The City Council of Newton, Massachusetts is considering a sanctuary city ordinance this month. Newton’s city paper The Heights characterized the move as a protest against the election of President Donald Trump and said, “Through these proclamations, the cities cement their commitment to protecting their undocumented immigrant populations, promising that immigrants in violation of federal immigration laws will not only avoid prosecution in the city, but also have continued access to city amenities regardless of their status.”
That may sound very generous, but it’s actually the height of hypocrisy. Newton has virtually no illegal alien population. It is a bedroom community located about 10 miles from downtown Boston. It has a population of about 90,000 people and a median household income of approximately $160,000 per year. That’s over two and a half times the national median, which stands at roughly $60,000. According to real estate websites Zillow and Trulia, the median home value in Newton is just shy of $1 million. Roughly 80% of the population has a college degree and the Newton public schools report only 46 limited English proficiency students. In terms of wealth, education and privilege, it is about as far from Lynn and Lowell, the working-class immigrant towns on the other side of Boston, as one can possibly get.
Therefore, it’s pretty safe to say that Newton isn’t awash in huddled masses of the tired and poor, yearning to breathe free. Unless, of course, you count exiled foreign political leaders such as Benigno Aquino of the Philippines and Nguyen Van Thieu of South Vietnam – both of whom took up residence in Newton once they came to the U.S.
Newton does have a relatively large foreign-born cohort that constitutes roughly 22% of the city’s total population. But Newton’s immigrants are nothing like the typical illegal alien populations in the gritty industrial towns nearby. They are wealthy and lawfully present in the United States. In fact, to the extent that there are any illegal aliens in Newton at all, they’re likely to be F-1 students who dropped out of Harvard or MIT and now stand in violation of the terms of their visa.
The typical – and fundamentally flawed – rationale for sanctuary city policies is that alien victims of crime will be more likely to cooperate with local police if they’re assured they won’t be turned in to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. And it is most often advanced by municipalities that have large immigrant communities and pervasive crime problems. But the Newton Police only make about 882 criminal arrests per year. Given the median home prices and average income in Newton, it is highly unlikely that many of the individuals arrested in the city are illegal alien townies who might lose access to city amenities.
Putting aside the fact that sanctuary policies are dangerous and illegal, why would Newton need one? Apparently, the open borders lobby is great at vociferously demonstrating the courage of its convictions when there is absolutely nothing at stake. Meanwhile, when some illegal aliens finally move to Newton, the police will be happy not to share that fact with the immigration authorities, even if they are criminals. Hopefully none of them will be like Francisco Sanchez, the five-times deported illegal alien who killed Kate Steinle after San Francisco refused to transfer him to ICE custody.