Some cities in the United States and Canada are called “Sanctuary City” when it comes to illegal immigrants. They follow practices that can be helpful to illegal immigrants by law or practice. The sanctuary cities in the United States do not allow their municipal funds or resources to be used for enforcement of the Federal immigration laws. This is why some cities do not ask questions about the legal status of those they apprehend.
Sanctuary policies began in 1979 with the City of Los Angeles and it prevented its police asking questions about the immigration status of arrestees. In Los Angeles, this policy is known as Special Order 40. More than 30 other cities including New York City, San Jose, Salt Lake City, Houston, Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis, Miami, and Denver have since adopted similar policies. Some even go beyond these policies and adopted city ordinances making it a law of the particular city. They mainly ban their police officers and employees asking questions about individual’s immigration status.
However, the Illegal Immigration and Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, deal with the Federal and local government policies and make minor crimes such as shoplifting a deportable offense.