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Thread: How sanctuary cities are reacting to Trump's crackdown on undocumented immigrants

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    Default How sanctuary cities are reacting to Trump's crackdown on undocumented immigrants

    Hello Everyone:
    I guess it's begun....
    Sanctuary cities are rebelling...



    How sanctuary cities are reacting to Trumps crackdown on undocumented immigrants

    CBC - January 28, 2017

    Miami-Dade may have surrendered, but a group of "sanctuary cities" is banding together to resist U.S. President Donald Trump's crackdown on undocumented immigrants — even if it means losing millions of dollars in federal grants.

    The fight is about more than just money, say the mayors of cities like San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago, which protect undocumented immigrants from deportation either informally or as a matter of policy.

    "What's at stake goes to the core of our American values of equality and decency," said Joe Curtatone, the mayor of Somerville, a city just three kilometres northwest of Boston that adopted official sanctuary status in 1987.

    About 400 jurisdictions across America have sanctuary policies, which are designed to limit co-operation with federal immigration officials and allow for the safe harbour of undocumented immigrants. Sanctuary ordinances might ban police from helping federal officers with immigration status checks, for example.

    Trump issued an executive order on Wednesday to pull millions of dollars in grants from local governments that fail to comply with federal immigration enforcement laws.

    Curtatone says Somerville risks losing as much as $12 million in annual funds — money that pays for programs for "vulnerable populations" such as seniors and veterans, free school lunch programs and homeless initiatives.

    "It would sting. It would hurt us," Curtatone said. "We're talking about feeding our schoolchildren, providing health and education programs, public safety, and helping veterans and seniors."

    A Reuters analysis of federal grants awarded to the nation's 10 largest county and city governments estimates $2.27 billion in annual funds could be stripped if each jurisdiction defies Trump and he makes good on his threat.

    On Thursday, Miami-Dade County became one of the first to cave after being declared "a sanctuary" by the Justice Department. In a memo, the south Florida county's mayor, Carlos Gimenez, ordered jails to "fully co-operate" with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention requests.

    Julian Gomez, a 24-year-old undocumented immigrant who has lived most of his life in Miami, was outraged. He came to America with his parents when he was two years old, but he became undocumented as a toddler in Miami after his family received poor advice from immigration lawyers and he overstayed his visa.

    "I'm angry and disappointed by Mayor Gimenez's lack of backbone," Gomez said from Bethesda, Ma., where the Argentina-born activist now lives. "Miami, that city, my hometown, was built by immigrants. That city thrives on immigrants, both those that live there and travel through there."

    Gomez, a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., became a recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program last year, permitting him to stay for two years without risk of being deported because he came to the U.S. as a child. He pays fees to receive temporary work authorization.

    "I'm more worried about people who might lose their DACA protection. I'm worried about those people who have no protection at all," he said.

    In Somerville, Mayor Curtatone was reluctant to comment on the decisions of other cities.

    "I can only tell you that Somerville will not waver, and we'll stand united with over 300 cities and towns and counties and states."

    Groups advocating for the reduction of immigration levels argue public safety is best served through compliance with federal immigration authorities.

    Jessica Vaughan, director of policy at the Centre for Immigration Studies, a group pushing for fewer immigrants and greater restrictions on who can enter the U.S., told the Washington Post that immigration enforcement must be a federal responsibility because "you cannot have 3,000 different policies, it's chaos."

    In a debate last month in Washington, she said ICE agents depend on local police to help identify "which illegal aliens are causing the problems. And it turns out that that's who the sanctuaries end up protecting — the criminal aliens."

    In the coming weeks, more mayors are expected to make public pronouncements to clarify their policies.

    In Boston, Mayor Marty Walsh offered up City Hall "as a last resort" to shelter undocumented immigrants who may feel threatened by Trump's policies.

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