Professor Peter Markowitz wrote an op-ed which appeared in The New York Times Friday, March 9, focusing on sanctuary cities and the Justice Department’s newly filed law suit against California, challenging three state laws that make up the heart of its sanctuary policies.

Today’s sanctuary laws, Markowitz claims, “do not direct state officers to take any steps to interfere with federal enforcement efforts. Instead, they dictate that the local police and state officers simply do not assist in the federal government’s deportation agenda — that they do nothing.”

Markowitz explains that the states are legally entitled to stay out of the federal government’s plans: “By exercising their constitutional right to stay out of the business of deportation, California and other sanctuary jurisdictions have been able to strengthen ties between local law enforcement and immigrant communities. Those ties, in turn, mean that immigrant witnesses and victims of crime are not fearful of coming forward to assist the local police. That is why a recent report by the Center for American Progress demonstrated that, contrary to Mr. Trump and Mr. Sessions’s heated rhetoric, sanctuary laws improve public safety by driving down overall crime rates.”

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