In fact, Suro said, the Trump threat to send Central American immigrants to sanctuary cities isn’t a threat at all and could very well be a dream come true for many fleeing the violence in their home countries. This is especially true if they are sent to big cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, where most of the immigration courts and judges are located, facilitating efficient adjudication, he said.
These cities also have substantial legal resources and immigrant rights organizations to help new arrivals navigate the legal process and resettle. And most importantly, Suro said, they have large well-established communities of Latino immigrants, including many from the Northern Triangle nations of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, as well as relatives of asylum seekers who can help them find housing, jobs and services.
“If you were to design the plan for resettlement of these immigrants that was meant to be orderly and cost effective to the immigrants, you would do this,” Suro said. “This is really good policy design. … It’s what a great many of these migrants would want.”