The Arizona Police Association reported that the City of Phoenix experienced a dramatic decline in crime after ending its sanctuary city status, which is in sharp contrast to what sanctuary supporters are advocating.
In fact, many supporters contend that sanctuary cities are safer than cities that turn over criminal aliens to ICE officials for deportation.
California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon (D) said during a recent press conference that “Police chiefs across the nation believe that enlisting local police to enforce immigration law is a bad idea.” He added, “Having [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] pluck criminals out of jail and send them across the border or wherever they came only to come right back endangers our communities.”
But, does this argument hold true when at least one major U.S. city has reported significantly lower crime rates after removing its sanctuary city status?
Former Phoenix police officer and Executive Director of the Arizona Police Association Levi Bolton claimed that after becoming a non-sanctuary state in May 2008, the measure had a “deterrent effect on folks because the risk of discovery went up exponentially when we actually enforced the law.”
By reversing the status, police officers were granted full discretion to question suspects about their immigration status and given the freedom to contact ICE.
Bolton told Fox News reporters:
“When we eliminated our sanctuary policy back in 2008, we saw crime, violent and stolen vehicles fall by 25 percent,” he recalled. “We saw a 20-year low crime rate. When we were allowed and had the discretion to contact our federal immigration partners, crime fell drastically.”
According to City-Data.com, which collects data from various government agencies, from 2008 to 2009 Phoenix’s murder rate fell 27 percent, robberies by 23 percent, assault by 13 percent, burglaries by 14 percent and theft by 19 percent. The numbers for each category fell the following year as well – albeit by smaller margins.
Furthermore, a six-year study published in 2016 by the University of California, stated the city of Riverside found “violent crime is slightly higher in sanctuary cities.”
Despite evidence showing that lower crime rates and sanctuary cities are not mutually inclusive, more than 200 cities across the U.S. have adopted sanctuary policies under an apparent false assumption that it will make their cities “safer.”
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