Authorities in some of America’s so-called sanctuary cities have reacted angrily at President Donald Trump’s proposal to de-fund them.
One of a flurry of executive orders he signed could see some 2.1 billion euros in federal funds stripped from municipalities considered to be shielding illegal immigrants.
Saira Hussain, a staff attorney at Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco, was keen to stress that immigrant communities belonged in the city as much as anyone else.
“San Francisco is a sanctuary city. It’s in our DNA. We are going to continue to remain a sanctuary city in the face of hostile federal actions. We’re going to make sure that the message that we send out to our immigrant community is that you are part of us,” she told a crowd gathered at a protest about the issue.
Officials in cities that could be affected by the order say they refuse to be pressured into reporting undocumented migrants.
“I just spoke with mayors around this country in the last hour who called me from other places… Every single day we work together with our federal law enforcement officials, every single day we work to make sure that we have safe streets in our communities,” said Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti.
“There’s a caricature that somehow we’ve opened up cities of America and said please to foreign criminals to come here but nothing could be further from the truth. It’s not what this police chief stands for and it’s not what I stand for as mayor.”
The full details of the order have not yet been disclosed, but it could impact on federal funds for housing, health, education and other aid.
Trump has the power to cut certain sources of funding, but Congress would need to approve others.