I’m going to lump together our arguments, focus on rebuttals and then rebuild my case.
1. Law Enforcement and Safety
a) Reporting Criminal Activity
Pro’s argues that sanctuary cities are safer than non-sanctuary cities, providing a single mechanism of action: that immigrants are more likely to volunteer information about or report a crime in a sanctuary city. His argument rests on a single source from Mother Jones, which focuses its attention on California and, in particular, on San Francisco. The study is from 2013, and the article that Pro links only contains a defunct link to it, though I was able to find it
I concede that undocumented immigrants are less likely to communicate with law enforcement. However, this does not demonstrate that sanctuary cities experience an increased degree of communication. Alternate causality can explain this, as studies have shown that other issues, including the language barrier and cultural differences, play a greater role in reducing reporting rates
. Immigrants may choose not to report a crime for a variety of reasons, and this survey demonstrates that, contrary to Pro’s source, language barriers, cultural differences, and a lack of understanding of the criminal justice system are the key problems preventing reporting of crimes. Fear of being turned over to immigration authorities was not a common reason provided.
One study showed that the implementation of programs that screen offenders for immigration status and refer illegal immigrants to ICE for removal do not lead to a decline in crime reporting
. Other studies out of New York
, and Collier County, FL
individually found that a program where ICE worked directly with local sheriff’s deputies to enforce immigration laws, which resulted in an uptick in the number of undocumented immigrants being deported, also did not affect patterns of crime reporting. These are much more direct efforts to assess the impact of policy changes employed by sanctuary cities, whereas Pro’s source focuses on a survey of priorities and emotional responses, failing to address actual behavioral changes resulting from any single change. It also doesn’t help that Pro’s study did not compare crime reporting rates with other ethnic groups that are not subject to immigration enforcement concerns. These also provide a broader array of data, looking at multiple cities in multiple states.
However, we don’t necessarily need new sources to establish this. Pro’s argument provides several resources in R2 that bolster my points about alternate causality. His source  talks about “current trends in racism in the police force,” using a source from Aranda to which I, unfortunately, do not have full access. Even from the abstract, though, it’s clear that many of these issues of inequality and racism exist irrespective of sanctuary cities. You can argue that racism in policing has a chilling effect on reporting, but sanctuary cities don’t eliminate racism and, more importantly, they don’t eliminate perceptions of racism among police. There are numerous surveys
that demonstrate a lack of confidence in police among minority populations, particularly those that are black and Hispanic. As black people aren’t subject to deportation, you would expect their confidence to be higher than that of Hispanics, yet this survey shows the opposite, suggesting that confidence in policing is a multifaceted issue with many contributors that cannot be solved by sanctuary policies. Pro’s source  furthers this argument by pointing out that Hispanics and blacks are both subject to disproportional arrests and incarcerations, which persist in sanctuary cities, a point supported by other evidence and analysis
. Moreover, calling these racist policies is faulty because we’re talking about addressing open cases of criminal behavior among a known population of undocumented immigrants, which, by and large, are Hispanic. Other populations wouldn’t be similarly affected for obvious reasons.
b) Effects on Criminal Activity
My evidence also shows clear, demonstrable harms do result from continuing to punish these individuals with half measures. Pro can’t dismiss those harms. Cases like Jhonny Alejandro Soto-Ubaldo
have affected many lives in irreparable ways simply by failing to take action. And he’s not alone.
Luis P. Peña received a felony conviction and was arrested in Illinois before officials received and ignored an ICE detainer on him, after which he fatally hit and killed skateboarder Reginald Destin.
Kendel Anthony Felix in New York was detained for local crimes. Officials spurned an ICE detainer, leading him to kidnap and murder Menachem Stark.
Sergio Jose Martinez had multiple convictions and when ICE asked Multnomah County jailers to detain him, they refused on two separate occasions, with the second leading to Martinez breaking into the home of a 65-year-old woman, sexually assaulting her, and holding another woman at knifepoint.
The people these men hurt and/or killed were innocent. How many examples do we need of innocent people being terribly harmed by undocumented immigrants with criminal backgrounds before we acknowledge that this issue requires a strong response, something with which sanctuary cities are unwilling to assist?
2. The Economics of Resource Allocation
a) Broader Effects
The source Pro uses (his ) certainly goes through a lot of data analysis but fails to attribute any of these economic boons to sanctuary policies. In fact, his source only controls “for differences in the population, the foreign-born percentage of the population, and the percentage of the population that is Latino”, leaving out the many policy differences between counties that have nothing to do with sanctuary policies. Both Pro and the paper attempt to attribute this to increased labor force participation, though again, neither examines why that increase occurs because of sanctuary policies. It is simply another correlation without any plausible causation. Illegal immigrants have just as much interest in being a part of the labor force in a sanctuary city as they do anywhere else because monetary incentives exist everywhere.
I’ll also note that I’m not arguing that we stop supporting sanctuary cities. This is not a debate of two policy positions, but rather, one where we examine the effects of an existing policy in many cities to determine whether it’s net positive or net negative. So Con’s Colorado example doesn’t really apply to my case, since it’s examining the effect of a proposed prohibition on sanctuary policies. Even if it did apply to my argument, it’s unclear where Pro’s source is getting their numbers. They arbitrarily choose 10% of undocumented immigrants and apparently select entirely random populations for this exercise (which would substantially affect those dollar losses, based on who is and isn’t paying certain taxes). It’s hyperbolic and fails to justify its own assumptions.
As for the impact, Pro presents no data to support his arguments about “extra workers enforce[ing] a standard and induc[ing] competition, causing the native persons to work harder” and provides no analysis suggesting that native persons should have to work harder (many of us are already overworked, suggesting that harder work will only yield more stress [https://20somethingfinance.com/american-hours-worked-productivity-vacation/
]) for less pay, which Pro concedes is happening. Pro continues to argue that “the extra work force provided by the immigrants” affords benefits, but he doesn’t acknowledge that a combination of rising unemployment and reduced availability of jobs means any benefits that come from increasing the labor force show diminishing returns and can easily turn into harms.
Monetary costs to states are not similarly diminished. Pro can suggest other solutions to problems like health care, but they are not part of his case and they’re unlikely to happen in the status quo. And just because my source suggests a means of action doesn’t mean that it’s inherent to the argument. Costs of education are made far worse by concentrating undocumented immigrants in sanctuary cities. Pro’s own economic argument suggests that sanctuary cities boost the labor force over others, so he’s conceding this point, as well as the associated costs of concentrating large numbers of undocumented immigrants in those cities. Con does not have to resolve this problem in order to show that sanctuary cities are exacerbating it.
Pro argues that the Mariel Boatlift is an extreme example. I'll point out that this was 150,000 people, which is still a small blip compared with total border apprehensions in that year alone
, but even if he's right, that doesn’t negate the importance of this example. It tells us just how bad the effects of mass immigration can be on local economies. It's a clear example of what happens when a large number of immigrants all head to a single location, and that is precisely what sanctuary cities do, as they invite large influxes of undocumented immigrants. Pro's best case scenario from those influxes is yielding negligible effects in general, neither good nor bad, yet it's clear that larger populations can yield devastating harms akin to the Mariel Boatlift. Also, note that we’re talking about undocumented immigrants, meaning the concept of using background checks or screening processes to leave these people out just doesn’t apply to them. If anything, the fact that these people could have criminal backgrounds only makes sanctuary cities all the more tantalizing for them specifically because sanctuary policies allow them to evade federal law enforcement.
Both of these arguments provide a clear picture of the harms that come with sanctuary policies. While they might sound as though they are doing some good, they end up harming the safety and economy of local economies, and the purported benefits of their implementation are linear, i.e. they start down a road that could lead to benefits without reaching anything meaningful. Racism in policing isn’t going to go away because those police are in a sanctuary city. Bringing in more people to handle the work in these cities might resolve some deficits, but always with diminishing returns and increasing unemployment as a consequence to those numbers continuing to increase.
Back to you, gugigor.