The Mayor of New York City, Eric Admas, recently visited El Paso, Texas, to witness firsthand the plight of immigrants at the border and the chaos they are causing to the system. The goal of the trip was to make clear to the people of New York that the immigration crisis requires collaboration and urgent action from all levels of government.
Mayor Adams said that New York City couldn’t take any more illegal immigrants which is a tough pill to swallow for anyone who has criticized sanctuary cities in the past. A sanctuary city is a city that has adopted policies that offer varying degrees of protection to illegal immigrants. While there is no single definition of a sanctuary city, a sanctuary city generally does not actively cooperate with federal immigration authorities, frequently has a policy to not inquire about immigration status during interactions between law enforcement and citizens, and may also provide public services or work permits to illegal immigrants.
Supporters of sanctuary cities say that they provide much-needed protection for undocumented immigrants by helping them feel secure in their communities and by allowing them access to vital services. They point out that the presence of illegal immigrants in the US is not going away and that a sanctuary city policy helps keep them from living in fear and in the shadows.
Opponents of sanctuary cities say that they are an affront to the rule of law and a magnet for illegal immigrants who want to live in a city without fear of deportation. They also point out that cities that adopt such policies are taking a risk that someone may take advantage of the protections and commit a crime.
NYC has roughly 500,000 illegal immigrants living in the city according to the nyc.gov website. This is an interesting number as this means that there is a potential of between 200,000 and 300,000 homes that are being occupied by illegal immigrants as opposed to citizens. For a city that has recently complained about a housing crisis, one could say illegal immigrants are a big part of the problem by increasing the demand for housing.