Republicans Target Sanctuary Cities

August 27, 2015 11:44 am
by David Jakeman

The issue of how to address immigration issues is one that divides the United States. On one hand, you have cities like Tucson, Arizona, that have taken a hard line approach on immigration. The city has hit the national headlines more than once for its harsh approach to immigration. If you were an immigrant, you would not want to be in Tucson. Immigration lawyers around the country have noted the restrictive approach of those like Sheriff George Arpaio.

Different Cities, Different Immigration Ideas
But what about other cities that take a different approach? What about police forces that don’t always report those who suspected of being in the country illegally? That has caught the ire of House Republicans, who say such approaches have created de-facto sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants, where they don’t fear deportation in certain cities.

That’s what has the Republicans so angry. As they try to shore up their base in the Republican primaries, and as Donald Trump has made waves with his explosive rhetoric, many Republicans are pushing for a more restrictive approach.

Republican Bill on Immigration Enforcement
A recent bill aims to stop this practice, and it passed the House of Representatives with overwhelming Republican support. The bill would strip funding from cities that refuse to report those detained for alleged criminal offenses to Federal immigration officials. Different cities might be affected, among them New York and San Francisco. Immigration attorneys may recognize the impact of the recent, and heavily politicized, killing of an San Francisco women at the hands of an alleged immigrant living in the city.

Others say the bill has not been thought through completely. They argue that many cities choose to approach immigrant communities in a more humane way in order to maintain trust. The argument goes that police departments would have a hard time engaging with immigrant communities if the communities were under the constant fear for being detained and deported.1

The bill is unlikely to make it past the president’s desk; President Obama has already promised to veto it. But it does speak to the frustration that one side of the aisle feels towards what they believe to be less than stellar immigration enforcement. Immigration attorneys have seen what a controversial topic immigration politics can be. It’s hard to think of many topics that inspire more heated opinions, and it doesn’t look like anything is going to change in that regard.


1 http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/07/23/us-usa-immigration-whitehouse-idUSKCN0PX1OQ20150723

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