Sanctuary Cities in US Swell to 600 Ahead of Potential Funding Cuts, Which Obama Admin Also Proposed
It's no secret that the concept of sanctuary cities — or those that limit their cooperation with federal immigration enforcement — remains highly controversial across the U.S.
For critics, especially those who claim that such policies can be directly linked to the deaths of American citizens, President Trump's vow to put an end to sanctuary cities could not come soon enough.
On the heels of the president's announcement that he would drastically cut federal funding and decrease the number of sanctuary cities, however, a new study has found that Trump's push may have had the opposite effect.
According to the Center for American Progress (CAP), a “policy institute that is dedicated to improving the lives of all Americans, through bold, progressive ideas,” the number of U.S. communities that employ sanctuary policies has grown far beyond previous estimates of about 300.
As CAP writes:
All across the nation, more than 600 cities and counties, as well as a handful of states, have adopted policies that limit the extent of assistance they will provide federal immigration enforcement officers, recognizing that they — rather than the federal government — know what is best for the safety and security of their communities.
According to CAP, these regions, which are defined as “any place that, at the very least, limits the acceptance of Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainers,” stand to lose in excess of $870 million in federal funding.
Combined, these states — which also, coincidentally or not, voted heavily in favor of Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton — stand to lose roughly $520 million in federal funding, the majority of the $870 million national total.
Still, it should be noted that Trump is certainly not the first president to cut a city's funding over sanctuary city policies:
In July of 2016, the Obama Justice Department pulled a similar move, announcing that some sanctuary cities would no longer be eligible to receive federal law enforcement grants.
Rather than see the number of sanctuary cities flourish — as they seemingly have in response to President Trump's election — the number of such areas reportedly dropped to as low as 270 nationwide at the time.
As to how these regions will react to budgets that are, in some cases, suddenly hundreds of millions of dollars short, remains to be seen.