The current debate over immigration policy in the United States divides political parties and individuals alike. Both sides would agree that the immigration system is broken. Evidence of this systematic failure is glaring: there are twelve million undocumented immigrants living in the United States, the federal government lacks a comprehensive enforcement and naturalization strategy, and sanctuary cities have been created to protect undocumented immigrants from deportation.
Cities such as Chicago and San Francisco have limited ability to deal with immigration issues, yet have acted to protect their citizens from deportation. By providing services to undocumented residents, cities have been forced to live with the consequences of an inadequate federal response to an issue that the Constitution delegates to the federal government. With a more sensible immigration strategy in place, there would be no need for sanctuary cities.
This book explores the sanctuary city movement in detail. First, we will look at the life of an undocumented immigrant that came to America and now lives in a sanctuary city. Next, we will explore the history of immigration in the United States, how federal policy has changed over time, and how cities have responded to these changes. Finally, we will consider two examples of sanctuary cities: Chicago and San Francisco.