On Friday, President Donald Trump announced that his administration is considering allowing undocumented immigrants to live in the country, as long as they live in designated sanctuary cities

By Joelle Goldstein
April 12, 2019 08:36 PM

President Donald Trump‘s next political maneuver could be the use of sanctuary cities.

Instead of detaining immigrants with no documentation, Trump announced on Friday that his administration is considering having them relocate and live in designated sanctuary cities around the country.

“Due to the fact that Democrats are unwilling to change our very dangerous immigration laws, we are indeed, as reported, giving strong considerations to placing Illegal Immigrants in Sanctuary Cities only,” he wrote on Twitter.

“The Radical Left always seems to have an Open Borders, Open Arms policy – so this should make them very happy!” Trump added in a separate tweet.

Donald Trump/Twitter
Donald Trump/Twitter

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So what exactly are sanctuary cities?

Spread across the country in 27 different states, sanctuary cities are designated locations that refuse to help the national government and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)’s efforts to enforce the immigration law, the Center for Immigration Studies reports.

According to the Center, these cities are able to intervene 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.”

States that offer this protection in some of their cities and counties include: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, and Washington.

John Moore/Getty Images

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While many of these states have multiple counties/cities that are designated sanctuaries, there is only one city or county listed for Ohio, Nevada, Mississippi, Minnesota, and Louisiana.

In addition to more than 170 cities and counties listed, five states — including California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon and Vermont — are also considered sanctuary states, the Immigration Studies Center reports.

This means the states have laws set in place limiting local police’s ability to help federal immigration agents, according to The New York Times.

John Moore/Getty

While having stricter immigration laws may be intended to intimidate those committing crimes from doing so, nationwide sanctuary cities have proven to have their benefits, as some have suggested it makes the area safer.

According to a 2015 FBI crime data analysis report by Tom Wong, a professor of political science at the University of California at San Diego, sanctuary cities see 15 percent less crime than those deemed non-sanctuary cities.

The University of Chicago Assistant Professor Angela S. García echoed these findings in her recent report that stated only 1.6 percent of young, foreign-born males are incarcerated, while the number raises to 3.3 percent for native-born males.

America’s Voice also argued that by having these cities in place, police have the ability to focus on more pressing, serious crimes instead of spending their time arresting and detaining undocumented immigrants.