PRO Preserving American communities
Illegal immigrants in the United States deserve every ounce of protection offered by sanctuary states to remain in the country they have dedicated themselves to. While they may not be American on paper, these people are American in their values.
Commonly regarded as illegal “aliens,” undocumented immigrants flowing into the U.S. have continuously been ostracized from society. Some argue that the implementation of sanctuary states promote illegal immigration into the country. Though this may be true, the protection offered by sanctuary states helps these illegal immigrants attain citizenship, which is their goal, quicker and easier by ensuring their residence in America will be protected during the process. People don’t come to the U.S. for the purpose of remaining undocumented, in contrast with popular propaganda.
Commentators on the right often ask: “But won’t these illegal immigrants only commit more illegal acts once they’re inside the U.S.?”
Research comparing crime rates among citizens and undocumented immigrants, such as a 2007 study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, has confirmed that illegal immigrants are not, contrary to the current U.S. president’s claims, more likely to be criminals. Former President Barack Obama also made a statement this year that national crime rates have actually gone down while his federal policy to protect illegal immigrants was in place.
In fact, not only do most illegal immigrants not fit into the malicious mold carved out for them by some politicians, they are often our neighbors, our classmates, our teachers or local businesspeople. They are individuals who may have lived in this country since early childhood, and trying to build their own lives just like any other American.
If we found out today that a friend we grew up with was undocumented, would we be just as eager to remove him or her from this country? Sanctuary communities protect people just like any of us–the sole difference being in citizenship status–from deportation.
Sanctuary cities also make illegal immigration safer for the country because they encourage amiable relationships between undocumented immigrants and law enforcement, resulting in less conflict. While most citizens have no reason to fear doing tasks that require their identity to be revealed to the government, undocumented immigrants without protection are reluctant to interact with the government in daily life for risk of possible deportation.
The U.S. was a nation built on immigration. Without the inundations of immigrants from all over the globe since before America was even an independent country, we would not have achieved a thriving economy.
Abolishing sanctuary states would mean losing people who have the potential to make great contributions to this country and shipping them “back” to a country they may never have even known.
For those who oppose the protection of immigrants who only seek the natural right to pursue their own happiness in the country they believe is best for them, it’s time to question whether that mentality is one that accurately embodies the values and goals of a true American.
CON Opening legal doors for immigrants
California seems to have it all: beaches, celebrities and now, after Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 54 last week, the status of a sanctuary state. Especially in a time when domestic safety is a growing concern, California’s lawmakers should not be putting the safety of the citizens at risk solely to make a political statement in defiance of Trump and his strict immigration policies.
Sanctuary cities, such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, have always been criticized over the dangers that they present for citizens. In 2015, Kathryn Steinle was allegedly murdered by Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, an illegal immigrant who was recently released from jail by San Francisco authorities, despite the Department of Homeland Security urging against it. In the aftermath of this event, many people began to question the idea of sanctuary cities.
America is a nation built by immigrants, and it’s undeniable that they positively contribute to the cultural melting pot that the U.S. is so well-known for, but the issue isn’t one of what immigrants can contribute. It’s a question of whether we should be giving protection to those who came illegally, especially at a cost to citizens. When the risks of sanctuary cities are so clear, why spread this threat throughout an entire state?
It should be an immediate red flag that sheriffs all over California are in opposition of the bill because of the dangers it poses on public safety as the bill limits cooperation between local law enforcement and federal agencies, namely U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Not every illegal immigrant is a criminal, in fact most aren’t, but that doesn’t change the risks. SB 54 inhibits federal authorities from doing their jobs and removing the dangerous felons from our communities as the local police departments will no longer be working in compliance with “hold requests” to detain immigrants or using their resources for immigration enforcement.
Sheriffs say that the bill would force immigration officers to go into communities, instead of searching jails, in search of illegal immigrants that they believe to be a danger to the public.
The sanctuary state bill, which will take effect in January, would give protection to immigrants who came through illegal means.
State Sen. Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles) proposed the bill because he believes California’s mission is to “strongly defend family values because we don’t believe a government should separate a mother from her child or any child should be separated from her father.”
Yes, hunting down and removing immigrants who have peacefully settled and made a life for themselves in the United States, and separating families is an unsympathetic act, and arguably unnecessary act, but why encourage any further illegal immigration?
Providing this safe haven for illegal immigrants only increases the tension between state and federal law, and at some point, things will boil over. Instead of fighting policy with policy, our legislative bodies should be working together to create a policy that would allow immigrants to enter the U.S. legally. As long as they are vetted, documented but still welcomed with golden California ideals of “family values” after the process, both sides will be pleased.