Friday, November 9, 2007

Sanctuary Cities Under Fire

As the Iowa primaries near closer, Republican presidential candidates are engaging in heated debates over immigration. Of particular note, the candidates are attacking sanctuary city policies arguing that federal funding should be denied to any cities with sanctuary policies in place.

In addition, state and federal lawmakers are proposing crackdowns on sanctuary cities. Measures to adopt anti-sanctuary laws are pending in Michigan, New Jersey, and Wisconsin. The Florida legislature has introduced an anti-sanctuary measure last month, and Colorado passed an anti-sanctuary law last year. These policies would require local police to enforce federal immigration law, and encite fear in many immigrants to not seek police protection.

These anti-sanctuary policies would make enforcing immigration law a local and state priority, which is and remains a federal responsibility. Having immigrants fear local police would undermine local enforcement and community safety.

As Detroit City Council President Ken Cockrel Jr. said, "I want Detroit police officers out there catching people who are stealing cars and mugging old ladies, not asking people for their passports."

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