Crimmigration or Criminal Migrants: A Study on Sanctuary Cities in the United States
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This research study investigates whether sanctuary cities and jurisdictions are a national security concern, specifically examining their impacts on public safety. The study assesses public safety in two ways: 1) by investigating violent crime and murder rates in thirty-six cities across the U.S. and 2) through the lens of approved and proposed legislation to reveal whether sanctuary city laws restrict federal immigration enforcement within those jurisdictions. The data captured in this study exposes whether sanctuary cities have higher crime rates compared to non-sanctuary cities with similar populations under the hypothesis that sanctuary status does not significantly impact crime rates, nor would legislation related to sanctuary cities inhibit federal immigration law implementation. Population size was used as a point of comparison across cities to identify trends and sample groups for more detailed analysis. After examining crime rate trends across the samples, the results demonstrated no significant distinction in violent crime rates and murder rates in sanctuary versus non-sanctuary cities. Analysis of legislation supports the hypothesis that the pending and approved legislation related to sanctuary status do not explicitly prohibit federal officials from enforcing federal immigration law. Ultimately, policies in place and pending approval require federal officials to approach state and local government agencies with procedures used in criminal investigations: producing a warrant or probable cause to detain and hold individuals. Considering the scope of this study and based on the results, sanctuary cities do not fit within the designation of a major public safety concern and thus are inappropriately identified as a national security concern by the current administration.