The conventional wisdom, backed by legitimacy research, is that majority of people obey most of the laws, most of the time. This turns out to not be the case in a study of state and local participation in immigration law enforcement. In the five years following initiation of the Secure Communities program, through which the federal government requests that local law enforcement agencies hold immigrants beyond their scheduled release upon suspicion that they are removable, a significant and growing number of states and localities have declined to cooperate with federal immigration detainer requests—ultimately leading to the demise of the Secure Communities program and revitalizing a debate about Sanctuary Cities and the terms of federal-state partnerships in immigration enforcement. This article finds that state and local non-cooperation is influenced by attitudes toward the legitimacy of executive action, distinct from attitudes toward the law’s legality, morality, or politics.
Ming H. Chen,
Trust in Immigration Enforcement: State Noncooperation and Sanctuary Cities after Secure Communities,
Chi.-Kent L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.kentlaw.iit.edu/cklawreview/vol91/iss1/3