Cities and Counties that Embrace the Sanctuary City Identity
By: StaffJuly 24, 2015
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The below cities cities and counties openly embrace the "sanctuary city" identity. Quotes from city officials tell the tale. 

However, if the policy on ICE detainers is used as the criteria for sanctuary cities, there is a larger number of jurisdictions that meet the criterion -- that list below.

  • Chicago
Mayor Rahm Emanuel has unabashedly called Chicago a sanctuary city, a sometimes-derisive term for communities that promise powerful resources and minimal investigation of immigration status in the course of day-to-day law-enforcement activities.  "We always had a sanctuary-city agreement done by mayors by executive order," he said.
"I am committed to making Chicago the most immigrant-friendly city in the world," he announced  as the city rolled out a wave of new initiatives, including helping immigrants navigate paths to citizenship, providing new scholarships for undocumented students, and formally instructing law enforcement officials not to ask anyone about their immigration status except in the case of "serious" crimes.  Chicago has had a history of welcoming undocumented citizens which dates back to 1985 and an executive order by Mayor Harold Washington which declared Chicago a sanctuary city.
(“How Becoming Mayor Changed Rahm Emanuel on Immigration Reform,” by Emma Green, The Atlantic, July 16, 2013)
  • Los Angeles
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti told the Washington Examiner that high-profile cases such as the murder of San Francisco resident Kate Steinle have not prompted him to revisit his own city's policy of not automatically turning over illegal aliens wanted by the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. "It did not cause us to think in a new direction," he said during an appearance at the National Press Club in Washington on Wednesday.
Garcetti said that Los Angeles "cooperates with ICE all the time" adding that "it should be that way. But we do demand a judicial order if there is a detainer." A detainer is the official notice from federal authorities that it wants to take an immigrant into custody for deportation. In other words, the city will comply with the federal request only if it is accompanied by a judicial warrant or a judicial determination of probable cause. He argued that the requirement was necessary to ensure good relations with the immigrant community. "It is about establishing trust," Garcetti said.
("L.A. mayor not rethinking 'sanctuary city' policy," by  Sean Higgins, The Examiner (Washington, DC), July 15, 2015)  
  • San Francisco
San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee said Monday he was "concerned" about the release of an illegal immigrant with a criminal record who killed a woman last week but defended the sanctuary city policy. "I am concerned about the circumstances that led to the release of Mr. Sanchez," Mr. Lee said in a statement. "All agencies involved, Federal and local, need to conduct quick, thorough and objective reviews of their own departmental policies and the decisions they made in this case." He stressed that the sanctuary city policy is intended to protect "residents regardless of immigration status and is not intended to protect repeat, serious and violent felons."
("Edwin Lee, San Francisco mayor defends, sanctuary city policy after fatal shooting," By Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times, July 7, 2015)
  • New Haven, CT
New Haven Mayor Toni Harp said Friday (July 10) that her city will keep protecting illegal aliens despite the San Francisco incident. "New Haven will continue to welcome new residents from other countries and embrace their positive contributions in our community, all in the spirit of "e pluribus unum,'" Harp said. She added, "The city's ongoing 'sanctuary' status reflects a widespread acceptance of diversity in New Haven and respects the distinct jurisdictions administered by the federal and local governments."
"New Haven will continue to welcome new residents from other countries and embrace their positive contributions in our community, all in the spirit of "e pluribus unum."
("State officials say they would treat illegal alien as SF did, Record-Journal (Meriden, Connecticut), July 13, 2015)
  •  Washington, DC
The city's policy bars the D.C. Jail from honoring ICE detainers filed for inmates. The federal agency files a notice known as a detainer to let state or local authorities know that it plans to take custody of an individual. "The District has the strictest and most obstructive policy on detainers," said Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies.
(The Washington Times, May 09, 2013)
  •  Miami-Dade County
Miami-Dade County Commissioner Sally Heyman said the San Francisco shooting was a tragic "breakdown of the system" that allowed an undocumented immigrant with an extensive criminal history to be set free. But she warned about a "knee-jerk reaction" of using local police as de-facto immigration agents. "I don't see that we would make a change. I would fight it," she said. "If the only reason someone is in custody is an ICE hold, we're not doing it."
('Sanctuary cities' not changing policies, by Alan Gomez, Lafayette Journal and Courier, July 12, 2015)

Detainer Policies

These policies include city and county ordinances and administrative policies, as well as state laws, all of which limit the compliance of local law enforcement with ICE holds. 

These jurisdictions will not honor ICE detainers without a judicial warrant issued and probable cause of a crime. 

Jurisdictions limiting compliance with ICE detainers

  • Alameda County, CA
  • Amherst Resolution
  • Anaheim, CA
  • Archuleta County, Colorado
  • Baltimore
  • Berkeley City Council Resolution
  • Bernalillo County
  • Boston
  • Boulder County
  • Broomfield, CO
  • Broward County
  • Butte County Memo
  • California TRUST Act
  • Cambridge Policy Order Resolution
  • Champaign, IL Detainer Policy
  • Chelan County Directive
  • Chicago Ordinance
  • Clackamas County Policy
  • Clark County, WA
  • Connecticut TRUST Act
  • Cook County Ordinance
  • Corona, CA
  • Crowley County, Colorado
  • Culver City, California
  • Custer County, Colorado
  • Dekalb County, Georgia
  • Delta County, Colorado
  • Denver County
  • East Palo Alto Resolution
  • El Dorado
  • Elbert County, Colorado
  • Fresno County, CA
  • Fulton County
  • Glendale, CA
  • Glendora, CA
  • Gunnison County
  • Hennepin County
  • Humboldt County
  • Huntington Beach
  • Imperial County
  • Jackson County
  • King County, WA
  • Kings County, California
  • Kitsap County Internal Jail Policy
  • La Habra, CA
  • Lane County Policy
  • Larimer County, Colorado
  • Las Vegas PD
  • Lehigh Resolution
  • Lincoln County, Colorado
  • Long Beach PD
  • Los Angeles County
  • Los Angeles PD
  • Marin County, CA
  • Mendocino County
  • Merced County
  • Miami-Dade Resolution
  • Middlesex County
  • Milwaukee Resolution
  • Moffat County, Colorado
  • Monterey General Order No. 14
  • Montezuma County, & Policy
  • Newark Policy
  • New Orleans Policy
  • New York City Ordinance - Police & DOC
  • Ocean County
  • Orange County
  • Philadelphia Executive Order
  • Pierce County
  • Pitkin County, Colorado
  • Placer County Policy
  • Pomona, CA
  • Prince George's County, MD
  • Princeton Police Detainer Order
  • Providence Resolution
  • Rhode Island DOC
  • Richmond, CA Policy
  • Riverside County
  • Routt County, Colorado Policy
  • Sacramento
  • Saguache County
  • San Benito County
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco Revised Policy & Ordinance
  • San Joaquin Press Release
  • San Luis Obispo
  • San Miguel, CO
  • San Miguel, NM
  • Santa Clara County Ordinance
  • Santa Cruz County
  • Sedgwick County
  • Shawnee County Announcement
  • Solano County
  • Somerville Mayor's Order
  • Sonoma County
  • South Tucson Policy
  • Springfield, Illinois
  • Suffolk, NY
  • Summit County
  • Sutter County Policy
  • Taos Policy
  • Thurston County ICE Detainer Policy
  • Torrance, CA
  • Union County
  • Ventura County
  • Walla Walla ICE Detainer Policy
  • Washington, DC Ordinance
  • Washington County, Oregon Policy
  • Washington County Colorado
  • Weld County, Colorado
  • Yolo County
  • Yuba County