WHAT: Sanctuary cities refuse to cooperate with lawful Federal immigration enforcement efforts, endangering both communities and law enforcement.

The term “sanctuary cities” generally refers to jurisdictions that refuse to cooperate with lawful Federal immigration enforcement efforts, often by rejecting immigration “detainer” requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  When local law enforcement arrests an illegal alien on criminal charges, ICE issues a detainer, which is a request that the local authority notify ICE before releasing the alien and maintain custody for a short time so that ICE may take custody for removal purposes.  Sanctuary jurisdictions, including many big cities, refuse to comply with ICE’s detainer requests.

WHY:  Sanctuary city policies cause dangerous criminal aliens to be released into our communities, putting innocent lives are put at risk.

Sanctuary cities are preventing Federal authorities from locating and arresting dangerous criminal aliens and removing them from our country.  Sanctuary policies in California have allowed the release of numerous criminal aliens charged with serious crimes who could continue to harm communities.  For example:

  • An alleged gang member was arrested by the San Francisco Police Department more than ten times between 2013 and 2017 for charges including rape, domestic battery, and assault.  Each time, San Francisco denied ICE’s request that the individual be transferred to ICE custody or that ICE be notified before release.
  • In February 2018, ICE arrested an illegal alien who had been convicted last year of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14, but sentenced to only 180 days in jail.
  • In another case, Sonoma County, California alerted ICE only 24 minutes before releasing an illegal alien charged with inflicting corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant.  As a result, ICE was not able to arrest the alien, who was arrested again a few weeks later as a suspect in the murder of his alleged girlfriend.

When sanctuary city officials refuse to honor ICE detainer requests, they are putting the public and law enforcement officers at risk.  If ICE cannot arrest illegal or criminal aliens in the controlled environments of police stations or jails, it must perform its lawful immigration enforcement duties in workplaces, in residences, or in the streets.  Even worse, when sanctuary city officials warn illegal aliens about possible upcoming immigration enforcement activities, they allow criminals to prepare themselves, endangering innocent bystanders and putting law enforcement at greater risk.