Opinion: Sanctuary Cities Are Making The Battle Against Illegal Immigration Harder

It seems these days the battle against illegal immigration is getting harder and harder. One of the factors causing this burden is the use of sanctuary cities in America.  As defined by Apsan Law Offices, LLC a “Sanctuary city is a name given to a city in the United States that follows certain procedures that shelters illegal immigrants. These procedures can be by law (de jure) or they can be by action (de facto). The term most commonly is used for cities that do not permit municipal funds or resources to be applied in furtherance of enforcement of federal immigration laws. These cities normally do not permit police or municipal employees to inquire about one’s immigration status.”.  Major cities that are considered sanctuary cities include New York City, Miami, Portland, San Francisco and Houston.

Map courtesy of Apsan Law Offices, LLC.

There are many things right and many wrong with sanctuary cities.  Here’s what is right:  Cities with this policy usually rely on trust within immigrants coming to local law enforcement.  This then creates trust between the cities immigrants and law enforcement.  It also allows immigrants who commit crimes not to be deported if requested by ICE.  Along with both of these factors many outside studies have shown that sanctuary cities have lower crime rates (However, most outside studies did not confirm the sanctuary status of each city as well as it generalized crime statistics before ending on cause-effect conclusion).


However, on the other hand, sanctuary cities have shown negative effect.  Many Republicans as well as President Donald Trump have said that the sanctuary cities that allow criminals to go free, end up leading to crimes that could have been avoided if the immigrants had been deported in the first place.  These crimes may include but are not limited to rape, drug distribution and homicide.  In fact, former Phoenix police officers have said that in May 2008 when Phoenix abolished a sanctuary policy, becoming a non-sanctuary state, crime dropped majorly.  In an interview with Fox, Levi Bolton (Executive Director to the Arizona Police Association) said the following to Fox news.  “We saw a decrease in crime,” said Bolton. “It had a deterrent effect on folks because the risk of discovery went up exponentially when we actually enforced the law”.  Another former officer in Arizona named Mark Spencer who spent 25 years patrolling around Phoenix with Bolton said this to Fox as well.  “When we eliminated our sanctuary policy back in 2008, we saw crime, violent and stolen vehicles fall by 25 percent,” he recalled. “We saw a 20-year low crime rate. When we were allowed and had the discretion to contact our federal immigration partners, crime fell drastically.”.  Not that but Fox found statistics concerning the crime drop and had this to say about it.  “According to City-Data.com, which collects data from various government agencies, from 2008 to 2009 Phoenix’s murder rate fell 27 percent, robberies by 23 percent, assault by 13 percent, burglaries by 14 percent and theft by 19 percent. The numbers for each category fell the following year as well – albeit by smaller margins.”

Image courtesy of Joe Raedle/Getty

So, in conclusion, do we keep or abolish sanctuary cities?  Trump and many Republicans think that it’s time to get rid of them.  While on the other side, many Democrats think that we should keep them.  What do you think?  Does it make our battle against immigration harder or does it help us gain trust within immigrants across America?  One thing is for sure though, we as a nation are soon to be hard pressed on this issue if the wall doesn’t go up.


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