NYC Is ‘Most Dangerous Sanctuary Community’ in US, Report on Illegal Alien Policies Says

NYC Is ‘Most Dangerous Sanctuary Community’ in US, Report on Illegal Alien Policies Says
ICE Deputy Director Thomas Homan at a press conference about immigration enforcement and border security, in Washington on Dec. 5, 2017. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Matthew Vadum

New York City has been deemed “America’s Most Dangerous Sanctuary Community” in a report issued by the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI).

The city was named the second-worst sanctuary community in IRLI’s 2019 ranking.
“Since then, the city has doubled down on its dangerous sanctuary policies to earn the shameful top position,” the new report (pdf) states.

So-called sanctuary communities refuse to cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the apprehension of illegal aliens, instead releasing them into the community to wreak havoc on the country, the report states. The lawless sanctuary jurisdictions also serve as magnets for other criminal aliens, whose presence makes those communities more dangerous for legal residents as well as those who are unlawfully present in the United States.

New York is ranked first on the new list of America’s worst sanctuary communities, followed by: Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Seattle, Wake County, N.C., Middlesex County, N.J., and Portland, Oregon.

“These communities have earned their places on this list because of incredibly poor leadership at the city, county, and state levels,” Dale L. Wilcox, IRLI’s executive director and general counsel, said in a statement.

“Data overwhelmingly shows that sanctuary policies lead to more crime, fear, and death. The leaders of these communities should not escape accountability for the damage they have caused. Their residents deserve much more.”

Although New York Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat, came to office earlier this year promising to crack down on rising crime, he has continued to support the radical pro-illegal alien policies of his predecessor, former Mayor Bill de Blasio, a far-left Democrat. Adams supports the city’s sanctuary status that welcomes illegal aliens.

The City Council approved Adams-supported legislation earlier this year, bestowing on noncitizens the right to vote in local elections. In June, a state court invalidated the law, finding it ran afoul of the state constitution. IRLI filed a brief in court opposing the law.

In 2019, the city freed upwards of 7,500 illegal aliens, including some with murder and sex abuse convictions. The same year, the city banned the legally correct term “illegal alien,” imposing a penalty of $250,000 for violators. U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has demanded the abolition of ICE and called border detention facilities “concentration camps.”

No. 2 on the list, Los Angeles, is now a safe haven for criminals since “woke” District Attorney George Gascón—who narrowly fended off a recall effort on Aug. 15 after it fell short of the required number of voter signatures—took office in late 2020, the report states.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, a Democrat, said earlier this year that crime has become “profitable” with Gascón in office.

“We’re having people [from] out of county, out of state, coming here to L.A. to do home invasion robberies, burglaries,” Villaneuva said. “Foreign nationals [are] coming here to do burglaries.”

At the same time, Villanueva has frustrated immigration enforcement. In 2020, he said he supported a permanent ban on ICE transfers, saying, “There is no greater threat to public safety than a million undocumented immigrants who are afraid to report crime.”

In 2020, Los Angeles County gave $14 million to illegal aliens who had been held in detention. The same year, Los Angeles refused to hand over to ICE a convicted murderer, Salvadoran illegal alien Carlos Morales-Ramirez. The man was released and then committed second-degree murder, a crime for which he was convicted.

In 2019, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti vowed to defy immigration authorities.

“I want you to know, you do not need to be afraid. Your city is on your side, and rest assured, here in Los Angeles we are not coordinating with ICE,” he said.

In fiscal 2019, ICE wanted to arrest 11,000 illegal aliens in Los Angeles, but only 5 percent were handed over by local authorities. According to the Washington Examiner, Los Angeles jails refused to transfer more than 25,000 criminal illegal aliens.

No. 3 on the list, Chicago “has become a lawless hellscape where weekends of double-digit shooting victims are the norm” under the leadership of Mayor Lori Lightfoot, a Democrat, the IRLI report states.

Chicago police are arresting very few suspects, and in 2021, the city broke a 25-year record when there were more than 800 reported homicides.

In 2020, as Chicago was grappling with the pandemic and an unprecedented crime surge, Lightfoot issued an executive order making illegal aliens eligible for all city benefits. The same year, she also signed a local ordinance that forbade city officials from working with ICE to detain illegal aliens, even those facing criminal charges or who were in the city’s gang database.

In 2019, Cook County District Attorney Kimberly Foxx, a Democrat, worked to prevent criminal illegal aliens from being removed from the country. In April, Illinois began offering health care free of charge to some illegal aliens. The state has one of the largest senior illegal alien populations in the United States.

Tom Homan, IRLI senior fellow and former acting director of ICE, said the jurisdictions listed in the new report are failing their residents.

“Immigrant communities don’t want criminals in their neighborhoods either,” Homan said.

“Victims and witnesses of crime don’t want the offender back in their communities to seek revenge. All communities deserve protection from criminals, but sanctuary policies put immigrant communities at greater risk of crime.”

IRLI’s stated mission is “to defend responsible immigration policies in court, before administrative agencies, and before legislative bodies on behalf of the American people; to serve as a watchdog to safeguard against abuses of power; and to educate the American people about the threat of unchecked mass migration to themselves and their communities.”