Local Government

Municipal Suffrage, Sanctuary Cities, and the Contested Meaning of Citizenship

January 19, 2018

In November 2016, the city of San Francisco enacted a ballot initiative that was somewhat overshadowed by other election results. It permitted noncitizens with children in the public school system to vote in school board elections. Though it is unclear whether the measure will have much practical impact on the city schools, the measure has…

Immigration, Federal Authority, and City Hall

October 19, 2017

Cities are once again center stage in our national debate over immigration. A decade ago, the focus was on whether cities can participate in federal immigration enforcement. Now the fight is over whether they can refuse. Given the political vitriol over “sanctuary cities” — a loaded label that remains ill-defined — one might assume that…