'Sanctuary cities' undaunted by Trump move to cut funding
SEATTLE (AP) — Politicians in New York, Seattle and other "sanctuary cities" that protect immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally declared today they won't be intimidated by a move by President Donald Trump to cut off millions in federal funding to such communities.
Many cities vowed legal action, arguing that the threatened punishment would be unconstitutional. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh promised to let immigrants who feel threatened by the administration's actions take shelter in City Hall if necessary.
"This city will not be bullied by this administration," Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said, adding that he instructed city departments to rework their budgets to prepare for the possibility that federal dollars could be lost. "We believe we have the rule of law and the courts on our side."
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee called Trump's executive orders on immigration mean-spirited and unnecessary. California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, a Los Angeles Democrat, tweeted: "See you in court."
In New York, Trump's hometown, city officials said the administration's action could take away more than $150 million in law enforcement funding mainly for counterterrorism efforts, protecting international missions and dignitaries and, arguably, safeguarding Trump Tower, city officials said.
"Here in New York City and in cities across this nation, this order could in fact undermine public safety," Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference Wednesday evening – a concern echoed by District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser.
While there is no formal definition of the term "sanctuary city," it generally refers to jurisdictions that do not cooperate with federal immigration officials.