Some Sanctuary Cities Vow to Defy Trump Immigration Orders
Mayors of some "sanctuary cities" reaffirmed their commitments to immigrants.
By JENNIFER HANSLER
January 26, 2017, 1:42 AM
• 3 min read
-- Elected officials throughout the United States have doubled down on their commitment to protect immigrants in light of President Donald Trump’s actions.
As part of one of the executive orders signed today, Trump threatened to block federal funding to cities and states that willfully shield undocumented immigrants from deportation.
"The American people are no longer going to have to be forced to subsidize this disregard for our laws,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said of the order later.
However, officials in some of these so-called “sanctuary cities” are pushing back, saying they have no plans to comply with the orders.
Speaking at a press conference in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city would “defend all of [their] people, regardless of where they come from.”
“The spirit of this executive order runs counter to our spirit and values as a city,” he said. De Blasio blasted the move as potentially hazardous to public safety because it could take funds away from law enforcement. This criticism was echoed by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
“Any attempt to bully local governments into abandoning policies that have proven to keep our cities safe is not only unconstitutional but threatens the safety of our citizens,” he said in a statement. “I urge President Trump to revoke this Executive Order right away. If he does not, I will do everything in my power to fight it.”
The term “sanctuary city” is not an official designation nor does it have an official definition, but generally refers to jurisdictions that do not cooperate with federal immigration enforcement, according to The Associated Press.
The city of San Francisco is a decades-old sanctuary city, and Mayor Ed Lee said it will remain one.
“Nothing has changed,” he said in a press conference. “Our city is still a sanctuary city. We are going to remain a sanctuary city precisely because the purpose is to keep everybody safe.”
Among the other cities reaffirming their sanctuary status included Washington, D.C.; Seattle; Los Angeles and Boston.
"This city will not be bullied by this administration into abandoning our core values," Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh vowed defiance no matter what it takes.
“I will use all of my power within lawful means to protect all Boston residents -- even if that means using City Hall itself as a last resort,” Walsh said in a statement.