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JLeslie's avatar

Are sanctuary cities breaking federal law?

Asked by JLeslie (59822points) September 3rd, 2015 from iPhone

The term sanctuary cities was thrown around a lot in the last 2 months in America. From what I understand it means cities that don’t deport illegal immigrants. I don’t really understand it completely. I thought federal law was the fed/ICE was responsible for dealing with illegal immigrants. Are ICE agents not allowed in those cities? I can’t imagine that is the case. Are local authorities required by federal law to report suspicion of illegal immigrants being there?

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5 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

This is a matter that I’m surprised has yet to be tackled in the Federal courts. The question is about the extent to which local authorities are required to cooperate with Federal agencies in running down crimes which most Americans don’t realize are actually MISDEMEANORS. The Federal government could easily drag local and state agencies into Federal courts behind this, but are clearly reluctant to do so. And I believe their hesitancy in doing so prudent beyond the usual “wisdom” one would expect.

ibstubro's avatar

Sanctuary cities generally applies to cities that do not allow municipal funds or resources to be used to enforce federal immigration laws, usually by not allowing police or municipal employees to inquire about an individual’s immigration status.

I believe they are usually cities with a large immigrant population that they do not wish to alienate.

JLeslie's avatar

I thought most cities in the US don’t have local law enforcement ask immigration status, except in the case of criminal conviction. Isn’t that why AZ actually made a law that they were going to do it?

ibstubro's avatar

Illegal immigrants are violating federal law. Anyone stopped by police can legally be questioned about their immigration status for that very reason. Some cities and states embrace that as a way to reduce immigration.

My question would be, what’s the difference between asking about immigration status and racial profiling? There is none, unless a city or state requires that everyone questioned by police be required to prove legal immigration status.

But, on the other hand, possessing state documentation of legal status (say the state requires proof of legal status to be issued a driver’s license or ID) exempts a huge portion of the population. So you could argue that asking anyone lacking proper ID is proper enforcement of federal law.

Are you getting an idea of what a mess it is? It’s the age old debate over who holds the reins where federal, state and local laws overlap.

JLeslie's avatar

I’ve always maintained local
police should not be questioning people about their legal status. I don’t think that should come into play until after a conviction.

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