Shelley Wilcox Philosophy Talk, "In Defense of Sanctuary Policies"

Wednesday, February 21, 2018 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm

Sierra Tower 503
shelley wilcox pic

Shelley Wilcox of San Francisco State University will give a talk entitled "In Defense of Sanctuary Policies" on February 21 from 4-6 in Sierra Tower 503. Professor Wilcox's research lies at the intersections of social and political philosophy, applied ethics, and feminist philosophy, with a special interest in immigration, global justice, and urban environmental ethics. She is currently writing a series of articles on immigration justice and a book manuscript on urban environmental ethics.

"In Defense of Sanctuary Policies"
Over the past decade, the increased involvement of local police in facilitating the deportation of undocumented migrants has played a central role in creating a record-breaking volume of deportations from the United States.  In response to the so-called deportation crisis, nearly 500 localities have declared themselves “sanctuary” jurisdictions.  This term refers to the cities, counties, and states that limit their cooperation with federal authorities on immigration matters.  Supporters typically argue that sanctuary jurisdictions are safer because sanctuary policies encourage good relationships between migrant communities and local law enforcement.  Opponents insist that sanctuary policies defy federal law and harbor criminals, creating a dangerous environment for U.S. citizens.  My talk will explore three moral justifications for sanctuary policies—the public safety, civil disobedience, and collective resistance arguments—and defend the latter.  Specifically, I will argue that contemporary sanctuary policies are best understood as a form of collective resistance to unjust federal immigration initiatives.