"In the United States and Canada, a sanctuary city is a city which permits residence by [undocumented] immigrants to help them avoid deportation. ... Such policies can be set expressly in law (de jure) or observed in practice (de facto), but the designation "sanctuary city" does not have a precise legal definition."
In response to the Trump administration, cities have been releasing official statements declaring themselves to be "sanctuary cities". While each city outlines different policies within this statement, the meaning is clear: We won't help the Trump Administration bully immigrants. The Trump Administration has been pushing back; most recently, Attorney General Sessions said that any city, county or state that does not share immigration status with ICE would be stripped of billions of dollars in Department of Justice grants.
Sanctuary cities have repeatedly been threatened with federal fiscal penalties, but cities persist in making their declarations. Tacoma hasn't declared itself a sanctuary city, but it has all the same policies in place, including the refusal to share immigration status with the feds. The State of Washington as a whole was declared a sanctuary state by Governer Jay Inslee.
Who to call:
More info: Inslee's order making WA a sanctuary state; an exampe of a city-level declaration from Seattle; also be aware that many of the Council Members on Tacoma City Council, and Mayor Strickland herself, have been reluctant to make a grand declaration of sanctuary status, but in practice are very pro-immigrant. Several of our Council Members are involved with Tacoma Community House, an immigrant advocacy non-profit.
Hello, my name is _____, and I'm from [address or ZIP]. I'm calling in support of sanctuary cities. Many people seek refuge and opportunities in my own community, and they improve our community with their presence. No matter what threats Attorney General Sessions makes, I'm asking the [Governor/Mayor/Councilmember] to strongly resist any suggestion that the federal government has the authority to require the enforcement of immigration policy on a local level.
I understand that each sanctuary city policy is different, and I specifically support a few resolutions:
I ask that we continue to refuse to enter into any agreements to act as an extension of federal immigration policy enforcement, Continue to not inquire about immigration status, Continue to serve all residents and make sure all city services will be accessible to all residents regardless of immigration status, and only honor ICE detainer requests that are accompanied by a criminal warrant issued by a federal judge or magistrate.
Do I have the [Governor/Mayor/Councilmember]'s support in this?