United States

Santa Clara County Touts New Report on Benefits of Sanctuary Communities

Sanctuary communities are safer and more prosperous than communities without that status, according to a new report by the Center for American Progress.

Santa Clara County officials are using the report to say it proves their sanctuary strategy is actually paying off.

County leaders gathered at the sheriff's office Thursday, where Sheriff Laurie Smith said the county feels vindicated by the report's findings. She vowed to keep protecting the residents of the county, no matter their legal status.

"It's good to see the validation by a very reputable study that there’s less crime with these kinds of policies," Smith said.

The report compared the numbers between sanctuary communities and those without that status. It suggests sanctuary communities have less crime, lower unemployment and a lower poverty rate.

On Friday morning, Santa Clara County will face off against a U.S. attorney in federal court. The judge will hear the county’s request for an injunction against the president’s executive order to defund communities with sanctuary status.

"You should be concerned that we have a president that is unilaterally trying to use federal funds to extort jurisdictions to make them do his bidding," Assistant County Executive David Campos said.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has repeatedly argued that sancutary policies actually endanger their communities.

While the county says it expects to win the legal battle Friday, it is preparing alternate funding just in case the president is allowed to defund sanctuary communities.

"This county is already working toward establishing reserves for contingencies that would help us backfill federal takeaways," county Supervisor Dave Cortese said.

Cortese told NBC Bay Area on Thursday that Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente, second in command at the U.S. Department of Justice, is flying into the Bay Area to personally handle the government's case against Santa Clara County.

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