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Sanctuary city policies did not result in crime increase: study

Sanctuary city policies did not result in crime increase: study
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Sanctuary city policies have not resulted in an increase in crime in communities that have imposed them, according to a Stanford University study published this week.

Researcher David Hausman concluded that evidence does not support the argument, voiced by the Trump administration, that sanctuary cities, which limit cooperation with federal immigration authorities, threaten residents' public safety

The study, which was obtained by The Washington Post, was published in the academic journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  

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Hausman studied violent crime and property crime statistics across more than 200 sanctuary jurisdictions between 2010 and 2015, a time period when many of the sanctuary policies in the country were instituted to protect immigrants living in the country illegally. 

He determined that the policies helped decrease deportations of nonviolent offenders. But deportations of violent offenders continued at the same rate, which Hausman said was because many sanctuary policies do not take much action to prevent Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from intervening in those cases. 

Overall, deportations reduced by about one-third in places with sanctuary policies, and immigrants arrested but not convicted of a crime were about 50 percent less likely to get deported. 

“There’s no evidence sanctuary policies harm public safety, and there’s no evidence those policies increase crime,” Hausman, who previously worked with the American Civil Liberties Union that has challenged the administration’s immigration policies, told the Post.

“I think it’s disappointing that the government and this administration rely on anecdotes when there is data,” he added. “The government itself keeps the data I rely on, and if the administration had looked at its own data, it would know these claims are not true.”

ICE officers have the authority to make arrests anywhere in the country, but jurisdictions with sanctuary policies usually do not assist them by detaining suspects for federal authorities to pick up.

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The agency sent a statement to The Hill that did not directly address Hausman’s findings but cited instances of crimes linked to immigrants who were previously let go.

“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) maintains that cooperation with local law enforcement is essential to protecting public safety, and the agency aims to work cooperatively with local jurisdictions to ensure that criminal aliens are not released into U.S. communities to commit additional crimes,” an ICE spokesperson said. “There are numerous examples where an individual without legal status was arrested by state or local law enforcement and released into the community to reoffend while an ICE detainer was in place.”

In recent weeks, ICE has focused on sanctuary jurisdictions through Operation Rise, making more than 300 arrests, according to the Post. 

Local officials who pass sanctuary policies assert that the policies make immigrants more likely to report crimes instead of avoiding police out of a fear they could face deportation.

Updated: 3:27 p.m.