With President-elect Donald Trump vowing to deport illegal immigrants and enforce immigration laws in the United States, leaders in San Francisco are redoubling efforts to support illegal immigrants in the city.
The current efforts in San Francisco are primarily focused on providing legal defense to those facing deportation. The legislation was proposed by San Francisco Supervisor David Campos, who said:
We are proud to be a sanctuary city. And we’re not only proud to stand up for that, but we’re going to invest the resources needed to make sure that the 44,000 undocumented people who live in the city and county of San Francisco have, at a minimum, legal representation if they’re taken to immigration court.
Proponents argue that the new provision will merely afford illegal immigrants the same legal rights every American citizen enjoys–legal defense in a court of law. Opponents of the law argue that this latest development will merely encourage foreign nationals to break U.S. immigration laws, and cause crime rate to soar.
Breitbart news reported that in 2015, murders in San Francisco jumped by 55 percent. Reported cases of rape jumped 350 percent.
Local leaders in other “sanctuary cities” have voiced similar resolutions to support illegal immigrants. Since the election, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel told NPR:
Chicago always will be a sanctuary city. To all those who are, after Tuesday’s election, very nervous and filled with anxiety…you are safe in Chicago, you are secure in Chicago and you are supported in Chicago.
Referencing the immigration issue, Seattle mayor Ed Murray said that the last thing he wanted was for Seattle residents to be turning on their neighbors.
According to Breitbart, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, stated his attention to avoid the immigration issue. Mayor Eric Garcetti echoed that sentiment, while avoiding the term “sanctuary city”, due to the fact that he felt it was inadequate.
Unfortunately for these and similarly-minded local leaders, federal funding may force them into compliance with the law. Trump has vowed to cut federal funding to all sanctuary cities as part of his efforts to secure the borders.
Jessica Vaughan, director of Policy Studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, said that cities like San Francisco and Chicago, which openly disregard the Obama administration’s attempts at enforcing immigration law, could face the loss of grants for their law enforcement departments, as well as possible prosecution by the Justice Department. She, as well as other experts have predicted that the issue will ultimately be decided in a federal court.