Last week, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said the city would not work with President-elect Donald Trump on the mass deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants.
Trump has said that he will withhold major Department of Justice funding to “sanctuary cities” like Los Angeles where undocumented immigrants are not arrested solely for violating federal immigration laws.
Over the weekend, Reince Priebus, tapped by Trump to be chief of staff, told CNN’s Jake Tapper that Trump is looking into pulling funding from the sanctuary cities and counties—of which there are more than 300 nationwide.
Tapper asked Priebus about Los Angeles’ decision not to work with the feds to deport undocumented immigrants, while continuing to take in hundreds of millions of dollars in funding from the DOJ. While Priebus answered that the issue would be a “matter of negotiation,” he also argued that “the idea that a city would decide to ignore federal law, and then would want the federal government to help them anyway is an inconsistent position,” and “not the way life works.”
On Monday Mayor Garcetti called the Trump administration move a “mistake” that would lead to “social, economic, and security problems,” according to the LA Times’ Dakota Smith.
The LAPD will continue to follow Special Order 40, a 1979 mandate implemented by then-LAPD Chief Daryl Gates and the LA City Council, which prevents police from questioning people with the sole intention of determining their immigration status, Garcetti said last week.
The conservative Gates (and every chief who has come after) embraced the mandate, which was put in place so that undocumented immigrants could feel safe reporting crimes and otherwise engaging with law enforcement without the fear of deportation.
The city of Los Angeles is expected to receive more than $500 million this fiscal year from the DOJ for port security, homeland security, and combatting homelessness, among other important purposes.
“Every police department has to make decisions about how to best go about policing efforts, and most jurisdictions have decided that if local police are known to be enforcers, it harms their ability to police effectively,” Denise Gilman, director of the immigration clinic at the University of Texas School of Law, told the Washington Post.
In California, San Francisco, Alameda County, San Diego County, Santa Clara County, Riverside County also offer sanctuary to undocumented immigrants.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, flanked by city officials, promised that SF would remain a sanctuary city. “We promise to be a city that’s always welcoming,” said Lee. “There are no walls in our city.”
Mayors of other “sanctuary cities,” including Portland, OR, Seattle, and Chicago have made similar statements.
In a tweet, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio made his position clear. “I told the President-elect we’re ultimate city of immigrants & attempts to mass deport our people flies in the face of what makes NYC great.”
Mere hours after taking office in January, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney signed an executive order reclassifying the city as a sanctuary city.
Last week, Kenney reaffirmed the city’s stance. “I vow to uphold the Constitution of the United States by not holding people in jail without a warrant, which I think is in violation of the U.S. Constitution,” Kenney said.