Louisiana Immigration Law Firm

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What Are Sanctuary Cities?

If you've been watching the news lately and following the many uncertainties facing America's immigration policies, you've probably heard the term "sanctuary city." Below, we take a closer look at this term and the possible conflicts these cities may be facing now that Donald Trump has been elected president.

What Are "Sanctuary Cities?"

There is no concrete legal definition of "sanctuary city," but essentially, a sanctuary city is an urban center that does independently participate in federal illegal immigration enforcement. This means that local police departments do not actively act to seek out illegal immigrants, nor do they report them if they become involved in an investigation that does not result in their criminal arrest.

There are several reasons why local officials all over the country opt to do this. Firstly, many city governments recognize that acting on federal immigration policies is not only outside local law enforcement's scope of responsibility, doing so would be a tremendous strain on department resources. These cities also recognize that many of the undocumented residents in their city are hardworking, law-abiding members of our community and that actively persecuting them would negatively affect local economies and families.

Sanctuary Cities & Louisiana

New Orleans isn't officially considered a sanctuary city, but it has protected undocumented residents and families by not actively moving to deport them. New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu deflects the "sanctuary city" label, however, because the New Orleans Police Department does assist with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) when that collaboration is requested.

Regardless of the nuances, undocumented residents have enjoyed major protections in New Orleans and in other communities around Louisiana. Donald Trump has proposed to punish these cities by cutting of federal funding and his appointment of immigration hardliner Jeff Sessions to Attorney General has cast a significant uncertainty over how America's immigration policies will change in the coming years.

If you, your family, or business is facing an urgent immigration law matter, then we invite you to contact us at Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP today. Our dedicated and compassionate Lake Charles and Houston immigration attorneys are sensitive to the needs and challenges our immigrant communities face and have time and time again secured swift and reliable legal options on their behalf.

Don't hesitate to get a proven advocate on your side. Contact us today.