UC Riverside Study Confirms, Sanctuaries Not Safer than Other Cities

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

July 23, 2017
Make California Safe, No on SB 54, Sanctuary State Bill.
Sanctuary city advocates have long argued that harboring criminal aliens makes communities safer. As their tortured logic goes, if illegal immigrants are confident that, pursuant to sanctuary policy, local law enforcement won’t turn them over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, then they’re more likely to cooperate with police, and to report other crimes. Advocates insist that, in the end, sanctuaries cities are in residents’ best interests.

But a six-year University of California Riverside study debunks the theory that sanctuary communities are safer than others. After analyzing 55 cities located in 20 states and the District of Columbia, UCR found that “violent crime is slightly higher in sanctuary cities,” and that overall “no statistically discernible difference in violent crime rates, rape, or property crime.” 

Phoenix is an example of how ending sanctuary results in less violence. In 2008, Phoenix reversed its sanctuary status, and the Executive Director to the Arizona Police Association, Levi Bolton, said that the positives were dramatic. Bolton said that once police officers could ask suspects about their immigration status and, when appropriate, alert ICE, “We saw a decrease in crime.”

California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon, fear-mongerd at a recent news that having ICE “pluck criminals out of jail and send them across the border or wherever they came only to come right back endangers our communities. de Leon authored California’s SB 54 which would, in his words, “freeze out ICE” and make the state a sanctuary.

In an interesting footnote, at the Hispanic lobby’s urging Phoenix’s new police chief Jeri Williams tried to reinstate sanctuary. But fear of a lawsuit, and public pressure have forced the city council to postpone action. Judicial Watch has the complete update here.
Phoenix’s citizens have set an example of how activism succeeds. Please follow Phoenix’s lead and become active in our collective effort to protect and save California for its citizens and legal residents. Watch the CAPS ad that discusses sanctuary California’s risk here, and read the related press release here.

Then go to the CAPS Action Alert page here to tell your California Assemblyman to reject SB 54, the legislation that would make California officially a sanctuary state. 

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