by Charles Logan
With the recent tragedy in San Fransisco, California involving an illegal immigrant and a the death of a young woman, the question surrounding the concept of sanctuary cities has arisen. Just what are they and how many of them are there?
For starters, the term ‘sanctuary city’ is not an official term and has no legal definition. It simply is an umbrella term for a city that has laws on the books that in some way protect illegal aliens from government authorities. These laws can be anything from a ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ policy like in New Orleans to laws such as those in San Fransisco that actually prohibit police officers from turning over undocumented aliens.
Across the country there are over two hundred cities that have a sanctuary policy. Here, in North Carolina, Asheville, Durham, and Chapel Hill all have laws that pertain to illegal immigrants and therefore are classified as sanctuary cities. They are not policies that allow for multiple offense felons to thrive in our areas, but nonetheless it is still protection for people living in the United States illegally.
Since the shooting in San Fransisco, California State legislators as well as the U.S. Congress are looking into the viability of sanctuary cities and whether or not they should be reformed or simply removed. If nothing else, this latest incident and the discussions following it only drive further the case that we as a country need to seriously restructure our immigration policy.