstood