A young, Mexican boy holds a sign that reads, "stop separating families."

Photo courtesy of Michael Fleshman at Flickr Creative Commons.

Sanctuary cities have remained a point of contention ever since President Trump threatened to withhold federal funding from these jurisdictions. From Trump’s point of view, federal dollars should not go towards protecting undocumented immigrants, many of whom he believes are “criminals.”

But these are not criminals. These are ordinary, hard-working people who want a better future for themselves and for their family. Who can blame them? After all, isn’t that why most people come to America?

Some of these people have lived in the U.S. for the past 5, 10, 20+ years of their lives. Many of them came to America in early childhood, meaning that this country is practically the only thing they’ve ever known. To deport someone like this would be to thrust them into a strange, foreign land. It’s not right, it’s not fair, and it’s certainly not humane.

But a good portion of America is completely okay with this because President Trump has led them to believe that undocumented immigrants are drug dealers and rapists. Not true, Donnie, not true.

In fact, research has shown that sanctuary cities actually reduce crime. According to a 2013 study conducted by the Department of Urban Planning and Policy at the University of Illinois-Chicago, 70% of undocumented immigrants are less likely to report a crime out of fear of being deported. That’s over two thirds of that community! Additionally, murder rates in San Francisco fell to an all-time low in 2014 when the “City of Refuge” ordinance was enacted.

And then there’s the matter of legality. Contrary to popular belief, sanctuary cities are actually protected by the Tenth Amendment. According to the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, “The Tenth Amendment precludes federal government from coercing state or local governments to use their resources to enforce a federal regulatory program, like immigration.” So ha!

Immigrants built this country, but people seem to have forgotten that. They also seem to have forgotten the lyrics to the old Woody Guthrie song, “This Land is Your Land.”