A broad majority of Americans do not believe that cities should be going rouge and providing ‘sanctuary’ to illegal immigrants in defiance of federal laws.
A poll conducted by Harvard-Harris and provided to The Hill found that 80 percent of Americans believe that local law enforcement should be required to turn over illegal immigrants they arrest to the federal government so they can be deported.
The survey indicates widespread support for President Donald Trump’s directive to federal agencies to cut off funding for sanctuary cities across America, except when the money is for crime fighting.
‘There is overwhelming opposition to sanctuary cities,’ Harvard–Harris co-director Mark Penn told The Hill. ‘The public wants honest immigrants treated fairly and those who commit crimes deported and that’s very clear from the data.’
A Jan. 25 executive order says that moving forward, ‘(sanctuary jurisdictions) are not eligible to receive Federal grants, except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes.’
‘Sanctuary jurisdictions across the United States willfully violate Federal law in an attempt to shield aliens from removal from the United States,’ the Trump order states. ‘These jurisdictions have caused immeasurable harm to the American people and to the very fabric of our Republic. ‘
Conservatives have been on the warpath with sanctuary cities since the July 2015, accidental death of San Francisco resident Kate Steinle, who was struck by a bullet that came from a gun shot by an illegal immigrant.
San Francisco is suing Trump over the executive order it says it is unconstitutional.
The city receives a billion in federal funds annually, the San Francisco Chronicle says.
A Reuters analysis found that Trump’s order could cut an estimated $2.27 billion in funding for the 10 largest sanctuary cities, including $460 million for pre-K education.
Some large cities shield illegal immigrants but do not call themselves sanctuary cities such as Salt Lake City, San Diego, Los Angeles and Boston.
However, Trump’s order says that the secretary of Homeland Security gets to decide.
‘The Secretary has the authority to designate, in his discretion and to the extent consistent with law, a jurisdiction as a sanctuary jurisdiction.
The Immigrant Legal Resource Center says at least 39 cities provide some form of sanctuary protection.
Boston, for instance, does not define itself a sanctuary city. Yet, it does not detain illegal immigrants based on their citizenship status alone. Detainees must have committed some other other crime that led to a warrant.
Mayor Marty Walsh told illegal immigrants that he’d house them in City Hall if he had to, when Trump’s order came down.
The city of Baltimore does not call itself a sanctuary city, either. It cannot officially be one because the state controls its jails. Still, police officers and government officials have been directed not to ask about immigration status.
Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski told Latino leaders at the end of January that immigrants would always be ‘safe’ in her city even though it doesn’t ‘technically’ provide sanctuary.
‘We are doing everything that a sanctuary city is doing,’ she said, according to KUTV as she reassured illegal residents they wouldn’t have to leave.
Her city receives $24 million in federal funding, the news network stated.
Fearful for their county’s own federal funds, Miami-Dade commissioners voted this past Friday to comply with federal immigration laws, ending sanctuary in the Florida country with a large immigrant population.
In the Harvard-Harris poll, 75 percent of respondents said they were in favor of ICE hiring more border patrol agents, another mandate of Trump’s.
But 53 percent said they did not think the United States should build a border wall, causing 48 percent of voters to disapprove of the immigration order Trump signed addressing both issues, plus the sanctuary cities.
The poll was published the same day Trump issued a new immigration memo clarifying his earlier ones that lays the groundwork for mass deportations.
Trump has directed DHS to prioritize the deportation of criminals. But the White House acknowledged Monday that any illegal resident could be deported at any time for any reason.
‘Everybody who is here illegally is subject to removal at any time,’ White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said. ‘If you’re in this country in an illegal manner…obviously there’s a provision that could ensure that you be removed.’
He insisted that the goal of the policy was not, in fact, mass deportation. Rather, it codified a system of prioritization.