Chicago among top illegal immigrant 'sanctuaries'
The Chicago area ranks sixth on a list of major U.S. cities that are home to the most illegal immigrants, a Pew Research Center report said recently.
Most of the 20 cities on the list are considered "sanctuary cities," meaning they do not use their own resources or funds to enforce federal immigration laws. Pew determined that approximately six of every 10 illegal immigrants – or 6.8 million people – in the United States live in these cities. The cities are home to only 36 percent of the country's overall population.
The New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas and Miami metro areas topped the list. Although Phoenix, Houston and Orlando are in the top 20, the Center for Immigration Studies does not classify them as sanctuary cities, the Washington Examiner stated recently.
According to Pew, one of the main reasons immigrants flock to these cities is simple: "They want to be around other immigrants."
The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent nonpartisan and nonprofit research group founded in 1985 and, like Pew, is based in Washington. It currently lists Illinois’ seven primary sanctuary communities as Champaign County, Cook County, Chicago, Des Plaines, Hanover Park, Hoffman Estates and Palatine.