March 22, 2017 | 4:30 EST
Since the election of Donald Trump in 2016, the plight of immigrant communities in the United States has become dire. The new administration has already taken steps to radically increase the speed and scale of deportations while significantly expanding the power of immigration enforcement agencies. In the face of these threats, a large and growing movement of organizers, advocates, and local governments are developing strategies to support their immigrant communities.
These efforts are building on the longstanding work by local elected officials and organizers to advance policies that include and protect immigrants. Many jurisdictions around the country have passed policies to stop the federal government from co-opting local resources for the enforcement of immigration law — these localities have come to be known as sanctuary cities (or counties). It is clear this exercise of local power will be more vital than ever in the coming months and years.
This toolkit is designed to help policymakers, at the local level, who wish to create or further strengthen sanctuary laws and policies. The policy guidance in this toolkit is directly informed by the important lessons of cities and counties who have lead these efforts to date.