"In the aftermath of a series of raids in 2004, the town council in this historic borough of 5,300 -- transformed in recent years by an influx of at least 1,300 Latin Americans -- unanimously approved a sort of immigrant bill of rights. Joining a growing list of cities enacting a no-questions-asked policy on immigration status, Hightstown now allows its undocumented residents to officially interact with local police and access city services without fear of being reported to federal authorities"
Wa-Po has a great article about towns that have adopted a sort of "don't ask don't tell" policy when it comes to undocumented immigrants. These towns rightfully recognize that harassing and arresting people won't solve the immigration problem, and definitely won't help the town be safer.
Rather, when local police decide to take a federal power (regulation of immigration) into their own hands, disaster results. The immigrant community- illegals and legals alike- become hesistant to use social services. The police aren't called in violent situations, injured people hold off as long as possible before visiting the hospital, and even school children get confused about their rights to go to school. When working people feel they can't fully integrate into the community, everybody suffers- whether through health crises, gang violence, or simply a lack of political participation by one sector of the population.
I'm glad that this town- and others- has decided to let the power to regulate immigration stay where it belongs: with the federal government.
"Looking the other way on Immigrants"
Sanctuary Cities and Illegal Immigration