WASHINGTON, Oct. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new study by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) reveals a dramatic growth of policies at the local and state level designed to thwart federal law enforcement efforts and to accommodate illegal aliens. Sanctuary Policies Across the U.S. details resolutions, ordinances, executive actions and other initiatives that now exist in 103 cities, towns and counties across 33 states and the District of Columbia. The study is the first and only comprehensive compilation of sanctuary policies and shows how non-enforcement – and outright defiance of immigration laws which is expressly prohibited by federal law – is a dangerous trend sweeping the country.
The overwhelming majority of sanctuary policies cited in the study either prohibit local officials from inquiring, acting on, or reporting an individual's immigration status, even when there is reasonable suspicion that federal immigration laws are being violated. Still other policies represent more aggressive efforts to shield illegal aliens, such as anti-detainer policies which restrict local and state police from cooperating with federal authorities seeking to remove aliens who have been arrested and charged with other crimes. While some of the local sanctuary policies noted were enacted ten or more years ago, the majority have occurred since President Obama took office in 2009, and almost half of the policies have been put in place in just the past two years.
"All across the country, local officials are buckling to special interest demands that immigration lawbreakers not only be tolerated, but protected," said Dan Stein, president of FAIR.
"These policies are encouraged by the Obama administration's own defiance of immigration enforcement statutes and by the failure of the administration to act against even the most egregious sanctuary policies. While the Department of Justice has aggressively sued states, like Arizona, that attempted to carry out federal immigration laws, not a single state or local sanctuary policy has been challenged by this administration," Stein noted.
The release of the Sanctuary Policies Across the U.S. report coincides with House consideration of legislation that would grant amnesty to 12 million illegal aliens in exchange for promises of future immigration enforcement. "The proliferation of unchallenged sanctuary policies, combined with the Obama administration's assertion of unfettered discretion not to enforce immigration laws it does not like, serve as a clear warning that promises of future enforcement cannot be trusted," Stein warned.
Founded in 1979, FAIR is the country's largest immigration reform group. With over 250,000 members nationwide, FAIR fights for immigration policies that serve national interests, not special interests. FAIR believes that immigration reform must enhance national security, improve the economy, protect jobs, preserve our environment, and establish a rule of law that is recognized and enforced.
SOURCE Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)