Do sanctuary cities make America less safe?
via AP

Do sanctuary cities make America less safe?

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A federal judge recently ruled against President Trump in a Philadelphia sanctuary city case, claiming the Trump administration violated "statutory and constitutional law." Attorney General Jeff Sessions has repeatedly threatened sanctuaries, claiming they are unsafe and create locales where crimes go unpunished. But political scientists say the opposite is true. Sanctuary cities actually see lower crime rates because marginalized communities feel more comfortable approaching law enforcement. What do you think? 🤔

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A federal judge ruled against the Trump administration in the Philidelphia sanctuary city case, stating the Trump administration cannot cut off grants to the city over its immigration policies.

U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson said in his ruling that the conditions the federal government placed on the city in order to receive the funding are unconstitutional, "arbitrary and capricious." He also wrote that Philadelphia's policies are reasonable and appropriate.

The judge also stated the administration's arguments against sanctuary cities were "inaccurate" and "do just justify" their attempt to withhold public safety funds.

"The public statements of President (Donald) Trump and Attorney General (Jeff) Sessions, asserting that immigrants commit more crimes than native-born citizens, are inaccurate as applied to Philadelphia, and do not justify the imposition of these three conditions," Baylson wrote.

Sanctuary cities have long been a point of political contention, with critics claiming they do nothing more than provide shelter for criminals and endanger law-abiding Americans. Rich Lowry argues in the National Review that beyond being unsafe, sanctuary cities are inherently unlawful.

Through the years, the Left has created dozens upon dozens of so-called sanctuary cities devoted to frustrating federal immigration enforcement.
San Francisco has long been a sanctuary city that doesn’t honor so-called federal detainers (i.e., notices that Immigration and Customs Enforcement wants to take custody of an illegal immigrant upon release from jail). It is a policy of calculated irresponsibility meant to create a zone of lawlessness.

Lowry argues that at the very least, undocumented individuals who have gone to jail should not be allowed to remain in the United States.

The immigration debate is famously fraught. Maybe we can’t agree on building a fence. Maybe we can’t agree on a pathway to citizenship. But surely we can agree that illegal aliens who have landed in jail should be deported?

But the data surrounding sanctuary cities paints a very different picture. Christopher Ingraham argues in the Washington Post that sanctuary cities actually make communities safer.

An analysis of FBI crime data by Tom Wong, a professor of political science at the University of California at San Diego, finds that counties designated as “sanctuary” areas by ICE typically experience significantly lower rates of all types of crime, including lower homicide rates, than comparable non-sanctuary counties.

The research indicates sanctuary cities may lead to a reduction in the crime rate because undocumented immigrants feel safer going to law enforcement without fear of deportation.

Wong says more research needs to be done to determine whether a causal effect is at work here. But he said he suspects that, by becoming a sanctuary area and refusing to involve local authorities in deportation matters, a city or county may actually make itself safer. If immigrants who came to the United States illegally fear working with police will lead to deportation, they're less likely to report crimes and assist with investigations.
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