This video from Vox explains what sanctuary cities are. Sanctuary cities are: “Cities and counties in the US that limit their cooperation with immigration enforcement.” But what does that mean?
It explains that there are a number of different policies in cities that make them “sanctuary cities” but to truly understand the situation, you must look at the choices that a local police officer must make when handling an undocumented immigrant that he has already arrested for some other reason.
Local police officers have the choice to either 1. Honor requests from ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to hold the undocumented immigrant so that ICE can pick the immigrant up and begin the deportation process, or 2. Let the immigrant go.
Both choices come with consequences. If local police assist ICE in deportation “word gets out in the immigrant community and immigrants become scared to interact with the police if they are a victim of crime or a witness to it.” In contrast, if local police do not assist ICE “The state can also step in and take away the funding streams from the local police.” President Trump has also recently signed an executive order “that opens the door to withholding federal funds from sanctuary cities.”
Ultimately, this situation “puts local law enforcement in a lose-lose situation. For them it could be between choosing financial security on one hand and public safety on the other.”