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Sanctuary Cities Aren’t What You Think
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Sanctuary Cities Aren’t What You Think

Do you live in a sanctuary city? If you live in any major or mid-size city, chances are high that the answer is yes. New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, and Washington, D.C. are all sanctuary cities. In New Orleans, the police are banned from even asking about someone’s citizenship. Much of Atlanta falls into Clayton County, which is a sanctuary county. Austin just elected a Democrat sheriff and is poised to become the next sanctuary city.

Over 200 cities and counties are designated as sanctuary cities, meaning that their police departments refuse to honor detention requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The detention request means that if a known individual has a brush with law enforcement – anything from an arrest to a parking ticket – ICE thinks the person is enough of a threat that the local cops should hold them in jail for 48 hours while ICE makes a decision about whether or not to deport that individual. If ICE decides to intervene during those 48 hours, the individual may be transferred to federal custody, where he or she can be held for up to 6 months.

Critics say that ICE holds people for too long without just cause. However, being in the country illegally is a felony – oh look, I found the cause. And besides, the people detained by immigration holds have already come in contact with law enforcement for some other reason. ICE is not telling local police to actively search for illegal immigrants. The detainers are not a request to raid houses or seek out people at schools or workplaces. All the detainer says is “Hey, cops, if you happen to come across this person, please hold them for a couple days and let us know, since we believe they are here illegally, and that’s a felony.” An ICE detainer is not a guarantee of deportation – the whole point is for ICE to use that time to investigate the person further.

The Left would have you believe that this is hateful, that’s it’s racist, that it is somehow wrong to deport a person who comes here illegally and then commits an additional crime. But plenty of the offenses that bring people into contact with police (robbery, violent crime, drugs) are things that citizens would be detained for anyway. Why should American taxpayers foot the bill for food, housing, healthcare, and clothing of someone in a penitentiary, rather than give that person a one-way ticket home?

This is one failure of local police departments that Democrats don’t want to fix. Hillary Clinton has no problem with sanctuary cities. Donald Trump wants to force them to follow the law. ICE is a taxpayer-funded law enforcement organization. Local law enforcement shouldn’t be able to pick and choose which federal laws they enforce.

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