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Immigration

May 3, 2017

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Sanctuary cities protect refugees

Sanctuary cities have been popping up around America increasingly since the election this year. Cities in all but a couple of states have offered their homes to refugees. In fact, California has recently passed a “sanctuary state” bill.

A sanctuary city essentially refers to a city or county in which local law enforcement generally refuse collaboration with federal immigration officers in cases of low-level crimes.

A major goal of these policies is to promote a sense of trust and safety for all inhabitants.

President Donald Trump and his administration are opposed to the establishment of such cities.

Trump has issued an executive order that directed the government to prevent sanctuary cities from receiving federal funding; nevertheless, many cities have chosen to defy his wishes by keeping an open mind about the immigration situation.

In fact, such threats have created more support for these policies across the country.

The city of San Francisco challenged the executive order in court, and on April 25, a federal judge blocked parts of it, ruling that it was overly vague and likely violated the Tenth and Fifth Amendments.

The phenomenon of sanctuary cities began in 1996 when the 104th U.S. Congress passed Pub. L. 104-208, also known as the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA).

The IIRIRA required local governments to cooperate with the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agency. Despite the IIRIRA, hundreds of urban, suburban, and rural communities ignored the law and adopted so-called “sanctuary policies.”

So what is the deal with Cincinnati? Mayor John Cranley has stated that Cincinnati has been and will continue to be a sanctuary city. An official declaration was made on Jan. 30, 2017.

Cranley has stated he does not believe the city will actually lose funding over this decision.

While local police enforcement will not interfere with federal immigration authorities, they will not check the immigration status of everyone they encounter even is asked.

While Cincinnati identifies as a sanctuary city, Trump has not placed it on the official list. It is a bit unclear exactly how the federal government defines a sanctuary city, as there is no clear legal definition.

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