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
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