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What is a sanctuary city policy?

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Quick Answer

Sanctuary city policies are items of legislation that designate a city or region as a place where laws against illegal immigration are not enforced, according to the Center for Immigration Studies. This designation can also occur unofficially by a city, county or state not enforcing existing immigration laws.

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Full Answer

In the United States, sanctuary policies as of 2015 have resulted in numerous counties in California and New Mexico being designated as sanctuaries, as well as many cities and counties in Oregon, Iowa and other states, notes the Center of Immigration Studies. Most of the existing sanctuary designations are the result of policies made by local police forces and county boards, so a federal mandate or court order would supersede the sanctuary policies in some cases. As an attempt to fight the existence of sanctuary cities and regions, opponents of the policies have worked to make illegal immigration a federal crime and have proposed that sanctuary cities lose their federal funding.

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