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The Limits of Sanctuary Cities

At a news conference last week, Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago, tried to reassure undocumented immigrants living in the city. “To all those who are, after Tuesday’s election, very nervous and filled with anxiety, you are safe in Chicago,” he said. On the campaign trail, Donald Trump had consistently promised to deport immigrants living in this country illegally, but Emanuel, along with other big-city mayors, including Bill de Blasio, in New York, asserted that their cities—so-called sanctuary cities—would remain safe havens against federal deportation actions. As Emanuel went on to declare, “Chicago has in the past been a sanctuary city…. It always will be a sanctuary city.”

What these mayors didn’t say, however, was how their municipalities would be able to prevent the federal government from exerting its authority—and what they mean by the term “sanctuary city.”

The American movement to provide sanctuary to undocumented immigrants dates back thirty-four years, to the Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson, Arizona, where the Reverend John Fife announced that his church would protect refugees fleeing the civil wars in El Salvador and Guatemala.[…]

Read the full article:
http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-limits-of-sanctuary-cities

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