Donald Trump's sanctuary city idea could be a boon to migrants

Updated: Apr 15, 2019, 11:10 IST | Agencies

The plan would make it easier for them to put down roots and stay in the US

Donald Trump's sanctuary city idea could be a boon to migrants
Representation Pic/AFP

Phoenix: An idea floated by US President Donald Trump to send immigrants from the border to "sanctuary cities" to exact revenge on Democratic foes could end up doing the migrants a favour by placing them in locations that make it easier to put down roots and stay in the country.

The plan would put thousands of immigrants in cities that are not only welcoming to them, but also more likely to rebuff federal officials carrying out deportation orders. Many of these locations have more resources to help immigrants make their legal cases to stay in the United States than smaller cities, with some of the nation's biggest immigration advocacy groups based in places like San Francisco, New York City and Chicago.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

The downside for the immigrants would be a high cost of living in the cities. The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University announced this week that an analysis found that immigrants in sanctuary cities such as New York and Los Angeles are 20 per cent less likely to be arrested out in the community than in cities without such policies.

"With immigrants being less likely to commit crimes than the US-born population, and with sanctuary jurisdictions being safer and more productive than non-sanctuary jurisdictions, the data damns this proposal as a politically motivated stunt that seeks to play politics with peoples' lives," said George Gascon, district attorney for San Francisco.

Trump has grown increasingly frustrated over the situation at the border, where tens of thousands of immigrant families are crossing each month, many to claim asylum. His administration has attempted several efforts to stop the flow, and he recently shook up the top ranks of the Department of Homeland Security.

The idea to ship immigrants to Democratic strongholds was considered twice in recent months, but the White House and Department of Homeland Security said the plan had been rejected. But Trump said on Friday he was still considering the idea.

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