Friday, September 07, 2007

Bill O'Reilly Claims Anchorage, AK Is A Sanctuary City For Illegal Aliens, Lists 37 Others

On the website, Fox News pundit Bill O'Reilly has posted a list of what are called "sanctuary cities". Anchorage, Alaska is listed among them.

The list, originally posted on the site in April 2007, surprisingly also includes Fairbanks. O'Reilly apparently believes Anchorage has pro-sanctuary policies because of the language of a resolution, AR No. 2003-223, sponsored by hyperliberal Assemblyman Allan Tesche and passed by the Anchorage Municipal Assembly in 2003. Here's the paragraph in question:

Section 4 (1): That an agency or instrumentality of the Municipality may not, unless necessary to protect the safety of people, use Municipal resources or institutions for the enforcement of Federal immigration matters, which are the responsibility of the Federal government.

The highlighted "safety" clause would seem to give law enforcement discretion in determining when it is necessary to intervene for the sake of public safety. It probably explains why then-Mayor George Wuerch, a paleoconservative Republican, did not veto it.

However, this is not good enough for Assemblyman Paul Bauer. According to the Anchorage Daily News-affiliated Alaska Politics blog, Bauer's crafting a proposal which would require local police to work with federal authorities when it comes to cracking down on illegal aliens in Anchorage.

The Mayor's office has fired back. Begich spokeswoman Julie Hasquet says Anchorage is not a “sanctuary city” and that we already work with the feds. This is generally a true statement.

Allan Tesche, who originally sponsored the ordinance, also took issue with Bauer's proposal, claiming that it - which Bauer says is based on a template from the Immigration Reform Law Institute - would “stir up xenophobia, paranoia and hatred of foreigners”. Tesche's attitude is an example of how liberals - and neoconservatives - pander to foreigners, showing more concern for their feelings than for those of Americans.

A 2006 report entitled "Enforcing Immigration Law: The Role of State and Local Law Enforcement" describes the aforementioned "template". On page 26, they define a sanctuary city as a city which adopts "a law, policy, or practice that prohibits law enforcement officers from assisting or cooperating with federal immigration law enforcement in the course of carrying out official law enforcement duties".

However, since the Anchorage ordinance contains an "exception" clause for public safety, it's unfair to tag it as a sanctuary city. A true sanctuary city would make no exception for public safety. While we don't want to be catering to illegals in any way, we also don't want to play "Chicken Little" and overstate the problem. As long as local cops are allowed to check the IDs of detainees for legal residency and hold questionable people for immigration pickup, that should be sufficient.

And Alaska laws do not prevent Alaska cops from reporting suspected illegals to the feds. On July 18th, 2006, an Alaska State Trooper, in the course of investigating a traffic accident, discovered a large number of Hispanic-appearing men camped out around a seafood processing plant in Kenai. When the trooper asked for ID, they produced Mexican tourist visas. Knowing full well that most tourists to camp out around factories when they visit a foreign country, he notified Immigration and Customs Enforcement, who arrested all 25 and transported them to Seattle for deportation proceedings.

Nevertheless, any effort by Paul Bauer to grant the Anchorage Police Department additional latitude to track down illegal immigrants should be welcomed.

As of August 2006, cities and counties listed by that have sanctuary policies include:

Anchorage, AK
Fairbanks, AK
Chandler, AZ
Phoenix, AZ (2)
Fresno, CA
Los Angeles, CA
National City, CA (4)
San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA
Sonoma County, CA
Evanston, IL
Chicago, IL (3)
Cicero, IL
Cambridge, MA
Orleans, MA
Portland, ME
Baltimore, MD
Takoma Park, MD
Ann Arbor, MI
Detroit, MI
Minneapolis, MN
Newark, NJ (1)
Trenton, NJ (1)
Durham, NC
Albuquerque, NM
Aztec, NM
Rio Arriba, County, NM
Sante Fe, NM
New York, NY
Ashland, OR
Gaston, OR
Marion County, OR
Austin, TX
Houston, TX
Katy, TX
Virginia Beach, VA
Seattle, WA
Madison, WI

Currently there are two statewide policies regarding sanctuary for illegal aliens:

In May 2003, Alaska's state legislature passed a joint resolution prohibiting state agencies from using resources or institutions for the purpose of enforcing federal immigration laws. [Ed. Note: This does not prevent Alaska law enforcement officers from reporting suspected illegals to federal authorities, though.]

In 1987, Oregon passed a law that prohibits state and local law enforcement agencies from using agency moneys, equipment or personnel for the purpose of detecting or apprehending foreign citizens based on violation of federal immigration law. Oregon law, however, does permit their law enforcement officers to exchange information with federal authorities to verify the immigration status of an individual arrested for criminal offenses.


Congressional Research Service, "Enforcing Immigration Law: The Role of State and
Local Law Enforcement," Aug. 2006:,0912-crs.pdf
"Coalition seeks immigrant sanctuaries; services wouldn't hinge on legal status." Asbury Park Press 1 Mar. 2007.
(1). "Havens for illegals; Advocates recruit 'sanctuary cities'." The Record 1 Mar. 2007.
(2). "Phoenix residents want to end 'sanctuary' status." Washington Times 28 May 2006.
(3). "Preparations underway for immigrant march." ABC7
(4). "National City named sanctuary city." San Diego Union-Tribune 1 Oct. 2006.

However, this list not only is dated, but may be incomplete. The website has a much longer list of sanctuary cities, updated as on August 27th, 2007. Recommend you check it out. Anchorage and Fairbanks are both on that list, too. The Mayor of Fairbanks challenged the designation, but OJJPAC rejected his challenge.


  1. Tesche wasn't worried about Mexicans. Where have you been Flash? The mention of September 11, 2001 should give you some sort of clue.

  2. Hey, Einstein, Mexicans aren't the only illegals. Don't tell me you favor Anchorage being a "sancuary city"?

  3. Wow! Really? I could probably compare notes with you and come up with a bigger list of people who shouldn't be here. Legally or otherwise.
    I've lived here longer and paid more attention.
    I'm also probably less likely to want to keep people around than you are.
    You would use people as a means to your end then dispose of them afterwards. See the difference, Flash?