Are Sanctuary Cities Constitutional?

Over the past few years, a growing number of major cities, all run by liberal Democrats, have declared themselves to be sanctuary cities.

What is a sanctuary city?

According to the Center for Immigration Studies:

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“Sanctuary city is a name given to a city in the United States that follows certain procedures that shelters illegal immigrants. These procedures can be by law (de jure) or they can be by action (de facto). The term most commonly is used for cities that do not permit municipal funds or resources to be applied in furtherance of enforcement of federal immigration laws.  These cities normally do not permit police or municipal employees to inquire about one’s immigration status. The designation of Sanctuary City” has no legal meaning.”

According to, here are some of the major sanctuary cities in the US:

New York City, Baltimore, Washington DC, Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis, Miami Dallas, Austin Houston, Denver, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle.

The Center for Immigration Studies lists 4 sanctuary states, and over 200 sanctuary counties and cities. CIS also recognizes the dangers or problems created by the existence of sanctuary cities:

“Sanctuary jurisdictions remain a significant public safety problem throughout the country. About 300 jurisdictions have been identified by ICE as having a policy that is non-cooperative and obstructs immigration enforcement (as of September 2015). The number of cities has remained relatively unchanged since our last update in August 2016, as some new sanctuary jurisdictions have been added and few jurisdictions have reversed their sanctuary policies.”

“Over the 19-month period from January 1, 2014, to September 30, 2015, more than 17,000 detainers were rejected by these jurisdictions. Of these, about 11,800 detainers, or 68 percent, were issued for individuals with a prior criminal history…”

“The Department of Justice’s Inspector General recently found that some of the sanctuary jurisdictions appear to be violating federal law, and may face debarment from certain federal funding or other consequences.”

“The sanctuary jurisdictions are listed below. These cities, counties, and states have laws, ordinances, regulations, resolutions, policies, or other practices that obstruct immigration enforcement and shield criminals from ICE — either by refusing to or prohibiting agencies from complying with ICE detainers, imposing unreasonable conditions on detainer acceptance, denying ICE access to interview incarcerated aliens, or otherwise impeding communication or information exchanges between their personnel and federal immigration officers.”

“A detainer is the primary tool used by ICE to gain custody of criminal aliens for deportation. It is a notice to another law enforcement agency that ICE intends to assume custody of an alien and includes information on the alien’s previous criminal history, immigration violations, and potential threat to public safety or security.”

Note that both immigration websites state sanctuary cities are illegal, violate federal law and pose a significant public safety concern. In response to sanctuary cities, President Trump has started action to block all federal funds designated for locations that are sanctuaries to illegal aliens. His actions are quickly drawing the ire of liberal Democrat who are vowing to fight Trump at every turn on the issue.

Speaking to Sean Hannity of Fox News on Wednesday, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, stated:

“Should places in this country that ignore the laws of this country when it comes to immigration receive federal money into their communities? And the answer to me is no.”

“The point is, if you defy the laws of this country, you shouldn’t receive federal tax payer dollars from the people of this country … in some cases, you have folks that have committed crimes … and in every other jurisdiction, they say ‘OK, you’ve committed a crime. You now have to leave the country.’ That’s normal, right? I think that’s normal, but they’re not doing that.”

It’s a true blessing to see a president and administration that is willing to do what’s right and enforce the laws of the land. I hope Trump realizes that it’s not just cities that are declared sanctuaries but entire counties and states. Imagine the impact upon entire counties and states if they lose all of their federal funding.

On one of the major new stations, I heard someone say that Trump’s actions against sanctuary cities are unconstitutional. Yet, it’s the mayors and governors of sanctuary locations who are the ones that are acting unconstitutionally. They are the ones defying federal law and the US Constitution, President Trump is only trying to enforce the Constitution and federal laws.

Ask yourself why mayors and governors would be willing to lose hundreds of millions of dollars worth of federal funding over people who have violated federal law to enter our country, states and cities illegally?


Dave Jolly

R.L. David Jolly holds a B.S. in Wildlife Biology and an M.S. in Biology – Population Genetics. He has worked in a number of fields, giving him a broad perspective on life, business, economics and politics. He is a very conservative Christian, husband, father and grandfather who cares deeply for his Savior, family and the future of our troubled nation.

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