Without question, migration to the United States has become more than just a watercooler topic for discussion. Immigration policies have emerged as a lightning rod issue in the upcoming presidential election. Whatever your views on the subject, they are controversial to some. Much of the debate concerns so-called sanctuary cities and states.

The Center for Immigration Studies defines sanctuary jurisdictions as cities, counties, and states that have "ordinances, regulations, resolutions, policies or other practices that obstruct immigration enforcement and shield criminals from ICE - either by refusing to or prohibiting agencies from complying with ICE detainers, imposing unreasonable conditions on detainer acceptance, denying ICE access to interview incarcerated aliens, or otherwise impeding communication or information exchanges between their personnel and federal immigration officers."

Massachusetts is not a declared sanctuary state, though the Center for Immigration Studies and the Federation for American Immigration Reform count it among the 11 states they identify as sanctuary states based on prior court rulings.

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The other 10 are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, and Washington.

These Massachusetts And Rhode Island Cities Are Sanctuary Cities
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There are eight sanctuary cities in Massachusetts: Amherst, Boston, Cambridge, Concord, Lawrence, Newton, Northhampton and Somerville.

While Rhode Island is not a sanctuary state, the capital city of Providence is a sanctuary city.

Despite efforts by the Trump Administration to withhold certain federal funds from sanctuary states and cities that may violate federal law, the courts have been inconsistent in their rulings on the matter. As a result, the legality of sanctuary jurisdictions remains unclear.

The Georgetown Immigration Law Review says, "Given the constitutional state-federal powers question implicated in the fight over sanctuary cities and the proliferation of litigation, many expect the issue to make its way to the Supreme Court."

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