No Sanctuary for Criminals Act

Original article by Gabe Acosta

In an attempt to crack down on “illegal migrants”, the Trump administration has been working with Congress to pass the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act. The aim of the bill would be to take away some of the powers of municipalities to determine their own laws.

The No Sanctuary for Criminals Act bars ‘sanctuary cities’ that do not cooperate with federal immigration enforcement from receiving many federal grants and leaves them vulnerable to liability lawsuits. – Joe Gilmore, http://www.tucsonsentinel.com

The question of whether Tucson is a Sanctuary City, and whether we would be affected by the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, is up for debate. Right now, there is no universal or legal definition for classifying a Sanctuary City. Broadly speaking, a Sanctuary City does not comply with the federal government to go after undocumented immigrants.

The policy was largely symbolic. City officials didn’t have the power to outright stop the federal government from deporting people in their community. But in the spirit of America’s founding principles as a nation of immigrants, sanctuary cities act as a protective shield, standing in the way of federal efforts to pinpoint and deport people at random. – Amanda Sakuma, http://www.msnbc.com

Some cities stopped sharing information with the federal government about undocumented immigrants, or have refused to cooperate with federal authorities to facilitate mass deportations. To complicate the issue further, the police departments of several cities hold different policies towards dealing with undocumented immigrants and cooperating with the federal government.

If you were to ask the elected officials of Tucson, they will tell you that Tucson is not a Sanctuary City.

At a discussion of the resolution, Mayor Jonathan Rothschild said Tucson is “immigrant welcoming,” but not a “sanctuary city.” He said the term has no definition and is used to inflame passions on both sides…. “The term sanctuary city is being tossed around by those who want to wear it as a badge of honor, and by those who want to use it to demonize cities as unlawful,” Rothschild said. – Whitney Clark, http://www.kgun9.com

We don’t know what [Sanctuary City] means, [Trump] doesn’t know what it means until the Congress acts on it,” said Kozachik. “If he wants to make legislation to outline the standards of what makes a sanctuary city, then we can have that conversation. – Aalia Shaheed, http://www.kvoa.com

While officials do not consider Tucson a Sanctuary City, the city doesn’t turn over victims or witnesses over the federal authorities. Both the city and Tucson police have also refused to participate in the Trump Administration’s mass deportations. In addition, The Center for Immigration Studies defined sanctuary cities as ones that “have been identified by ICE as having a policy that is non-cooperative and obstructs immigration enforcement.” Right now, the only city that fits this definition is South Tucson, although the city has made no statements on whether it considers itself a Sanctuary City.

So, with a murky definition as it is, would Tucson be affected by the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act? Tucson doesn’t believe so.

City Attorney Mike Rankin says he read President Trump’s order, and he does not believe that the city is at risk of losing federal funding. Rankin says Tucson complies with the specific federal statute cited in President Trump’s order, which relates to the sharing of information with federal immigration officials. – Whitney Clark, http://www.kgun9.com

Although this is the case, because of the undefined designation of Sanctuary City, it is hard to determine still if Tucson is one. This will only be resolved once the Trump administration defines which cities are Sanctuary Cities.

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