As the leftest sanctuary movement has continued to spread across the Nation, officials in several communities are starting to take another look at the “sanctuary” label. Many think the government has gotten the intention wrong and fear that their self designation as a haven for illegal immigrants could cost them necessary federal funds under a new directive from President Trump.
One such city is Saratoga, N.Y., which is on one widely circulated list of such cities and wants off it as fast as possible. According to Under-sheriff Richard Castle being on the list didn’t make much difference until President Trump announced that he would crackdown on cities and states that chose not to comply with federal requirements regarding immigration laws.
But now that is quickly changing. Saratoga’s under-sheriff says: “We have no idea how we got on this list,” Castle told reporters. “We notify [immigration officials] all along the way when we arrest someone, and we contact [immigration officials] to verify their status. We are willing to share all our records with immigration [agents], and if we have a suspected violation we will notify them.”
The list of sanctuary communities was compiled by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), in Washington, D.C. The organization, like most Americans favors strict immigration policies. An analyst for the group, Jessica Vaughan, put the list together, using information from Homeland Security, and other sources including statements from interviews of local government administrators.
Vaughan said she selected cities placed on the list, using their own words and actions. “I look at whether they have a policy that blocks ICE access to jails.” “Do they have a policy that blocks officers from communicating with ICE? I may ask them to give me a statement.” Then she checks the responses with ICE, before they are added to the list.
Apparently, some jurisdictions are placed on the list, because they require ICE to provide a warrant along with a formal request that an illegal immigrant who has been arrested be held in detention until agents can arrive and begin deportation proceedings. Such actions are regarded as placing roadblocks in the way of federal officials trying to do their jobs.
Saratoga officials believe that was how they ended up on the list but defend the requirement as being necessary to protect them from lawsuits. At least according to Commissioner Doug McLinko who said: “I’m appalled that we’re tagged as a sanctuary, we’re completely the opposite of that,” McLinko said. “We are a law and order county.
“The Department of Homeland Security is working to implement the president’s executive orders,” said Gillian Christensen, acting press secretary, in an email. “When we have more information to share about how sanctuary jurisdictions will be determined, we will share that information to everyone.”
Being designated a Sanctuary City or jurisdiction could now have profound effects on the legal population as well. The federal funds will have to be made up some way or services will have to be reduced. No date has as yet been set by the administration for such actions to go into effect.