‘Sanctuary Cities’ Order Overly Broad, Does Little to Fix Nation’s Broken Immigration System

January 26, 2017 - (2 min read)

Immigration reform must not mandate that cities and towns serve as agents for federal immigration enforcement or erode local police-community trust.

WASHINGTON — January 26, 2017 — President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order yesterday intended to prohibit federal funding to so-called “sanctuary jurisdictions.” The order ambiguously defines sanctuary jurisdiction and empowers the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to choose which jurisdictions would fall into that category. In response to the executive order, “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States,” National League of Cities (NLC) President Matt Zone, councilmember, Cleveland, released the following statement:

“There appears to be a false assumption that ‘sanctuary cities’ prevent U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents from enforcing immigration laws. This could not be further from the truth. In practice, federal programs intended to partner with cities and towns on immigration enforcement are broken.

“The reality is that in cities across the nation, police departments are routinely cooperating with ICE’s immigration enforcement efforts, while at the same time building constructive relationships with their communities to improve public safety. The order signed by President Trump does not clearly define sanctuary jurisdictions, so it is difficult to foresee how and which cities will be impacted by the order.

“Legislative efforts in 2016 to define and penalize sanctuary cities were defeated in Congress, which could have cost cities up to $137 million or more in COPS hiring grants. We call on President Trump to open a dialogue with city leaders, and work with local governments to enact real, comprehensive immigration reform that respects the principles of local control.”


About the National League of Cities
The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans. www.nlc.org


The National League of Cities (NLC) is the voice of America’s cities, towns and villages, representing more than 200 million people across the country. NLC works to strengthen local leadership, influence federal policy and drive innovative solutions. Stay connected with NLC on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.