Donald Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order that threatens to cut off federal funding to “sanctuary cities” that protect undocumented immigrants in their communities. Big city mayors across the country have vowed to stand up against this order.
Trump may have announced that he will hire thousands of new border patrol agents and immigration officers, but several leaders from the countries biggest cities have stated that they will not take part in Trumps deportation rampage.
Mayor Bill de Blasio from New York vowed that the action “won’t change how we enforce the law in New York City.”
De Blasio stated that the city has been able to dramatically reduce the crime rate in the nation’s largest city, due to relationships the police department has managed to build in immigrant communities. He also said that if Trump follows through with hs plan it would mean he’s drastically cutting funding from the New York Police Department. NYC officials have suggested that about $156 million in federal funding for the NYPD could be impacted.
“Here in New York City and in cities across the nation, this executive order could in fact undermine public safety and make our neighborhoods less safe,” De Blasio said.
Another Mayor that has opposed Trump in his new order is Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who went as far as to offer his own office as a home for anyone who felt threatened. He called the executive orders an attack on “Boston’s people, Boston’s strength and Boston’s values.”
“If people want to live here, they’ll live here,” Walsh told reporters at a news conference. “They can use my office. They can use any office in this building.”
The Associated Press reported that in Seattle, Mayor Ed Murray said that he had directed city departments to review their budgets to prepare for a potential loss of federal funding.
“This city will not be bullied by this administration,” Murray said. “We believe we have the rule of law and the courts on our side.”
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel vowed that one of the nation’s largest city would remain a sanctuary city.
“I want to be clear. We’re gonna stay a sanctuary city,” Emanuel said. “There is no stranger among us. We welcome people, whether you’re from Poland or Pakistan, whether you’re from Ireland or India or Israel and whether you’re from Mexico or Moldova, where my grandfather came from, you are welcome in Chicago as you pursue the American Dream.”
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee spoke with reporters after the executive order was signed and said that nothing has changed for his city.
“I am here today to say we are still a sanctuary city,” Lee said. “We stand by our sanctuary city because we want everybody to feel safe and utilize the services they deserve, including education and health care.”
The U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Major Cities Chiefs Association expressed concern that the executive doesn’t give much details as it is very vague.
“That order does not provide a clear definition of what constitutes a sanctuary jurisdiction,” the organizations said in a joint statement. “Instead, it gives undefined discretion to the Secretary of Homeland Security to designate sanctuary jurisdictions and the Attorney General to take action against them. We call upon the Secretary of Homeland Security to document and promulgate a lawful definition before further actions are taken, so the cities across the Nation may determine how to proceed.”