WHAT IT IS
- The Trump administration has threatened to defund sanctuary cities in an executive order signed in late January.
- Sanctuary cities: communities that refuse to work with immigration and customs enforcement officials in detaining illegal immigrants.
WHY IT MATTERS
It does… Grant money from the federal government goes toward innovative programs in the criminal justice field, including an initiative in San Francisco to help young adults facing charges or who have been convicted pull their lives together. Defunding cities based on this issue could worsen crime or defund policy initiatives.
It doesn’t… “Yes California” has claimed California could survive without federal funding. If the state became its own nation, Californians would keep federal tax money in the state. Those tax dollars could increase California’s budget immensely considering the state has paid more in federal taxes than it has received in federal payouts every year since 1995.
WHERE WE ARE NOW
- Sanctuary cities are remaining firmly against President Trump’s order.
- Seattle, WA filed a lawsuit against the order.
- Lansing, MI declared itself a sanctuary city in April.
- April 25, 2017: Judge in San Francisco temporarily blocked President Trump’s order, writing that President Trump had overstepped his powers.
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
- There’s no legal definition of sanctuary cities, so how will the government discern which cities qualify as sanctuaries?
- Will defunding these cities reduce police forces who keep cities safe?
- Cities like Chicago have different laws regarding reporting illegal immigrants to the federal government – Will other cities adopt similar policies?