Tag Archives: Ask The Judge

ASK THE JUDGE – by Judge Russell Fagg

Originally published in the 4/14/17 print edition

What the heck are sanctuary cities?

I was recently asked about sanctuary cities — what they are and how they fit into America’s immigration policy and our criminal justice system? I thought it is an interesting topic worthy of an article.

The encyclopedia defines a sanctuary city as “cities in the United States that have policies designed to not persecute undocumented immigrants. These practices can be by law (de jure) or by habit (de facto).” Put another way, sanctuary cities do not enforce immigration laws. Sanctuary cites often do not allow their law enforcement personnel to inquire about immigration status. Furthermore, sanctuary cities will not inform immigration officers if an illegal immigrant has been convicted of breaking the law.

The most common situation that occurs in my courtroom is when an illegal immigrant (generally from Mexico) is charged read more