The Cost of Sanctuary Cities

Published on November 30th, 2007

By Rick Oltman, Senior Writing Fellow

With many American cities now declaring themselves so-called sanctuaries for illegal aliens it is time to examine this phenomenon and highlight its costs and predict where it will eventually lead.

“Sanctuary City” with regard to illegal immigration is a generic term that is used haphazardly and carelessly by elected officials, usually without input or approval from the citizens, to declare that the city will not support federal law enforcement officers in the enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws.  In some cases it means that the city government will be breaking federal law by assisting illegal aliens to evade apprehension by the feds.  And, for the record:  The 1996 IIRIRA (Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996) confirms that local police can enforce federal immigration laws and makes it illegal for a mayor or police chief to prevent their officers from contacting immigration officials about a person’s immigration status.

But let’s be honest, while the pro-mass immigration and illegal alien supporters are trying to turn this issue into a modern civil rights movement (MLK, Jr. and Caesar Chavez must be spinning in their respective graves) most of what drives the current sanctuary movement is…sanctimony.  And that sanctimony has a cost to the community, its citizens and by extension to the nation.

One cost we thankfully won’t pay is the murder of soldiers in New Jersey by the Ft. Dix Radical Islamic Terror Cell who benefited by the sanctimony, excuse me, sanctuary cities who did not report them to the feds even one of the 19 times they could have.  No, the city didn’t help catch them, an alert store clerk tipped off the feds that led to their capture.

Sanctuary cities attract illegal aliens and the criminal aliens who know they can hide out in the alien communities with much less of a chance of detection and apprehension.  It is obvious to everyone except, it seems, the city officials who must be so blinded by sanctimony that they don’t see the cause and effect of calling their city a sanctuary.

This Sanctuary City movement provides us with a great experiment that we could never hope or want to set up as a test.  But, since they do exist, they can provide us important data.  Obviously they attract more illegal aliens and population increases. 

Other question we can ask:

  • Which city has more crime, including violent alien gangs, sanctuary cities or cities that enforce the law, all laws including immigration laws? 
  • Which city has better schools and higher student test scores? 
  • Which city’s emergency rooms are flooded with non-paying illegal aliens and which city reports more exotic diseases to the Center for Disease Control?
  • Which city suffers from overpopulation with the attending urban blight, higher taxes, middle class flight and the ultimate erosion of the tax base?
  • Which cities serve as hideouts for murdering terrorists who know they can rely on the sanctimony of local elected officials to look that other way while they plan their murderous acts?

No sane person would want to subject citizens to such an experiment because the results are so predictably terrible.  But, thoughtless city officials are now sentencing their constituents with overcrowding, crime and disease, so let’s learn what we can.   

There is a bright side.  Cities that do want to their populations to obey the law, including immigration laws, will be helped out, because the illegal aliens who decide to leave will have a place to go; Sanctuary Cities.  Let’s have a website, www.sanctuarycities.com that lists them so the illegal aliens know where to move.

So, the Great Sanctuary City Experiment has begun.  First, let us observe a moment of silence for the law abiding citizens who will see their city and their quality of life decline.  And, let’s hope they will rise up and hold their city officials accountable. Next, let’s collect the data on crime, schools, healthcare and overpopulation and use it as a warning and a window to the future if the current immigration anarchy continues.

There is an obvious cost to be paid for declaring your city a sanctuary, but in the end what is it exactly that you have paid for?  A Sanctimony City

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