Amidst the already fraught politics of immigration, “sanctuary” policies, whereby state and local law enforcement agencies limit their cooperation with federal immigration enforcement authorities to varying degrees, have emerged as a particularly contentious issue. This paper sifts past the political vitriol surrounding the issue of “sanctuary” and uses original survey research in Philadelphia to answer a straightforward question: Are these policies working? That is, are the city of Philadelphia’s sanctuary policies actually building trust between its undocumented residents and local law enforcement, thereby laying the groundwork for higher rates of crime reporting and safer communities? My results from a survey (with a telling embedded treatment effect experiment) of undocumented Philadelphians indicates that the city’s sanctuary policies are in fact serving their intended objectives. When coupled with the recent debates in the state legislature surrounding the issue of “sanctuary,” my results beg difficult questions regarding the development of American federalism and the proper division of authority between states and municipalities.
Koenig, Thomas A.
"Sanctuary in the City of Brotherly Love: Probing the Effectiveness and Broader Implications of Philadelphia’s Sanctuary City Policies,"
Gettysburg Social Sciences Review: Vol. 5:
1, Article 5.
Available at: https://cupola.gettysburg.edu/gssr/vol5/iss1/5
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