Man sitting by table pensively
Dr. William Arrocha in the Lara Soto Adobe on the Middlebury Institute campus.

In a new article in Globalizations, Middlebury Institute Professor William Arrocha argues that the expansion of ‘geographies of sanctuary’ through state laws fosters more inclusive immigration federalism, directly challenging the enforcement of today’s immigration laws considered by many as unfair and inhumane.

In the article Arrocha examines the concept and practice of sanctuary jurisdictions in the United States, including its secularization through its codification in state and local laws. It traces the political and legal battles that involve the contentious dynamics in the development and expansion of such jurisdictions. The article highlights and examines California’s Senate Bill 54 (SB-54), also known as the California Values Act. SB-54 was the first state bill to establish a statewide sanctuary jurisdiction expanding the ‘geographies of sanctuary’ beyond cities and counties. It was a bill enacted in response to the most anti-immigrant policies in contemporary U.S. history under the Trump administration.

Arrocha argues that the expansion of ‘geographies of sanctuary’ through state laws fosters more inclusive immigration federalism, directly challenging the enforcement of today’s immigration laws considered by many as unfair and inhumane.