U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions says criminal aliens are drawn to sanctuary cities, and he blames politicians for making their own communities more dangerous.
“Too many jurisdictions refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities regarding illegal aliens who commit crimes, even MS-13 gang members,” Sessions told police officers who gathered in Las Vegas. “These jurisictions are protecting criminals that under the law should be deported. I urge them to review what they're doing.”
Sessions recently cited a study he said shows that criminals take notice when places like San Francisco advertise themselves as being a sanctuary city.
However, Benjamin Gonzalez-O'Brien, an assistant professor of political science at Highline College south of Seattle, co-authored the study Sessions cited and says the attorney general's assessment is wrong.
“Because of the error band, there was no relationship between sanctuary policies and violent crime when we look at the pre and post period,” says O'Brien.
O'Brien's group analyzed FBI crime data and demographic information for 55 of the sanctuary cities listed by the National Immigration Law Center.
Meanwhile, city officials in Phoenix report falling cime statistics since dropping its sanctuary label. O'Brien says each city is different, but points to what his research found in Houston and elsewhere since President Donald Trump's election.
“For Los Angeles and Houston, it was found that reports of domestic violence, reports of rape and sexual assault among Latinos all decreased as a result of the administration's crackdown and fears of talking to police.”
The Pew Research Center ranks the Houston metro area third behind New York and L.A. for the number of illegal aliens with more than 500,000.