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Major City Mayors Are Prepared To Defy Donald Trump And Protect Undocumented Immigrants

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Some of America’s biggest and most populous cities are vowing to remain areas of refuge for undocumented immigrants following the election of Donald Trump.

“On top of providing a safe haven for immigrant communities,” writes Yara Simón in Remezcla, “sanctuary cities encourage undocumented people to cooperate with law enforcement in the investigation of crimes without fear of deportation.”

“This measure is often necessary in order to identify dangerous criminals and improve public safety, which is why these types of laws and policies have wide support from police departments and law enforcement organizations all over the country.”

During his primetime, anti-immigration speech in Phoenix, Arizona this past summer, then-Presidential nominee Donald Trump threatened to revoke any federal funding for uncooperative cities:

“Cities that refuse to cooperate with federal authorities will not receive taxpayer dollars, and we will work with Congress to pass legislation to protect those jurisdictions that do assist federal authorities.”

In statements and other declarations this week, mayors and leaders of those cities declared they are prepared to defy him. More from Remezcla:


Seattle has shielded undocumented immigrants from ICE since 2003. On Wednesday, Ed Murray said that continuing to provide a haven is “the most American thing we could possibly do.”

“These are our neighbors, and we will continue to support our neighbors,” he said, according to the Seattle Times. “We can’t allow ourselves to be divided and sorted out. That’s not America.”


On Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio held a press conference, where he vowed to do everything in his power to protect undocumented immigrants. “We’re not going to take anything lying down,” he said. “We are not going to sacrifice a half million people who live among us. We’re not going to tear families apart. We will do everything we know how to do to resist that.”

He even went as far as saying that his administration would destroy any records it has on undocumented people if it has to.


In an email, Mayor Eric Garcetti’s spokeswoman, Connie Llanos, explained how it would move forward. “We comply with federal immigration agencies, but insist that detainer requests be handled constitutionally,” Llanos wrote, according to Fortune. “It is Mayor Garcetti’s sincere hope that no president would violate those principles, the very foundation of our nation, by taking punitive action on cities that are simply protecting the well being of residents.”


Through Twitter and at a news conference, Ed Lee outlined how committed San Francisco is to protecting undocumented immigrants. “I think we have about a half-billion dollars in direct funding — probably more when we look at how we disperse state funding,” Lee said. “I hope politics does not get in the way of public service.”


[Mayor] Jim Kenney is also ready to fight for immigrants, according to Philly.com.

“First of all, we’ve changed the name from ‘sanctuary city’ to ‘the Fourth Amendment city,’ ” Kenney said. “We respect and live up to the Fourth Amendment, which means you can’t be held against your will without a warrant from the court signed by a judge. So, yeah, we will continue to be a Fourth Amendment city abiding by the Constitution.”

When asked how he’d handle Trump cutting off funds from Philadelphia, he said that it’s something he’ll worry about when it comes. “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, and we’ll see how it goes and we’ll try to figure something out,” he said.

Providence, Rhode Island Mayor Jorge Elorza

“I’ve been in touch with both mayors [from Los Angeles and New York ] and I’ve told them that we’re going to stand together on this. We’re not going to sacrifice any of our people and we’re going to continue with the policy we’ve always had.”

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel:

“To all the children and all the families who are unsure of their place because of what happened Tuesday. You are safe, you are secure and you are supported in the city of Chicago.”

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges:

“If Congress follows through on President-elect Trump’s threat to cities, they will have our hardworking officers bear the brunt of their own obstructionism,” Hodges says. “The complete failure of President-elect Trump’s allies in Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform should not be borne by our local police officers who already have a tough job to do.”

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka:

“Newark already has a policy of protecting undocumented immigrants from deportation by U.S. immigration authorities. Despite the election of Donald Trump, we see no reason to change that policy.”

Last week, two California leaders said in a joint statement they “woke up feeling like strangers in a foreign land” following the election of Donald Trump, but pledged “not be dragged back into the past.”

“We will lead the resistance to any effort that would shred our social fabric or our Constitution,” said Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon in the joint statement, which was also released in Spanish.

“California was not a part of this nation when its history began, but we are clearly now the keeper of its future.”