Defying Trump: Dozens of Jurisdictions Adopt ‘Sanctuary’ Policies

Published on March 15th, 2017

Brendan Kirby
March 15, 2017

At least 40 localities have implemented anti-enforcement policies since White House immigration order

The election of immigration hard-liner President Donald Trump appears to have generated an increase in “sanctuary” jurisdictions — at least temporarily.

The Ohio Jobs and Justice PAC on Tuesday updated a running list of sanctuary jurisdictions. Since Trump issued his executive order in January reformulating immigration policy and targeting sanctuary jurisdictions, about 40 cities and counties have adopted illegal immigrant-friendly policies. A handful of jurisdictions — most prominently, Miami-Dade County — have moved to scrap sanctuary polices.

“The trend is, I think, until he actually starts putting the squeeze to them, I suspect I’ll be adding more to the list every week.”

“The trend is, I think, until he actually starts putting the squeeze to them, I suspect I’ll be adding more to the list every week,” said Ohio Jobs and Justice PAC founder Steve Salvi, who has been tracking sanctuary cities since 2006. “The bigger cities are doubling down, and it’s really become a hot political issue. It’s really about the next election.”

Salvi uses a much broader definition of sanctuary cities than other organizations. He includes jurisdictions that express sentiment in favor of illegal immigrants even if they are not attached to actual policy, and governments that have been identified in news reports as “informal” sanctuary jurisdictions. He said that is valid because it identifies governments that are likely to take concrete action in the near future


At the same time, Salvi said, he does not include some cities listed in a report by the Center for Immigration Studies tracking jurisdictions that turn down requests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities to hold illegal immigrants targeted for deportation. Absent some other indication of adopting a sanctuary policy, he said, he did not include places that had rejected only one detainer.

Trump’s executive order instructed the Department of Homeland Security to identify funding sources that could be cut off to cities and counties that refuse to cooperate with ICE. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly followed that up last month with specific guidance on the issue.

A report last week by the liberal-leaning Center for American Progress suggested that sanctuary jurisdictions risk losing a combined $870 million in federal funding from five major programs.

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