You Call Yourself a Sanctuary State? Not So Fast

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Map via wikipedia

While the notion of “sanctuary” — sanctuary cities, counties, states — appears in the news frequently, there’s no legal definition of, or widespread agreement on, what qualifies as one. Pacific Standard set out to make a map of where the policies exist, but that proved harder than it sounds.

Having laws or executive orders creating sanctuary policies might not be enough for a state be considered a sanctuary if law enforcement can still cooperate in significant ways with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

After exploring the policy debate and how it plays out on maps from the Center for Immigration Studies, one of the most prominent anti-immigration advocacy organizations in the country, and the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, a pro-immigration research and advocacy group, Pacific Standard produced its own version showing states with “sanctuary-like policies” that it rated as strong enough to have “significantly limited” ICE cooperation (California, Oregon, Vermont) or to have had a partial effect (New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Illinois, and Washington), or where court orders limit immigrant detention in local jails (Colorado, New Mexico, Massachusetts).

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