Sanctuary Cities – if it Walks Like a Duck…

They say the first stage for survivors of someone who has died is denial. Predictably, in the aftermath of Kathryn Steinle’s murder at the hands of a previously deported illegal alien released because of San Francisco’s lax policies, politicians nationwide are scrambling to deny why their particular jurisdictions don’t fit neatly into the definition of a “sanctuary city,” despite the fact they all are.

Not that they’re mourning for Kathryn Steinle; they’re simply trying to weasel out of responsibility for what has become a dangerous public policy and an increasingly toxic label for cities.

No single definition exists. Rather, sanctuary cities are loosely defined as municipalities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration law enforcement efforts and/or extend various benefits to illegal aliens, thus creating a welcoming environment. Policies fall into two categories. A “don’t ask” ordinance prohibits city workers from asking about a person’s immigration status. A “don’t tell” policy prevents them from reporting a suspected illegal alien to immigration enforcement officials.

Golden_Fog,_San_FranciscoSome jurisdictions have sanctuary policies detailed in bills, ordinances or resolutions publicly available for review. Many, however, simply have longstanding police department practices of ignoring immigration status.

However, it’s not what they’re called or how city leaders choose to self-describe them that matter, it’s the policies they engage in that define them. If local police elect not to inquire or act on immigration status at any point in the booking process or overtly ignore ICE detainers, they’re a sanctuary jurisdiction.

If the Administration, Congress and the courts had the will to stop them it could through the force of law – sanctuary policies are prohibited by Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act in 1996 – or by the power of the purse by withholding federal funds. But the growth of sanctuary policies is driven by a top down example. The Obama Administration has neglected to secure the borders, dismantled most interior enforcement, granted backdoor amnesty to thousands of illegal aliens and released criminal aliens back onto the streets. The message has been sent; violating immigration laws is inconsequential so instead of trying to pick up the slack, San Francisco and hundreds of other jurisdictions across the country are just following Obama’s example.

Sanctuary city policies need to be reversed one-by-one, but come to think of it, we might now have a bigger problem:

The whole country is a sanctuary for illegal aliens.

avatar About Bob Dane

Bob has been with FAIR since 2006 serving as the organization's Press Secretary and Communications Director. His deep belief is that immigration is the most transformational determinant of where we are heading as a nation and that our policies must be reformed in the public interest. Over many years on thousands of radio, TV and print interviews, Bob has made the case that unless immigration is regulated and sensibly reduced, it will be difficult for America to reduce unemployment, increase wages, improve health care and education and heighten national security. Prior to joining FAIR, Bob spent twenty years in network radio, marketing and communications after an earlier career in policy and budgeting within the Reagan Administration. Bob has a degree from George Mason University in Public Administration and Management.


  1. avatar atina says:

    Why don’t we start boycotting these sanctuary cities. starting with San Francisco!

    • avatar rulken says:

      That’s exactly what we need to do, but even more effective will be congress cutting off funds to any and all of them, if they don’t comply with the law!

  2. avatar Willy says:

    Barako hates our America, and is Socializing this Country to his shadow Government ! Obama is a Dictator !

    • avatar rulken says:

      I knew this even before he was sworn in as the president(Usurper) of the USA! I am ashamed that the voting public is so lazy that they didn’t research him prior to voting for him! Come on! Research is as easy as “googling” someone’s name.

  3. avatar joe says:

    We need to replace all 535 of the worthless politicians

    • avatar rulken says:

      That’s why Donald Trump is riding so high in the poles these days! “We the People” are sick to death of the “professional Politician” who is only out to fill their own pockets, and the pockets of their special interest groups, and Lobbyist! Donald may not be the most eloquent speaker, but he is the most truthful, and forthcoming and that’s what “we the people” want! We have had it with the professional politicians!

  4. avatar Patricia McGehee says:

    Americans have become the faceless, nameless, voiceless citizens of America. The only time we are noticed is, when politicians need our vote to remain on their throne, or when they need tax money for programs useless to the working American. To be noticed in our own country we would have to be an ILLEGAL, LATINO, MUSLIM, SOCIALIST OR COMMUNIST.

  5. avatar LauraG. says:

    Bob, thank you for saying,”The whole country is sanctuary for illegal aliens”. That has been my sentiments exactly. The resently released crime statistics committed by illegals backs-up that statement 100%. This and so many other issues, are all in the Cloward-Piven handbook. Overload and burden the system… How do you boil a frog? A little at a time! They’re adding a pinch of Alensky and a dash of Marx to inhance the flavor.

    • avatar r.ryan says:

      What you mean is the local business community works behind the scene to put pressure on their politicians to ease up on the ” immigrants”,so as to keep flooding the labor market with cheap wages…..

  6. avatar Bruce says:

    Thank you to “The Donald” for having the guts to confront the political class on their spineless inaction. He ain’t smooth but he is effective.

    • avatar rulken says:

      Yes! And the MSM. continues to ignore him like a plaque! The “Establishment” is scared to death that he will continue to surge ahead and dominate both parties! They are all assuming that “we the people”, will reject the coarseness, of his comments, and side with the more establish politicians. Guess what ? As usual, they are dead wrong! “We the people” love you donald! Keep it up!

  7. avatar Lea Tomassone says:

    Our country is a disgrace, these politicians don’t have the balls to enforce our laws. Their so afraid of losing a vote.

    • Can you say TERM LIMITS??? Let’s put an END to career politicians before they put an end to US!

      • avatar LauraG. says:

        Absolutely Frank! That and so much more needs to be overhauled and replaced with common sense. They should budget the books just like we have to budget ours. A fair and balanced tax code, their pay-checks should be averaged according to the public employment pay scale, sign them up for ObamaCare, Constitutionality test must be taken and passed before they hold any public seat or even have their name on a ballot,etc etc. The pork spending and free for all must stop!

  8. Immigration Mess

    Laws were created for order…we’ve morphed into amnesty chaos.

  9. avatar Kyle says:

    The scum that resides in the Peoples House, along with his useless administration and our spineless Congress & Judiciary that perpetuate this insanity should all be incarcerated, period!