Sanctuary cities and crime




Hernandez, Kevin A.

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The rising number of "sanctuary cities" combined with a focus on immigrant crime has led to a reinvigoration of the immigration debate. These sanctuary cities, defined as those which protect undocumented immigrants from detection or deportation, have been labeled by some as a public safety concern (Vaughan, 2015, p.3). Others see these policies as benefiting the cities population through better cooperation and prioritization of services. This study addresses the effect of sanctuary policies on local crime rates. I conducted an analysis comparing both the property and violent crime rates of selected sanctuary cities with those of similar non-sanctuary cities. The results indicate that not all sanctuary policies are equal in their purposes and effects. By analyzing the variations of sanctuary policies, we discover a more nuanced picture of sanctuary cities and their potential impacts on crime rates. This analysis helps to further the discussion on immigration and provides much needed research on the subject of sanctuary policies.


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Crime, Don't Ask Don't Tell, Immigration, Sanctuary City, Sanctuary Policy, Undocumented



Political Science and Geography