Your Guide To American Sanctuary Cities

American sanctuary cities are communities where local authorities do not cooperate with federal immigration agents. Those who support them believe they help keep people safe and reduce crime.

In the US, these policies are not legally defined, but they have gained a lot of attention from politicians and advocacy groups.


Sanctuary cities are places where local law enforcement does not cooperate with federal immigration authorities. They do not ask about the immigration status of people they apprehend for low-level crimes, or refuse to honor detainer requests from federal officials.

These communities typically adopt these policies to protect undocumented immigrants and ensure that they are treated fairly by local law enforcement. They may also do this to promote a more humanistic approach to immigration policy.

The sanctuary movement began in 1971, when Berkeley, California became the first city to adopt a sanctuary resolution. This resolution declared that the city would be a safe place for U.S. Navy sailors who resisted the Vietnam War, but did not answer questions about their immigration status.

Today, many cities and counties have adopted similar policies and call themselves sanctuary cities. These policies differ by city, and vary significantly from one jurisdiction to another.


American sanctuary cities have long been praised by the human rights community for their willingness to uphold the United States’s fundamental values. These values include compassion, respect for human dignity, and the right to be safe.

A city is considered a sanctuary city when it refuses to cooperate with immigration enforcement, regardless of the person’s citizenship status. The policy is intended to help undocumented immigrants feel comfortable talking to police about suspicious activities, which can be a good way to prevent crime.

Law enforcement officers are most effective when they have the cooperation of the community. Without it, they can’t investigate crimes or stop them in progress.

In fact, studies have shown that sanctuary cities are safer than non-sanctuary cities. For example, they have fewer violent crimes and property crimes. In addition, they have lower levels of poverty. Moreover, they provide better social services and more access to health care. These positive outcomes can benefit both immigrants and the people in their communities.


American sanctuary cities exist in many communities throughout the country, often to protect immigrants from discrimination and violence. But some critics argue that sanctuary policies are harmful to community safety.

This is a dangerous belief to hold, because it fails to recognize the benefits of sanctuary policies. A growing body of social science research shows that immigrant populations are safe, vibrant, and inclusive communities that help make the United States a better place to live.

Several studies have shown that crime rates are lower in sanctuary cities than non-sanctuary cities, but the evidence is mixed. A report from the University of Arizona, for example, found no relationship between sanctuary city policies and violent or property crime rates.

There are also several legal issues that sanctuaries face, including threats from the Trump administration to strip federal funding from them. A San Francisco judge recently blocked the administration’s executive order, which would tie billions in federal funds to immigration enforcement.


Sanctuary cities often have legislation that limits the ability of local law enforcement to help federal authorities enforce immigration laws. These policies typically discourage or prevent officers from joining Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents on raids, and sometimes prohibit ICE officials from entering jails without a court warrant.

Some states have enacted laws that prohibit sanctuary cities or counties from receiving federal grants. In addition, a number of federal programs have access to state databases that can be used to share information with local law enforcement.

For example, Medicaid and student visas are shared between state and federal agencies, which can be used to share information about a person’s immigration status. But localities can still prohibit employees from asking about an individual’s immigration status, or from sharing their own information with federal authorities. This is a violation of Section 1373 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which bans policies that restrict information-sharing with federal authorities.