July 30, 2021

List of Sanctuary Cities for Illegal Aliens Are Growing

Screen-Shot-2016-05-23-at-8.15.49-PM-2The U.S. may soon find itself in a civil war when it comes to the issues surrounding U.S. immigration laws. No other topic of discussion can create such antagonism between man and woman, brother and sister, neighbors and friends, then a discussion of the 12 million illegal aliens in the U.S. The US seems to be revisiting the civil war were the nation practically split in two because of the issue of slavery. Now, with the federal government ‘s failure to take charge of the immigration issue, each state has decided to resolve it on their own leading to a checkered countryside of pro and anti immigrant cities and states.

Most recently cities and states have been staking their sides by providing some sanctuary to the illegal aliens living in their community.

A Sanctuary city protects illegal aliens through local resolutions, executive orders or city ordinances. City police departments may also issue their own special orders, policies and general orders to the similar effect. Some cities have formal sanctuary policies. Others have informal sanctuary policy that does not exist on paper but none-the-less is carried out by the actions of government workers (administrative, service, or safety).

As of this writing the following cities are considered Sanctuary Cities.

Sanctuary Cities, USA



·Anchorage, AK (6/13/07 Congressional Research Service) (7-29-10 The Municipality of Anchorage disputes the listing. See notes at bottom of page for details.)

  • * (The city of Fairbanks has been removed from the Sanctuary Cities list due to the city council’s passage of a resolution supporting a formal recognition of its cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency. The city of Fairbanks had previously been listed due its designation as a sanctuary city by the Congressional Research Service. OJJPAC thanks the City of Fairbanks for taking positive steps to clarify its compliance with federal law. Fairbanks enforcement statistics will be monitored for compliance as.


·Chandler, AZ (Added 5/30/07, Congressional Research Service Report, 2006 )

·Mesa, AZ (Added 10-18-09, Sources: Judicial Watch; East Valley Tribune article,1-4-2008)*


  • Fresno, CA (6/13/07 Congressional Research Service)
  • Richmond, CA (Added 11-5-09. Sources: Mayor Gayle McLaughlin’s campaign website from 2004, 2006)
  • San Bernardino, Ca. (Added 6/7/07, reader submitted / 9/5/08 Listing disputed by the city administration* See addl.notes)
  • Santa Clara County, CA (Added 11-29-10, source: Forced into Immigration Enforcement, A County Considers Plan B, 10-21-10, Huffington Post.)
  • Santa Maria, CA (11-18-08 Submitted research from local activist/ Listing disputed by the city administration)



  • Hartford, CT (Added 5/4/10. Source: [Ordinance passed in 2008], NEWS 21 Blog, by Amy Crawford, Hartford, CT)
  • New Haven, CT (Added 6/4/07. Source: TV News 8: City council votes 25-1 to issue ID cards to illegal aliens)


·DeLeon Springs, FL

·Deltona, FL

·Jupiter, FL (Added 4-13-09. Previously on watch list.)

·Lake Worth, FL (Added 4-13-09.)


  • Dalton, GA (Added 5/30/07. 6/18/07 Listing disputed by the City of Dalton, GA. City’s written policy requested. )




  • Wichita (Source: Police department policy exposed after the death of Lola Jayne, KSN TV-3, 12-19-08)


  • New Orleans, LA (Source: Police department announced policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell” by Police superintendent Warren Riley, WWL-TV; 9-9-09)


  • Cambridge, Mass. (Source: Boston Globe. First passed resolution in 1985)
  • Chelsea, Mass. (Added: 8-14-07 Source: Chelsea government website with text of sanctuary policy.)


  • Portland (Added 5/31/07 Note: Maine resident reported that Portland city council passed sanctuary legislation)
  • State of Maine (Added 5/31/07 Note: Governor of Maine initiated de facto protections for illegals by Executive Order in 2004)*


  • Mt. Rainier, MD (Added 1-20-08, Source: The Washington D.C. Examiner, 1-19-08)
  • Montgomery County, MD (Added 11-3-09, Source: Frederick County sheriff worried about MontCo gangs, The Washington D.C. Examiner, 11-2-09)
  • Takoma Park, MD (Reported that City ordinance passed some 20 years ago; Congressional Research Service)


·Ann Arbor, MI (6/13/07 Congressional Research Service)

·Detroit, MI (6/13/07 Congressional Research Service)


  • Worthington, MN (Added 5-30-07 Note: This is where a Swift plant was raided by ICE in December, 2006)


  • Reno (Added 5-31-07; 2-18-08 Disputed by city; OJJPAC has requested a copy of city policies. Copy of policies never received as of 9-12-10)

New Jersey

  • Camden, NJ (Added in 2007; latest source: Camden, Immigrant Haven?, By Lauren Feeney, City Paper, 7-16-08)

New Mexico

·Albuquerque, NM (6/13/07 Congressional Research Service; 8-14-07 KOB-TV 4 Eyewitness News report)

·Aztec, NM (Added 5-8-10, Identified by CRS in 2006 report to Congress)

·Rio Ariba County, NM (6/13/07 Congressional Research Service)

·Santa Fe, NM (6/13/07 Congressional Research Service)

New York

·Albany, NY (Added 7-22-09 Source: Council adopts don’t ask policy, Times Union report by Jordan Carleo-Evangelist)

North Carolina

·Carrboro, NC (Added 11-12-07 Source: Towns differ on illegal aliens by Patrick Winn, The News & Observer)

·Chapel Hill, NC (Added 11-12-07 Source: Towns differ on illegal aliens by Patrick Winn, The News & Observer)

  • Chatham County, NC (Added 1-14-09 Source: Chatham rejects immigration program, The News & Observer)


·Columbus, OH (7/5/07 Source: 5/10/07 Columbus Dispatch article stating illegal aliens in misdemeanor cases are not reported to ICE)

·Dayton, OH (Added 1-11-10 Source: Dayton Daily News story by Lucas Sullivan. Police chief prohibits officers from asking about immigration status.

·Lima, OH (Added 10-28-08 Note: City administration opposes County Sheriff’s efforts to remove illegal aliens.)

·Oberlin, OH (Added 1-25-09. Source: City Resolution adopted January 20, 2009)

·Painesville, OH (7-19-07 Source: 7-18-07 Cleveland Scene article)


·Oklahoma City(de facto)

  • Tulsa (6-3-07 Note: Tulsa city council is discussing changing its sanctuary policy. 8-15-10 Update: See note below.)


·State of Oregon *(8-9-07 Congressional Research Service) *(See note below)


·Philadelphia, PA* (7-15-10 Source: Mayor Nutter’s, November, 2009 Executive order: Policy Concerning Access of Immigrants to City Services .)



  • Provo, UT* (* 8-27-2010 The current administration in Provo Utah contacted OJJPAC earlier this month and indicated that it has no desire to be a sanctuary for illegal aliens. Verification of fact in progress. )

Salt Lake City, UT


·Alexandria, VA* (Added 10-6-08, Source: City Resolution No. 2246 adopted 10-9-07)


  • State of Vermont* (Added 11-29-10 Source: 11-21-10 Vermont AG proposes bias-free policing policy, Burlington Free Press)


  • King Co. Council, WA (Added as a de facto sanctuary on 6-28-09 Source: The Seattle Times; and on 11-9-09 Ordinance passed)


·Madison, WI (Congressional Research Service) Update: In June, 2010, the city council passed a resolution reaffirming its policy.


Washington, D.C. (Update: The Washington D. C. city council has voted to prohibit its police department from participating in the Secure Communities program in July, 2010 according to an AP story by Ivan Moreno dated 7-26-10.)

Cities under review

Diamond Bar, CA (6/26/07 Disputed by city. Currently being researched to verify.)

Boulder, CO

DesMoines, IA (Added 11-28-07 Source: Proposal seeks banning immigration raids in D.M., by Nigel Duara, DesMoines-Register)

Bridgeton, NJ (Added 6-3-07) [7-27-07 Disputed by a reputed farm worker advocate, see note below.]

Peekskill, NY [Disputed, being researched]

San Antonio, TX [Note: The Sanctuary status of San Antonio is disputed, being researched.]

Watch List Cities Note: This is a new list started 8-14-07 and was updated on 12-2-10.

  • Joliet, IL (Source: Resident alleges police have don’t ask don’t tell policy, courts ignore immigration status)
  • Iowa City, IA (Source: Article, Group pushes Iowa City as ‘immigration sanctuary city,’ DesMoines Register, 10-31-10)
  • Cedar Rapids, IA (Source: Article, Two Iowa cities considering adopting sanctuary policies for illegal aliens, by Dave Gibson, Examiner.com, 12-20-10)
  • Lexington, KY (Source: 11-12-07 Submitted by local resident who claims it is a sanctuary city)
  • Clark County, OH (Source: 9-29-08 Springfield-News-Sun Editorial (Sheriff Kelly not interested in removing illegal aliens)

Sanctuary Cities, USA: Additional Notes

Anchorage, AK

The Municipality of Anchorage sent OJJPAC a letter disputing the city’s listing postmarked July 29, 2010. It claims that the Congressional Research Service’s listing of the city as a “sanctuary” was based on a Resolution adopted by its Assembly (AR 2003-223) in 2003. The Municipal Attorney Dennis Wheeler says that that Resolution was rescinded on December 18, 2007.

Mesa, Arizona

Mesa Arizona has been added as a sanctuary city list because of its reported “don’t ask don’t tell policy” and criticism by the local sheriff that the city is not enforcing the law. The sheriff has arrested illegal aliens working in city buildings (as contract workers for a private cleaning company), reportedly after the city police department refused to investigate complaints of illegal hires by a whistleblower.

Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia’s Mayor signed an Executive Order in November 2009 that provided additional protections to illegal aliens in the city. However, the City of Philadelphia does have an existing Preliminary Arraignment Reporting System (PARS) agreement with ICE. Mayor Nutter objects to the PARS computer technology agreement which is now up for renewal. The Mayor apparently believes that the access of data by ICE will result in increased immigration violation investigations and deportations. Here is an article by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Tucson, Arizona

Tucson Arizona has been added to the sanctuary city list because the Tucson police have instituted a new policy which prevents their officers from calling Immigration and Customs Enforcement to schools and churches.

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tulsa city councilor Jim Mautino was quoted in a Tulsa World article by P.J. Lassek, that he believes Tulsa is a sanctuary city and that the Police don’t verify legal presense during traffic stops. Mautino wants to crack down on illegal aliens and introduce an ordinance mandating the use of E-Verify because the resolution that was passed cannot be enforced.

State of Oregon

According to a CRS report (October, 2005), Oregon passed a law in 1987 that prohibits local and state law enforcement from using state resources for locating and capturing illegal aliens. Law enforcement was permitted [but not required] to “exchange information” with federal immigration agents if an illegal alien was arrested for a crime.

San Bernardino, CA.

San Bernardino was added to the list on June 6th of 2007 as a result of a readers submission. On September 5th 2008, the city administration contacted me to dispute its listing. OJJPAC has asked the city’s law department to forward copies of the city’s policies regarding its processes when illegal aliens are encountered in its city.

Bridgeton, NJ 7-27-07 Disputed by a reputed farm worker advocate who sent me this email:

“I just wanted to point out an inaccuracy on your website’s listing of sanctuary cities. You have Bridgeton, NJ listed as a sanctuary city, and indeed it is most definitely not. I work with CATA – The Farm workers’ Support committee (www.cata-farmworkers.org) and we have an organized group of membership in this town. One of our goals is working towards making Bridgeton an sanctuary city, but the local government is quite unfriendly towards the immig