Begun under President Obama, 3 Sanctuaries added per month during his two terms
Texas Insider Report: WASHINGTON, D.C. — Entire states such as California, Illinois & New York now call themselves “Sanctuary States,” as do many major cities and counties across the United States. And according to one count, about half of all Americans now live under sanctuary policies that shield illegal immigrants from law enforcement.
“This is just an astounding and a dramatic surge of sanctuary jurisdictions,” said Bob Dane, the executive director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
“They’ve doubled in just two years, and if the exponential growth continues, it’s not going to be long before it’s accurate to say that the U.S. is a sanctuary country.”
According to its latest tally, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) counts 564 States and/or Municipalities that are refusing to cooperate with Federal Immigration Authorities as of April 1st, 2018 — which the organization says is up more than 200 since President Trump took office, and more than 500 when compared to a decade ago.
The organization scoured local government policies, analyzed press reports, and used ICE’s own set of reports last year listing jurisdictions that refused to honor “detainer” requests to hold illegal immigrants.
While there is no official definition of sanctuaries, FAIR counted any jurisdiction that bans police or other officials from asking about immigration status, forbids communication with U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement, or refuses to hold likely deportees for pickup by ICE.
The Washington Times estimates, based upon FAIR’s most recent report that was released last Thursday, that the combined sanctuary entities on FAIR’s list cover 49% of the country’s population.
Just 40 Sanctuaries when President Obama took Office
The surge in sanctuaries began under Mr. Obama, with an average of three sanctuaries per month added during his two terms, according to FAIR statistics. Mr. Trump, meanwhile, is seeing an average of 16 new sanctuaries each month.
California looms large on the list. More than 130 of the sanctuaries are in the state — including more than 80 that are new additions to the list, reflecting the anti-Trump sentiment of the West Coast.
Some other jurisdictions embrace the sanctuary label, such as the District of Columbia, where Mayor Muriel Bowser says the city is proud of the work it does to shield illegal immigrants.
Mr. Dane, FAIR’s Executive Director, said that while it is generally Democratic politicians who have defended sanctuaries, it’s up to Mr. Trump to find a way to stop them — haranguing Congress to pass legislation punishing sanctuaries, or sending even more deportation officers into sanctuaries to go after illegal immigrants.
“Trump owns this problem. The buck stops on the president’s desk, even though it’s not his fault,” Dane said.
ICE officials say a single deportation officer sitting in a jail and checking the names of detainees could identify and interview perhaps 10 deportable migrants each day. But without access to jails, ICE has been forced to send entire teams into the field to track down each person — a process involving time-consuming stakeouts, and the danger of an encounter in the community.
While the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to crack down on sanctuary cities in 2017, the Senate was unable to clear a Democratic filibuster earlier in 2018 when Senate Leader Mitch McConnell brought the issue for debate.
Just four Democrats joined Republicans in voting to crack down on sanctuary entities — leaving them six votes shy of the 60-vote threshold to end the filibuster.
Source: Texas Politics