San Francisco is a Sanctuary City

Sanctuary Cities - Press Kit


Sanctuary cities—state and local jurisdictions with policies that obstruct immigration enforcement—pose a serious threat to the safety of the American people. Although some “sanctuary” policies were enacted ten or more years ago, they finally received national media attention in the summer of 2015 after Kate Steinle was tragically shot and killed in San Francisco. The shooter, Francisco Sanchez, is an illegal alien with seven convictions and five previous deportations. Importantly, Sanchez admitted he went to San Francisco because he knew it is a sanctuary city that would protect him from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

While San Francisco is the most notable sanctuary city, there are now some 300 of them throughout the country. Tellingly, the overwhelming majority of sanctuary jurisdictions have emerged since President Obama took office in 2009. This, of course, corresponds with President Obama’s systematic dismantling of immigration enforcement.

Moreover, in legislation enacted in 1996, Congress explicitly prohibited sanctuary policies that impede or obstruct immigration enforcement. Nevertheless, Congress has stood on the sidelines for years, allowing these jurisdictions to defy federal immigration law with impunity. Congress must act now, using its power of the purse, to deny federal funds to jurisdictions that refuse to comply with federal immigration laws.