U.S. Law Center

A look at sanctuary cities and how they benefit the undocumented

The topic of immigration continues to heat up around the country and many residents of California are anxious to see what kind of policies the incoming federal administration will adopt in 2017. During the course of many conversations, people may have heard the term "sanctuary city" but are unsure what it is referring to.

According to the Economist, when people say sanctuary city they are referring to a jurisdiction that affords protections to undocumented immigrants. Because these towns and cities want those people to still seek out things like education and protection from the police, they enact policies such as not inquiring about person's immigration status and not using federal money for the purposes of enforcing immigration laws.

While President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to deny federal funding to municipalities that claim to be sanctuary cities, some question whether that is actually feasible. Many large cities across the country identify themselves as sanctuary cities, as do some larger jurisdictions, including the state of California.

In fact, some residents of Orange County may now enjoy sanctuary status on a local level reports Fox 11. A resolution was recently passed unanimously by the council of Santa Ana that states that police officers should not use a person's immigration status as a basis to target them for a crime and that no money will be spent on enforcing federal immigration laws. Santa Ana is the first jurisdiction in Orange County to pass such a resolution. While a resolution is not the same things as a law, council members did express a willingness to consider making it one.

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