Saturday, June 19, 2021
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Are Sanctuary Cities Legal?

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San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and many other cities have become sanctuary cities. These are cities that do not use their local law enforcement agencies to help the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) find illegal immigrants. Sanctuary cities have existed for years, but the amount of these cities has greatly increased following the Trump administration’s strict policies regarding illegal immigrants. Because these cities do not align with Trump’s new agenda, the President has announced that he is going to remove federal grants and funding to these cities. Republicans have commended these actions while Democrats have highly criticized this move. Both sides have valid arguments, so what are these arguments and are the sanctuary cities and the followed executive orders legal and with the beliefs of our founding fathers?

Republicans argue that the federal government’s job is to protect the nation and punish criminals, including illegal immigrants. The government tries deal with illegal immigrants through ICE.  Sanctuary cities harbor of illegal immigrants is a blatant refusal to aid the federal government. Therefore, the federal government has no way to make the states obey them and thus has no power over the states. The Articles of Confederation was the original constitution of the United States. One of the main weaknesses of the Articles was that the federal government did not have power over the states, so the states did not have to abide with federal laws and actions. Republicans argue that the same situation is currently happening, and that this practice should not continue. Some, like Senator John McCain(R-AR), have even described this as a “constitutional crisis”. Republicans claim that they are serving America well by stopping a constitutional crisis, and they think that the loss of funding will be an effective deterrent to sanctuary cities.

Democrats, on the other hand, say that cities should decide how to spend their resources in a way that best benefits their own community. They argue that they are not inhibiting the federal government, but rather using their officers for actions that are more beneficial for their community. Although Republicans argue that illegal immigrants make a city less safe, Democrats believe that in non-sanctuary cities, illegal immigrants are scared to report being assaulted, raped, or being the victim of another crime because they are scared that the police will report them to ICE. Police are supposed to protect the community, and should not be feared by responsible members of society, including illegal immigrants. These rapists and assaulters are more dangerous to society than a responsible illegal immigrant, say Democrats. Trump promised during his campaign to eliminate all federal funding to sanctuary cities. Democrats argue that this is unfair, as federal funding is spread across departments and often does not have to do with immigration, which is the problem at stake here. Eliminating federal funding would also be unfair because the general populous should not be hurt from decisions that politicians make regarding how to use law enforcement. Furthermore, eliminating federal funding would hurt minorities and the poor the most because comprise the majority of federal grant recipients, causing a greater education gap and  more unskilled workers Democrats also believe that it is the Court’s job, not the President’s job to stop “illegal” cities.

Both arguments from both parties have merit. What do you think? Answer in the comments section below.

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One thought on “Are Sanctuary Cities Legal?

  1. I think it should be up to the states to decide how best to protect their people. Cracking down on illegal immigrants is not the best use of resources.

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