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  • 26

    Sanctuary Cities, USA
    Immigration; Posted on: 2009-07-30 16:15:48 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
    Disillusion comes only to the illusioned.

    Despite a 1996 federal law [the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act ( IIRIRA )] that requires local governments to cooperate with Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), many large urban cities (and some small) have adopted so-called "sanctuary policies."  Generally, sanctuary policies instruct city employees not to notify the federal government of the presence of illegal aliens living in their communities. The policies also end the distinction between legal and illegal immigration--so illegal aliens often benefit from city services too.

    A formal sanctuary policy is a written policy that may have been passed by a local government body in the form of a resolution, ordinance, or administrative action--general or special orders, or departmental policies.  Formal sanctuary cities are the easiest to identify because they put their sanctuary policies in writing, which become subject to public records requests. The Governor of Maine instituted an Executive Order entitled "An Order Concerning Access to State Services By All Entitled Maine Residents," in 2004.  The Order limits state employee ability to report the presence of illegal aliens, which some people claim has resulted in many illegal aliens coming to Maine seeking public benefits and valid Maine drivers licenses which can be used to drive in other states.


    Why do public officials pass sanctuary laws or establish unwritten "don't ask--don't tell" policies?  There are a variety of reasons.  Some politicians attempt to appease illegal immigration support groups who lobby local governments to implement formal or informal sanctuary policies. Other reasons include political contributions and support at election time; complacency, ignorance, or "don't care" attitudes; and purposeful resistance to existing US immigration law based upon an open-border political philosophy that may serve their economic, political, or ethnocentric interests.  


    News Source: ojpac.org

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