Weekly Lens #2: Sanctuary Cities

The Questions posed to the writers for RightLens News for this addition of the Weekly Lens was Simple, yet laced with deep reaching analysis of a major Political topic. The legality, and Morality of Sanctuary Cities. Writers were asked the simple question, what is your view on the legality and morality of sanctuary cities? here is their responses.

Right Wing Authoritarian Responses

(Luke Zimmerman)
It seems to me that sanctuary cities are pretty “deplorable” and counter-productive to ensure liberty. The term “sanctuary” makes the federal government like the enemy, but those people from urban areas who are leftists are all for big government: the bigger and more entitlements, the better. When a city is fed-up with the way the federal government is being run they can protest or voice their opinion as a local grassroot community. Columbus is trying to fit in with the mainstream cities such as San Francisco, Chicago, and New York. Our city is also ran by a corrupt, leftist, pig who, with the overwhelming majority of his city council, say they will try to implement sanctuary policies such as special protection as (ILLEGAL) immigrants, transgender bathrooms, and etc. It seems to me that's just a waste of time. Those liberals believe that they are morally and compassionately correct. Politics aren't about being nice and giving people things: it's about protecting the country, constitution, and it's people; to ensure prosperity. One day, during the 2016 primaries, I heard Bernie Sanders say he wanted to apologize; as a white-Jewish New Yorker, to Blacks for slavery. I simply thought that was completely off the path for a presidential nomination. The democrats kinda shot themselves by nominating Hillary as well, but that's another story lol. I used to be on the far-left and when the left turned to bathrooms, playing the race card for welfare, police brutality, and slavery being the underline cause of everything bad in this country was simply annoying and useless. The same people who voted for Obama eight years ago, voted for President Trump. It's been quite entertaining seeing the left protest the POTUS even before he came to the White House or before he even made an executive order. He hasn't made anything into law, and they're simply so fired up that they can't even answer a simple question about his policies or what they're exactly protesting: they just say, “P****!!!”, “F*** TRUMP!!” And wear pink hats and say that's their economic solution for the stock market being at all time highs. Sanctuary cities are deplorable but have the opportunity and right to protest and protect themselves. If this were another country like Germany, China, or Nigeria; they would not be able to voice their opinions like the way they are. Just another reason why we're the greatest country in the world. God Bless.

(Will Zimmerman)
There is a reason why we have law. And that is so nobody breaks the law and harms people. President Trump has been pro-LEGAL immigration and anti-ILLEGAL immigration. Huge difference, haters. President Trump must crack down on sanctuary cities quick, or else his campaign promises won't mean anything. So far, he hasn't skipped a beat. So why are the haters so mad about the travel ban; Trump is the first elected official that's done the things he promised. Obama, Bush, Clinton, all liars. To tie this into sanctuary cities, I was so disappointed when I flipped to Mayor Andrew Ginther addressing the city that Columbus was going to be a proud sanctuary city. First, I immediately lost all respect for Mayor Ginther. He was breaking the law. His address was pretty much a middle finger to laws about immigration. "Yeah we'll keep using taxpayer money to give to illegals and protect them from the Feds." I could not disagree more with Mayor Ginther. Now, I wonder how many other people were astonished about Ginther's address. Recently at CPAC, Sheriff David Clarke of Milwaukee County, had a rendering talk on immigration and the law's duty. Obviously, from prior knowledge, he's a Trump-supporting, MAGA guy. It should be the duty of law Enforcement to enforce the laws that have been put into place, so if they're just going to disregard the laws, then shouldn't sanctuary cities be punished for their dirty label? How Alex Jones says it, "The globalists are fighting with the Trump administration and want to ruin America." That's what these mayors of globalists cities are doing, ruining America. 

Left Wing Response (Sarah Shaffer)

A hot topic amidst the frenzy concerning various immigration reforms is sanctuary cities and their legality. To truly dig into this topic and all of its details, it is necessary to first develop an understanding or definition of what a ‘sanctuary city’ really is. So what is a sanctuary city? It is a city with several local municipalities (because courts and jails are held by counties, not the city) who will frequently refuse to comply with requests from the Federal Immigration Enforcement agency in regards to illegal immigrants. Some of these cities, such as L.A., have laws that prevent law enforcement from asking about immigration status or holding immigrants past their release dates. It is important for one to understand that these policies do NOT restrict local law enforcement from arresting or pursuing illegal immigrants if they have committed a crime. Quite simply actually, if these cities or municipalities do not see reason to enforce what the federal officials have ask them to do, such as detaining an immigrant or holding them for a prolonged period of time than initially ordered, they won’t comply. On the other hand, if they see fit and they see enough reason to enforce what the federal officials have ordered, they will enforce it.
So how legal is this? Totally legal. In Galarza v. Szalczyk it was found that detaining someone by orders of ICE was voluntary. Because of this ruling and others such as those in Morales v. Chadbourne where it was ruled unconstitutional to detain someone past their release date under the fourth amendment, these cities’ actions are absolutely legal.
So how are sanctuary cities are helpful for illegal immigrants? According to statistics from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website, in 2016 58% of removals, or 138,669 removals were illegal immigrants who were previously convicted of crimes. 78,351 of those removed for previously convicted crimes were removed for crimes committed in their countries of origin (as they were apprehended at the border). It is important to consider that whatever these ‘crimes’ were in their countries of origins, they were not recorded. The laws in these countries of origins are different and prosecution is nowhere near as just as the system we have grown and nurtured in the United States. 101,586 illegal immigrants were removed with no current or previous convictions. So as far as ICE could be concerned, these people posed no immediate harm to our citizens. Because so many of these immigrants are trying to find refuge from violent or dangerous origins and don’t have the time to apply to citizenship through proper channels, sanctuary cities provide a refuge for them to stay in the nation, safe from what they came from, until they can attain the proper paperwork.  
So how should we handle this influx of illegal immigrants? When mulling through the options, yes, we can spend lots of federal money employing ICE to search out illegal immigrants who are here for a better life (ICE spends $12,500 deporting each illegal immigrant. When you multiply that out for each immigrant, that’s a lot of money coming out of our pockets), or we can redirect those funds (to a seemingly much cheaper option) of helping these illegal immigrants apply for citizenship and giving them the tools they need. So yes, illegal immigrants do not pay taxes. But is it really worth that much of our tax money to deport as many immigrants as our president would like to instead of just spending much less money helping them be able to pay their own taxes? It is important to for these immigrants to know that we’re not fighting against them, but fighting for them should they want to be a rightful citizen of this great nation. After all, we are a nation of immigrants. That is said a lot but it is often forgotten how true that is. America is what it is today from the back breaking work of our ancestors from all around the world.  

Information for definition of sanctuary city/ information about L.A. immigration laws:
Information on court cases and legality of sanctuary cities:
Sources for ICE spending:
(Chron sourced from Deputy Director Kumar Kibble of U.S> Customs Enforcement)

Review (Sean Pereksta)
When looking at the Subject of Sanctuary Cities, there is a plethora of arguments to be made, Some would make the claim that it is only the moral thing to do to take in the poor illegal immigrants, siting the Statue of Liberty as evidence.
However, when looking at this, it is important that I acknowledge all bias, including my own, Naturally I will generally disagree with our Moderate and Left wing correspondents, Farah, and Sarah, while agreeing sometimes with Luke and Will, our Right Authoritarians. I am very much Right Wing Libertarian so I look at this issue from a bias view, so this review of course will unfairly lean towards the right.
After Reading Luke's opinion, I didn't necessarily see anything about illegal immigration, however he did hit on the hypocrisy of left wing groups who openly support a big government being terrified of the government enforcing law and making sanctuary cities to protect from laws, which may not have existed if they didn't give the government so much power. I felt this response not to adequately address Sanctuary Cities, as well as being overly confrontational, this response was more of a strong rebuke of the left wing's addiction with morality that they twist in order to manipulate people into supporting them on a purely moral, yet illogical stance. However, I don't even necessarily believe giving sanctuary to illegal immigrants is moral, the fact is, it is greedy and selfish to enter a country illegally. I can't put these terms on young kids that are brought here since they were not the perpetrators, but adults that come here illegally and leech off of social programs have no moral high ground and don't deserve sanctuary. Come here legally, pay taxes, and become a citizen, there is no other right way to enter America.
On to Will's Article, he hit on the point that it is the government's duty to enforce law. As Sarah brings up in her article, state and city governments are not necessarily required to enforce national law, however Will's argument gives the opinion that it should not be that way. His writing builds and reinforces the point that it is wrong to take taxpayers money and give it to people who shouldn't be here anyways. It is odd that this is a controversial statement, if you came to America illegally, you are not supposed to be here, go back, and come in legally, as I said when responding to luke, "Come here legally, pay taxes, and become a citizen, there is no other right way to enter America."
Finally, after Reading Sarah's argument, it was clear she supported Sanctuary Cities legally, and morally. First off, I'll say right from the start, I disagree with a lot that was said, however, I do agree that we should make a pathway to citizenship, I just tend to believe that the pathway to citizenship starts with a visa and then greencard, skipping those steps just mocks all the hardworking immigrants that came here and finally received the coveted American citizenship. Her argument that Sanctuary cities are legal was effective and based on fact however it is a bit of a strawman argument, She proposes that since it is not the cities duty to comply with Ice, that it is okay that they willingly break federal law. Can they get away with it legally, yes, but is it legal to knowingly assist those who are breaking the law, not really. It also just happens to be the case that Americans don't like it one bit, 80% of Americans believe that local authorities should comply with the federal government, as well as 80% of Americans being against Sanctuary Cities, this is according to a Harvard-Harris poll that took voters opinions on this matter. The fact is Americans don't like taxes already, they especially don't like 113 billion dollars a year going to illegal immigrants.

In her article, our left wing correspondent, Sarah, also made the argument that Illegal Immigrants who come here and were convicted of crimes in their home countries may just be escaping unjust sentences.Yes, all 78,351 of them. I find this statement to be very conveniently put, yes these people are criminals, but just because their laws are unfair. there is no evidence that the laws are unfair, but saying so could build a sense of pity for the poor victimized criminals. No, first of all, I already said this, but i'll say it again, all illegal immigrants have committed a crime by coming here illegally, but if they already shouldn't be coming in illegally, they certainly shouldn't be coming in if they are already convicted of a crime in their home country. Citizens of other nations, who committed crimes in those nations should not be coming to America to seek "Just" charges, it is not America's duty to take in other countries criminals. I find it ironic that this argument could possibly be made, when the whole point of closing guantanamo bay for the left is to send criminals either into federal prisons, or to other countries, to be charged by their own government, but now apparently criminals should seek to come to america rather than facing justice for the crimes they committed. Also the claim that illegal immigrants come here to escape some form of persecution is unfounded and not factually supported. I agree completely that there should be pathways to citizenship, and that as farah said, there should be immigration reform, but I don't think alleviating criminals from justice is the way to go. Any Illegal immigrant facing charges in their home country should immediately be sent to face justice, reap what you sow, if you commit a crime, pay the price. America is a country of laws,


  1. Dear Sean, your statement about Sarah's argument that sanctuary cities are a "strawman argument" is incorrect. A strawman argument means one person is responding to another person’s "actual position or argument with a distorted, exaggerated, or misrepresented version of the position of the argument." Sarah was just answering the question of whether the actions of sanctuary cities are legal.

  2. My point on the Straw man argument is that she is responding to the idea that Sanctuary Cities are illegal and saying that by them having the right to not obey the federal law, that somehow what they are standing for is legal. In this instance, that argument would be a straw man argument because the argument seeks to prove that the activities sanctuary cities are involved with are not illegal, by proving that they can not follow federal law or federal orders, it does not change the fact they break the law. by definition, that is a straw man argument, it answers by refuting an argument not advanced by the mainstream opposition.

  3. Dear Sean, You are to be commended for having the initiative to start a blog, include diverse voices, and acknowledge your biases. I believe we are all biased to some degree. However, your statement about strawman arguments continues to be completely incorrect. Using case law to support a position that sanctuary cities are acting within the law when they decline to enforce U.S. immigration law at the request of ICE is not: 1) distorting or misrepresenting someone’s argument to make it easier to attack; or 2) even responding to an argument. You cannot make up your own definition of strawman argument. Lynn Shaffer

  4. Based on every definition of straw Man I have seen, this argument still seems to fit the description.
    The argument is not whether it is legal for Sanctuary Cities to harbor illegal immigrants. It is legal to not aid Ice officials, but according to 1907 title 8 U.S.C 1324(a) offenses: "makes it an offense for any person who -- knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place, including any building or any means of transportation."
    Therefore, while Sarah effectively makes the point that local authorities are not required to comply with ICE, that in no way combats the point that it is illegal to harbor Illegal immigrants. thus, city officials, with reckless disregard for the law, are harboring Illegal immigrants and are in violation of the law I just mentioned. Therefore to say that it is legal for cities to not comply with ICE does not refute the actual argument that Sanctuary Cities are illegal by nature.

  5. The argument ignores the legality of the actual action and instead inserts the legality of not complying with ICE, therefore it does not respond to the actual argument, and distorts the point to make it easier to attack, making it appear that Sanctuary Cities are completely illegal, when as I showed using US title code in my previous reply, it is certainly not legal.


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