Take Sanctuary

Take Sanctuary

Katherine Doherty, Staff Writer

Sanctuary Cities are locations that protect undocumented immigrants from facing deportation from law enforcement. Around 28 states have Sanctuary Cities in the United States. Popular cities such as Boston, New York City, and Los Angeles are Sanctuary Cities that provide a ‘safe haven’ from facing deportation. These cities are a huge topic of controversy, especially during the 2016 election. Sanctuary Cities are a hard topic to debate because you either go against your morals or go against the law. While these undocumented immigrants do not have citizenship in the United States, we also do not want to go against our morals and turn them away when they need help.

One pro of sanctuary cities is that these cities are safer because they encourage good relationships between undocumented immigrants and law enforcement. These cities also protect immigrants from federal immigration centers. These immigration centers hold suspected undocumented immigrants in detention centers and can either grant them a temporary visa or deport them. Sanctuary cities have a lower rate of violence between immigrants and law enforcement and create a much more peaceful environment.

Also, many of these immigrants are fleeing from harsh working conditions from their previous home. Many undocumented citizens are parents who are trying to provide a better life for their children. New York Times writes that the undocumented immigrants coming to the United States “understand that our laws do not adequately protect the needs of the strangers who, for the most part, have crossed the border to take work that is eagerly offered them.” Many undocumented citizens who are crossing the border and are taking up the jobs that citizens do not want to do, but are needed. Many of these immigrants work as agricultural workers, who spend many hours in the hot sun picking and planting crops that we find in our supermarkets. These jobs are essential to our economy, but no one is willing to do this kind of manual labor, except these immigrants living in the United States.

Sanctuary Cities are legal and are protected under the 10th amendment. The 10th amendment states that any power that is not given to the federal government is given to the people or the states. This emphasizes the limited nature of the powers given to the federal government and establishes the division of power between the federal government and the state government. Sanctuary Cities should be left up to states and not to the federal government.

Last but not least, Sanctuary Cities are symbolic to America’s first founding principles because we are a nation built by immigrants. Our ancestors are immigrants and we do not have the right to send people away from our home, especially if they are escaping from harsh conditions from their original home. We need to realize that the time it takes to become a citizen in the United States can take from the very least of 6 months to several years. We can not send people away, especially when we do not know what is going on in their old life that made them leave in the first place.

What people need to realize is that a lot of these undocumented citizens are in the process of obtaining their citizenship. Sanctuary Cities provide rights to undocumented immigrants rights as human beings that they are entitled to. For most undocumented immigrants, Sanctuary Cities protect their rights which had been originally violated so they come to the United States for sanctuary. Who are we to deny people away from living here? As John Fife, a pastor of the Southside Presbyterian Church from Tucson, Arizona said, “Sanctuary’ is an idea. It’s an action that people have always taken throughout history to protect the victims of human rights violations”.