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Is Atlanta a sanctuary city?

Recent months have featured a number of conflicting headlines and soundbites about the future of various elements of immigration law and institutions that seek to aid and protect immigrants in the United States. One of the most controversial terms that is the concept of "sanctuary cities." For undocumented immigrants and their children, the idea of a safe space in uncertain times may seem like a dream come true. However, it is important to understand what sanctuary cities are, what they can offer and which cities have sanctuary policies.

Sanctuary cities are, by their very nature, a sort of informal status. Depending on the city, the term can mean different things. In general, it means that the city has passed policies that restrict what their local law enforcement are instructed to do in encounters with undocumented immigrants and children of immigrants. In general, the local or state governance has passed legislation that restricts government agencies from inquiring about the immigration status of an individual unless there has been a crime committed.

Here in Georgia, the climate is not as friendly to undocumented immigrants as some other states. If you not yet begun to work on acquiring some legal status for yourself and your child, it is wise to seek guidance in beginning this process as soon as you can. Atlanta is not considered a sanctuary city, but Mayor Reed has stated that enforcing federal immigration policies will not be a "priority" under his administration. How exactly this will translate into relative safety for undocumented immigrants and their children remains to be seen.

If you have an immigration issue, especially one involving the immigration status of a child, it is vital that you get the help you need as soon as possible. With the guidance of an experienced and empathetic attorney, you can understand many of the finer points of immigration law and enforcement practice. No matter who you are, or where you are from, it is important to work with an attorney who knows that you and your children deserve just as much protection and dignity as anyone else.

Source: Findlaw, "How Does A Sanctuary City Protect Undocumented Immigrants?," accessed Jan. 05, 2017

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