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By Luis Bravo
Luis Bravo is a rising freshman at the University of Pennsylvania.
In one of his last strides to push for immigration reform before he leaves office, President Obama urged Congress in his Saturday weekly address on June 6 to pass a previously agreed-upon immigration bill that would “bring more undocumented immigrants out of the shadows so they can get right with the law.”  But in many cities across America, undocumented immigrants live as everyday citizens with neither fear of deportation nor dire necessity to embark in the long and often times complicated immigration process.
Known as sanctuary cities (or safe havens), these hubs are shelters for illegal immigrants, protecting them through either legal provisions or de facto practices. Though the term does not have a formal legal meaning, it has gained popularity and widespread usage since 1989, when the San Francisco Board of Supervisors first declared the Golden Gate City a “sanctuary.”  Since then, other cities such as Washington, DC, Houston, San Jose, and Detroit have adopted laws that protect illegal aliens in varying degrees, thus serving as sanctuaries.