Sanctuary city came into use in the 1980s, after the city of Los Angeles asked the police to stop question to some individuals solely to determine their immigration status. These communities implement policies to limit their cooperation with federal immigration authorities.
According to data compiled by the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), the 10 most dangerous sanctuary cities in the country are: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Seattle, Wake County in North Carolina (Raleigh), Middlesex County (New Jersey), and Portland.
1. New York, New York
The country's largest city has become the most dangerous sanctuary city in the United States. The report singles out former Mayor Bill de Blasio as the culprit for many of the NYC problems. However, former police officer Eric Adams-now mayor-has continued policies in favor of illegal aliens:
- In 2019, New York released more than 7,500 illegal aliens back onto the streets, including some with murder and sexual abuse convictions. That same year, the city banned the legally correct term illegal alien, threatening fines of up to $250,000 for violators.
- Adams began his term in office with tough-on-crime rhetoric. But, according to NYPD statistics, the city's crime rate is at 36% and, reported robberies have increased from 8,176 in August of last year to 11,412 in August 2022.
Dale Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI, points to NYC as an example of how "data shows that sanctuary policies lead to more crime, fear and death. The leaders of these communities should not escape accountability for the harm they have caused. Their residents deserve so much more."
2. Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said in an interview that crime has become "profitable" under the leadership of County Attorney George Gascón: "People are coming to Los Angeles to do home burglaries. Foreigners are coming here to do burglaries." Some of the city's sanctuary policies that attract criminal aliens:
- In 2020 the city county voted to pay $14 million to illegal aliens who had previously been detained.
- A report from the Washington Examiner found that prisons in Los Angeles had become more refused to turn over more than 25,000 criminal illegal aliens. In 2021 and 2022, 84.2 percent of the illegal aliens that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) tried to remove them from California were allowed to stay.
Dave Marin, Director of ICE's L.A. Field Office, said: "When a law enforcement agency fails to comply with these immigration detainers and releases serious criminals onto the streets, it undermines our ability to protect public safety and carry out our homeland security mission."
3. Chicago, Illinois
Under Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Chicago has become a city where double-digit shooting victim weekends are commonplace. In 2021 Chicago broke a record having more than 800 homicides in just one year. Crime is largely attributed to the policies implemented by Lightfoot.
- In 2020, with a historic increase in crime, the mayor signed a city order that prohibited city officials from cooperating with ICE. to detain illegal aliens, even if the alien was in the city's gang database or facing criminal charges.
"These terrible policies protect dangerous criminals and street gang members over Chicago's own citizens," said Tony Pham, a senior ICE official who served as director at the time.
4. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The city has been in the news mostly because of its district attorney Larry Krasner - funded by George Soros - and his programs to empty the city's jails and hand out light sentences to violent offenders. In 2021, an IRLI investigation revealed how Philadelphia was becoming a magnet for foreign criminals.
- Krasner appointed immigration attorney Caleb Arnold to advise him on criminal cases involving aliens. The investigation revealed that Arnold "released aliens who had been charged with forcible rape of adults and children, murder, sexual assault, unlawful contact of a minor, attempted murder, among other crimes.”
- This year, Mayor Jim Kenney said that the serious increase in crime in his city has taken the joy out of it, and he expects his term to end in January 2024: "I'll be happy when I'm not here, when I'm not mayor and I can enjoy some things."
5. San Francisco, California
San Francisco was named the worst sanctuary community in IRLI's 2019 ranking. Its fifth position this time does not indicate an improvement, but rather that the top-ranked cities now have worse conditions.
- In 2019, San Francisco voters elected Chesa Boudin as their new district attorney. During his campaign, Boudin promised to create a unit to help criminal illegal aliens avoid deportation, and called for ICE agents who enforce federal immigration law to be prosecuted.
- During his tenure, San Francisco became a hotbed of illegal alien criminal activity, and Boudin admitted that potentially half of the people selling drugs in San Francisco were from Honduras.
In addition, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who represents California's 12th district in San Francisco, has long criticized ICE's efforts to deport criminal aliens.
6. Minneapolis, Minnesota
Even after the death of George Floyd, the ensuing riots and the failed experiment in defunding the police , Minneapolis has remained focused on its mission of taking in criminal aliens and making the community more dangerous with its sanctuary city measures:
- In 2020, ICE removed 39 Somali nationals from the Minneapolis area, 36 of whom had criminal records that included murders, rapes, and drug and terrorism-related crimes. This detention case was no longer repeated the following year, when it was publicly reported that the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office was no longer complying with its immigration detention orders.
- The IRLI also found that the Hennepin County Jail failed to comply with more than 90 ICE detainer requests during a 16-month period. The offenses were classified as serious threats.
7. Seattle, Washington
In 2020, the city of Seattle asked the Administration to create a $100 million relief fund for illegal aliens. That same year, CHAZ activists - a far-left group - included the legalization of tens of millions of illegal aliens among their demands. In 2019, Washington became the third sanctuary state in the country, joining California and Oregon:
- According to reports, there are 229,000 illegal aliens living in Washington state, including approximately 75,000 in the Seattle area.
- An IRLI investigation in July 2019 found that the Seattle-area King County Sheriff's Office rejected more than 370 ICE detainer requests on illegal aliens in a 27-month period. More than 290 of the cases were for threat level 1 and 2 offenses.
8. Wake County, North Carolina
In 2018, shortly after Sheriff Gerald Baker took office, 16 foreign nationals under ICE detainers were released from county jails. Roy Cooper, the state's Democratic governor, vetoed a bill that would have cracked down on sanctuary counties and implemented policies to benefit criminals:
- ICE announced in 2019 that Wake County offenders were being protected as officials refused to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. Many of the defendants were charged with felonies, such as first-degree rape of a child.
- Local law enforcement across the state of North Carolina refused to serve nearly 500 warrants in 2019. In 2020, nearly 200 suspected illegal immigrants were released from the county jail.
- In the past 12 months, Wake detention centers admitted more than 32,000 detainees. Approximately 12,000 of these admissions were either released immediately or received conditions of release.
9. Middlesex County, New Jersey
The Middlesex County Board of Freeholders ordered the sheriff's office in 2017 not to assist federal immigration authorities. In addition to this measure, several others were applied to support the status of "satellite county":
- An IRLI investigation found that the Middlesex County Jail refused to honor 92 immigration detainers, 52 of which were classified by ICE as felonies.
- In 2017, ICE arrested 36 criminal illegal aliens in the county who had previously been released from local jails back into the community. The offenses included convictions for crimes including sexual assault, robbery and drug charges, among others.
10. Portland, Oregon
Oregon launched a hotline this year to encourage citizens to report violations of the state's sanctuary law. The so-called "Sanctuary Promise Act" prohibits local law enforcement from collecting and sharing information on illegals with federal immigration authorities.
Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum proudly said:
For the first time, anyone in Oregon can report a sanctuary law violation to a hotline designed to support and meet the needs of our communities.... We intend to follow up on each and every call and urge all residents to learn about and use this new resource.
- In 2018, Portland officials refused to comply with an ICE detainer on an illegal alien facing domestic violence charges. That foreigner was later accused of killing his wife and throwing her body into a river.
- As a result in 2021, Portland recorded the most violent year in its history: with 90 homicides it managed to far surpass the previous record of 66 in 1987, according to data from the Police Bureau. Other crime events also showed a progressive increase, authorities say, with more than 1,200 shootings and more than 350 people injured in the last year.