What you have been hearing on the news is wrong Sanctuary Cities cut crime and help the poor.
There is a justifiable uproar this week about a murder in San Francisco by a man who was in the USA without a visa. Some are saying that the reason for the crime occurring is that San Francisco is a “sanctuary city” and authorities there released the perpetrator without notifying immigration. For the sake of this argument I’m willing to stipulate that this is true. But it doesn’t change the very sound and reasonable arguments for cities passing sanctuary laws. Sanctuary laws make our cities safer.
Lets suppose that you are undocumented alien and that your neighbor is abusing his wife. In a sanctuary city you can call the police and not have to worry about ending up in the hands if the immigration authorities (ICE). In most cities you wouldn’t call because the personal risk is too high and the abuse would continue. In a sanctuary city you might call and save a woman’s life.
In most cities if you are undocumented and you are robbed you can’t call the police, you can’t take the risk of being deported. In a non-sanctuary city to get justice you may have to join a gang or become a vigilante. In a sanctuary city you can call the police.
I can keep giving examples but you get the drift. Sanctuary laws are an attempt to give the most vulnerable in our society access to the legal/criminal justice system. If we don’t allow sanctuary our cities will become less law abiding. Will there be abuses? Of course there will. Some people who should be deported will be set free and some felonies will occur. This is the price we have to pay for having winked when 10 to 15 million people moved here in the 90’s and early 2000’s and then allowing their status to be an unresolved political issue for more than a decade.
There is a cost but in balance sanctuary cities are a net good for all of us.