Will Taxpayers Come to the Aid of Sanctuary Cities?

People march through downtown Los Angeles supporting amnesty for illegal immigrants living in the United States Saturday, Sept. 2, 2006. The event, called "La Gran Marcha Laboral," was organized by the March 25 Coalition, which put on a massive protest in Los Angeles earlier this year. (AP Photo/Oscar Hidalgo)

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President Donald Trump started the process of denying federal grants to cities that don’t cooperate with federal immigration laws. Mayors of many large California cities, but not all, have declared they will resist the order and keep sanctuary status for undocumented immigrants. If the president is eventually successful in denying funds to sanctuary cities will local taxpayers bail out cities with additional tax revenue? That would be the ultimate test of voters’ support or rejection of sanctuary city policy.

We are a long way from that point but it is worth considering. Congress has to approve the reduced revenue to sanctuary cities. Lawsuits will be adjudicated since challenges are bound to be filed claiming the federal government cannot deny funds for local policies. Local government leaders in California also promise to establish funds for individuals to defend themselves against federal immigration deportation actions. These lawsuits and legal defense funds will add to taxpayer costs.

The debate over sanctuary for illegal immigrants is being fought on moral grounds. One side calls it a human rights issue. The other side asks how long civil society can function if people or institutions pick and choose the laws they will obey.

But support for and against the sanctuary policy may ultimately be measured in dollars and cents.

One indication of support or lack thereof for sanctuary policy is a poll conducted by UC Berkeley’s Institute of Government Studies. That poll showed 73 percent opposed the idea of sanctuary cities and that opposition was across the political spectrum. Yet, a more recent poll from the Hoover Institution had an even split on the question of sanctuary cities.

IGS director Jack Citrin points out that the poll results depend on how the question is asked. “In the IGS Survey which simply focused on cooperation with federal authorities in the case of someone arrested and detained, a large majority opposed non-cooperation, but this declined and became more polarized by party and ideology in the Hoover question which gave reasons for each position and noted that police chiefs felt this might deter cooperation in solving other crimes,” he said.

Citrin notes that Trump’s opposition to the policy tends to polarize the attitude of voters.

So will taxpayers be willing to support politicians defiance with their dollars, especially as some officials advocate for more taxes to increase traditional government services?

Citrin’s view: “This would be a good test of public opinion, particularly if the price was simply to hand over people charged or convicted as criminals. California has been willing to raise taxes recently, but mainly taxes on the rich. This kind of a tax might have a chance in highly liberal communities which now are exuding bravado and resistance but again depending on the framing and the size of the tax it wouldn’t be a slam dunk.”

This piece was originally published by Fox and Hounds Daily


  1. How many illegal immigrants should we allow into Ca.? One billion, two billion? How many?

  2. I DO NOT SUPPORT SANCTUARY CITIES!!!!! Our quality of life here in California has been diminished due to the 3 million illegals in this state. Illegals use our vital resources, take up housing, they cost money to educate, house, feed and provide medical resources. I for one look forward to less congestion on our roadways, and less people in general.

  3. Note to governor moonbat Brown and the rest of the la la land dwellers: You libs are late to the reality party, that train has left the station! Bulletin to snowflakes and la la land dwellers, ADULTS are now back in charge of government for the first time in DECADES and I for one am LOVING things! Get used to it!!!!!!!

  4. If you like your Sanctuary City, you can keep paying for your Sanctuary City – but the Feds won’t.

  5. This taxpayer will not support a sanctuary city, no way!!

    • I don’t necessarily disagree with you but considering the fact that CA has now become 70% Democrat coupled with the fact that the taxpayer has no say on how their money is spent for the most part, what do you suggest the taxpayers opposing such nonsense do?

  6. ILLEGAL means illegal. Do we need to make threats like the liberal left ??????? Do your job and uphold the law. You have an obligation to the CITIZENS of this state and the U.S. Why don’t you save our taxpayer money for roads, services, etc.???

  7. San Francisco is arrogant. They think their way is their only way. By allowing criminals of any ethnic background to freely roam the streets the rest of the world is afraid to visit San Francisco.

    • It’s not just SF. There are at least 40 and the list is growing. This is outrageous and they plan on using OUR money to not only fight Trump but also to pay for legal counsel for the criminals to fight deportation. When will this nonsense stop?

  8. I’ve had this thought before. IF those who want to allow illegal immigrants to invade us and use our resources including tax payer money, THEY should invite a family into their private home and provide shelter, food and medical care for their adopted family. THEIR choice ! I do NOT want illegal people no matter WHAT their ethnic origin to invade our state. It’s time for the people to elect new leadership. We got a bum deal.

  9. Andrew Kessel says

    One-party tyranny from Jerry & Co. How much can they tax and harass the working in CA, before the people have had enough? I have had enough. The State of Jefferson has had enough. How many other counties will follow?

  10. True Teacher says

    Nice article, but like all of the fine articles written here, reason and truth are trumped by demographics. Kinda wish the caucasian community never bought into birth control…

    Muslims weren’t and still aren’t stupid enough to buy into family planning via contraception and abortion, and they probably never heard of Paul Ehrlich fifty years ago. Yet, here we are today, victims of our own decisions and victims of scheming politicians who are importing voters. I’m happy we have Trump; what we don’t have is enough voters to throw the bums out in California.

    • sweetsuzee says

      TT – I doubt that they’ve ever heard of Paul Ehrlich to this very day. I thought he was nuts then and even moreso now. I didn’t buy into his arguments then and even less today. Quite the contrary as we are about to kiss the non-Hispanic Caucasian race goodbye as it becomes extinct although our population has more than doubled in my lifetime. So be it for the mulatto genes taking over. Former Pres. Obama never seemed to realize he was a mulatto. Hmmmm.

  11. TheRandyGuy says

    The people won’t get a say. Taxes will be imposed, with the alternative being to vote out the city councils in a couple of years if folks really disagree. Government in CA rules, it doesn’t represent.

  12. Why is it that the people that claim they want to be here in the United States always march around with the Mexican flag. Why be proud of a country that you are so anxious to get out and stay out of. Right now this state has the most illegals and the highest cost to taxpayers to support. I think all the sanctuary cities should have there funds pulled and live with what the people that put them into office off of.

  13. T.K. Anderson says

    The sad part that no one seems to pay attention to, is the gross violation of our Constitution in respecting the unity of law handed down by the central government. Every elected and/or appointed official in violation should be in jail. It called treason bypassing tyranny. This entire State has gone rogue separating itself from our central government ignoring the founding sovereignty of our Constitutional Republic. We the people are just as guilty for doing nothing but coming into blogs and forums like this to gripe about it while throwing back a drink and watching the latest reality T.V. show.

  14. hahahahahaha, H E L L NO!!!!!!!!!!

  15. ireAmerica says

    Governor Jerry Brown:

    Jerry, you work for the American citizen taxpaying residents of CA, OUR State, not foreign nationals who have broken the law to reside here.

    The illegal alien population of our State represent a net liability of just over $25Billion annually. So, NO you may not have additional tax revenue to provide legal defense for illegal aliens. And don’t try borrowing the money and then telling us to pay for it.

    You and the “Sactuary Mayors” are LIABLE for damages caused by illegal aliens that YOU illegally protected. Do you WANT to be prosecuted OR are you going to do your job?

  16. We need to remember this next year when Uncle Gavin runs for Govr. he not only supports the B.S. that is the sanctuary city but he with Govr Douch Bag, I mean Brown (if it’s brown, flush it down) are moving to make the entire state of California a sanctuary state. We need to save what is left of this state by voting these liberal A.H.’s out!

  17. I do believe Demos have a “death wish” as William Buckley said. How much are they willing to pay with their tax dollars to support criminal aliens?

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