San Francisco is experiencing a "mass exodus" as tens of thousands of residents leave the Bay Area while an influx of immigrants flood the sanctuary city, according to KPIX-TV.
What's going on?
For the first time in decades, more people are leaving San Francisco than there are new people moving to the city. The mass exodus has propelled the Bay Area to the nation's leading city for "out-migration."
One of the reasons for the exodus is the cost of living in San Francisco.
San Francisco has also become one of the most progressive cities in the nation over the last few decades, culturally and politically, meaning liberal policies rule the day. The city is also heavily taxed.
But another large contributor to the problem, no doubt, is the city's "sanctuary city" policy. It was the center of a national controversy after an undocumented immigrant murdered Kate Steinle in 2015. Steinle's killer had been convicted of multiple felonies and deported from the U.S. five times before he shot and killed Steinle. He found safe harbor in San Francisco thanks to the city's policy that prevents law enforcement from working with federal immigration authorities.
The Mercury News noted that while tens of thousands of residents are leaving San Francisco, tens of thousands of immigrants are moving there:
Between July 2015 and July 2017, the region gained 44,732 immigrants but lost 44,102 residents to other parts of California and the country, according to the regional think tank. The population drops have been most notable on residents between the ages of 18 and 24, and between 45 and 64.
It's not clear how many immigrants moving to the city are in the U.S. illegally.
What did residents say?
Carole Dabak is a retired engineer and has lived in the area for 40 years. Now, she's moving to Tennessee.
"I loved it here when I first got here. I really loved it here. But it’s just not the same," she told KPIX. "We don’t like it here anymore. You know, we don’t like this sanctuary state status and just the politics here."