You could say a sanctuary city is one that doesn’t see eye to eye with President Trump’s initiatives to capture and deport illegal immigrants, but we wouldn’t go as far as identifying these places as those that hideout illegal aliens. Sanctuary cities serve as a “safer” place for immigrants to live as law enforcement officers aren’t always questioning a person’s immigration status or sharing immigration information with CBP or ICE.
Sanctuary cities, despite the decline in number since President Trump has taken office, aim to protect their undocumented immigrants. These areas have policies in place that may prevent an officer from doing things like asking a person to provide him/her with papers (i.e. green card or visa). However, because the Trump administration is adamant about bringing all cities in the U.S. on board with its view on how immigration law should be exercised, the government has continued its efforts in trying to get more cities to drop the term “sanctuary.”
Trump Administration Continues its Efforts to Crack Down on Sanctuary Cities
The Washington Post reported on February 11, 2020, that the Justice Department is suing two “sanctuary” jurisdictions over policies [that are] considered to be “overly friendly to those in the country unlawfully.” In one of the complaints that were filed in federal court, “the Justice Department sought to block a New Jersey policy that limits how state and local authorities can share information with federal immigration officials.” In the other complaint, the Justice Department is looking to “stop a King County, Washington directive that prevents immigration authorities from using an international airport there for deportations.”
Attorney General William P. Barr was the first to announce the lawsuits during a speech he gave to the National Sheriff’s Association. Barr referred to the lawsuits as “a significant escalation in the federal government’ efforts to confront the resistance of ‘sanctuary cities.’” Barr also stated that the policies in these places are “unlawful” and “make no sense.” Aside from highlighting some of Barr and other lawmakers’ views of sanctuary city policies, the news source also shed light on how the opposing side felt about the lawsuits.
King County Executive Dow Constantine issued a statement saying, “It is no surprise that Trump and Barr are bullying King County for being a welcoming community that respects the rights of all people. Our ordinances rightly require that King County facilitate immigration enforcement directives only when accompanied by a valid court order… We look forward to our day in court.”
Although the lawsuits have been filed, that doesn’t mean any action will be taken anytime soon. In fact, there have been several suits that have been filed that target sanctuary cities, although many are held up in court.
While the Trump administration continues its efforts to locate and deport undocumented immigrants, anyone who is living in the U.S. illegally should consider hiring an immigration lawyernearby to them who can help change their status. If you have family in the U.S., a steady job, etc., it is imperative that you do not let anything interfere with your life and livelihood.