WASHINGTON – A majority of Americans would prefer not to live in sanctuary communities, according to a poll released Tuesday.
The Rasmussen Reports survey found that 51% of the respondents said they do not want to live in sanctuary communities, compared with 36% who said they favor the jurisdiction they live in declaring itself a sanctuary community. Meanwhile, 13% said they are not sure whether they would like to live in a sanctuary community.
The survey included 1,000 likely voters and was carried out Thursday through Sunday. It has a margin of error or plus or minus 3%.
A sanctuary community is a jurisdiction that refuses to cooperate with federal immigration authorities in certain situations. They are more commonly referred to as “sanctuary cities.”
Many major metropolitan centers in the U.S. are declared sanctuary communities or cities. They include: New York, Baltimore, New Orleans, Washington, D.C. and Montgomery County, Md. Eight states have been designated as sanctuaries: California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon and Vermont. A new sanctuary bill was introduced Thursday in the New York State Legislature.
President Donald Trump recently drew the ire of Democrats by proposing to relocate undocumented immigrants living in various parts of the country to sanctuary cities. The administration has tried to prevent sanctuary cities from receiving certain grants but courts have blocked those efforts.
Sanctuary city proponents have argued that allowing undocumented immigrants to remain in their communities without fear of deportation allows them to economically contribute and makes them comfortable enough to report crimes to the police.
Opponents of the policy maintain that sanctuary cities make communities less safe and decrease employment prospects for American citizens.