Over the past decade, the increased involvement of local police in facilitating the deportation of undocumented migrants has played a central role in creating a record-breaking volume of deportations from the United States. In response to this so-called deportation crisis, nearly six hundred localities have enacted sanctuary policies that limit their cooperation with federal authorities on immigration matters. This paper explores three moral justifications for sanctuary policies: the public safety, civil disobedience, and collective resistance arguments. Specifically, it addresses two questions: Which justifications are available for which types of sanctuary policies? What must these justifications accomplish in order to be successful? I argue that although common public safety considerations can justify some sanctuary policies, others are best understood as a form of legitimate collective resistance.

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