Trump's 'sanctuary city' order splits red and blue states
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Donald Trump's promised crackdown on "sanctuary cities" has revealed the deep divide on immigration in liberal and conservative states, with some moving to follow his order and others breaking with the U.S. government to protect immigrants in the country illegally.
In Texas, Republican lawmakers pushed to deny money to cities with the policies today as demonstrators disrupted a hearing several times. Another U.S.-Mexico border state, California, is moving in the opposite direction by advancing a statewide sanctuary that would prohibit law enforcement in the nation's most populated state from cooperating with federal immigration authorities.
Trump's recent executive orders threatening to withhold federal funding from communities with sanctuary policies and calling for a border wall have produced widespread protests and fears that more immigration restrictions are in the future. The president's supporters have hailed the efforts.
Cities have mostly taken up sanctuary laws. There's no official definition, but often they tell police not to inquire about the immigration status of those they arrest or they decline requests from immigration officials to keep defendants in custody while they await deportation.
Phoenix leaders will consider a petition next month to adopt the policies.
On the state level, California would not be the first to block police from enforcing federal immigration law. Oregon pioneered statewide sanctuary in 1987, when immigrant workers and their families were sometimes housed in appalling conditions despite their importance to agricultural profits.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said she will enforce the law that prohibits police from detaining people who are in the U.S. illegally but have not broken other laws. She ordered all state agencies, not just law enforcement, today to follow the policy.