Purpose

Following President Trump’s controversial Executive Order regarding U.S. sanctuary cities, there has been a lot of media attention about this amorphous concept. Many people rightly wonder whether sanctuary cities are lawful and what role cities play in supporting federal immigration law.

This website has two aims. First, it seeks to provide up-to-date, accurate information about the legal rules relating to sanctuary cities. In the Resources section, you will find links to applicable laws and policies, together with recent articles in popular media. We hope that this website will be useful to the public, civil servants and legal officials looking for information they can trust.

Second, as scholars, we are exploring this expression of municipal authority, often exercised by a local leader like a mayor, and how this expression intersects with relevant federal and provincial law. In other words, this is legal scholarship in “real time” responding to the actions performed by municipalities both in Canada and the United States. This project is part of a larger initiative to understand what cities can and cannot do under existing law.

We welcome – and encourage! – comments, critiques, suggestions and ideas from any interested people, whether lawyers, legal scholars or otherwise. We look forward to hearing from you!

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