Could sanctuary cities be doing more harm than good?

In this photo taken Feb. 7, 2017, released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an arrest is made during a targeted enforcement operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) aimed at immigration fugitives, re-entrants and at-large criminal aliens in Los Angeles. The Trump administration is wholesale rewriting the U.S. immigration enforcement priorities, broadly expanding the number of immigrants living in the U.S. illegally who are priorities for deportation, according to a pair of enforcement memos released Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. (Charles Reed/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via AP)

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Hundreds of cities across the U.S. have policies in place to protect illegal immigrants, they’re called “sanctuary cities.”

Some sanctuary cities don’t question immigration status, while others don’t comply with detainer requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which means local police won’t hold illegal immigrants past their scheduled release dates. Many sanctuary cities have directed their local law enforcement not to cooperate with detainer requests.

Attorney Bill Newman told the I-Team, some communities worry they can’t legally detain someone without a criminal warrant, while others worry it’ll harm their relationship with the community. “It discourages our people from calling the police and utilizing police services. It causes there to be a large part of our population living in the shadows,” he said.

But President Donald Trump believes these policies are putting the American people in danger, and many other people agree.

Matthew O’Brien of the Federation for American Immigration Reform told the I-Team, not cooperating with ICE could slow down the deportation of illegal immigrants who’ve been convicted of crimes. “People who are unlawfully present in the U.S. and particularly, people who are unlawfully present in the United States who have committed a crime, will be encountered by state and local law enforcement officers before they’re encountered by immigration and customs enforcement agents,” he said.

According to data the I-Team obtained from ICE, nearly 3,000 of the more than 4,500 illegal immigrants deported from Massachusetts between 2014 and 2016, had either convicted of a crime, or had lied about their identity.