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What’s a Sanctuary City and How Does it Work?

"Sanctuary City" by Daquella manera is licensed under CC CC0 1.0

Even if you’d never heard of “Sanctuary Cities” prior to this year, the chances are that you’ll be familiar with them now. After all, they’ve come under increased fire as part of the Trump administration, with the President threatening to force immigration officials to transport migrants who arrive at the border to defined Sanctuary Cities.

This is part of Trump’s desire to clamp down on immigration into the States, but there’s no doubt that the approach has left a great deal to be desired.

But what exactly is a Sanctuary City, and why are they being targeted?

What is a Sanctuary City? 

Immigration experts like Withers Worldwide will be able to confirm that “Sanctuary City” is actually a legal term.

By this definition, Congress is willfully stating that a city that prohibits its officials from providing information to federal immigration authorities is violating the law, rather than providing sanctuary to vulnerable individuals who enter the U.S. from overseas.

There are also some jurisdictions that are classed as sanctuaries simply because their jails prohibit employees from asking federal immigration authorities about a prisoner’s immigration standing.

In total, there are more than 300 jurisdictions throughout the U.S. that are currently classed as immigration sanctuaries according to the existing laws. As these entities come under fire, however, there’s a sense that the very fabric of the U.S. is coming under attack.

Why Trump is Wrong to Target Sanctuary Cities 

Trump’s recent outburst has been met with staunch resistance from Sanctuary City authorities, who continue to rail against Trump’s hostile immigration as a whole.

Trump’s attack on these entities is also an affront to American values, especially considering that the nation was built on immigration and the core principles of humanity, compassion and tolerance.

This is what makes the President’s assault so stark and unsettling, as it strikes at the heart of the U.S. rather than a simple body or laws or legislation. It also explains why the fight to ensure that Sanctuary Cities are protected is so important, as this leads to a safer America that also retains a sense of its own identity.

Author:  Neil Buckland is a University of Kansas graduate and has been working in the Digital Industry for 7 years now. Neil loves writing and has been writing content for various publications since graduating in 2012.  When he is not writing, you can find him in the gym, reading or enjoying the occasional online video game challenge.