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More than 200 cities, counties and states across the United States are considered sanctuary cities. These state and local jurisdictions have policies, laws, executive orders, or regulations allowing, and in some cases requiring, local law enforcement to avoid cooperating with federal immigration law enforcement authorities.

These “cities” ignore federal law authorizing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to administratively deport illegal aliens without seeking criminal warrants or convictions from federal, state, or local courts. Although federal law requires the cooperation, the Department of Justice has never sued or taken any measure, including denying federal funds, against a jurisdiction. On the contrary, the present administration has made it difficult for the states and localities which choose to aid in enforcing immigration laws. Federal law was labelled voluntary by the administration in a November 2014 policy memorandum signed by the Homeland Security Secretary.

In July 2015, the Obama Administration announced that it was ending its Secure Communities Program that had ICE agents detaining illegal aliens at state and local jails and replaced it with the Priority Enforcement Program that protects nearly all illegal aliens held in state and local jails from removal.

Map created by Center for Immigration Studies


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