Expanding Sanctuary: Mijente Report on Sanctuary Cities and Policies

expanding sanctuary
March 30, 2017
Taylor Keating

In January, Mijente released a report entitled “Expanding Sanctuary,” exploring the background and current implications of sanctuary status as well as establishing policy priorities for sanctuary cities. Mijente is a political home for Latinx and Chicanx organizing, aiming to strengthen the Latinx community through connected and conscious leadership. The report, authored by Tania A. Unzueta, Legal and Policy Director at Mijente, examines the history of sanctuary and how today’s notion of sanctuary city has evolved, including changes during the Obama Administration. Unzueta addresses the questionable legality of the federal government withdrawing funds from sanctuary cities and highlights necessary changes in policing and criminalization. The report concludes by proposing the following policy priorities for sanctuary:

  1. Separation of local law enforcement and immigration enforcement
  2. Policies that decriminalize and reduce arrests
  3. Eliminate use of local and state gang databases
  4. Create programs to support transgender immigrants in finding meaningful employment
  5. Fund organizing as well as legal representation
  6. End local contracts with immigration enforcement
  7. Decrease police funding and reinvest in community institutions that provide long-term safety
  8. Adopt and enforce directives against profiling, demand respectful treatment of transgender people

Unzueta’s report explains why each proposal is essential in creating sanctuary and includes recommendations for each policy point. To learn more about the policy priorities and the concept of sanctuary, read the full report here: http://mijente.net/2017/01/27/sanctuary-report/