Defying Trumpism, biggest U.S. cities remain immigrant sanctuaries
NY Mayor Bill de Blasio, Donald Trump | AP

CHICAGO – Mayors of some of the nation’s most populous cities, including those of New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, have defied threats of loss of federal funding to stand with immigrant communities fearful of President-elect Trump’s continued promise of mass deportation.

There are over 300 sanctuary cities in the United States that don’t, either through law or in fact, prosecute people solely for being undocumented.

In an interview with 60 Minutes on Sunday, Trump vowed to deport 2-3 million undocumented people “immediately.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a Thursday news conference, “We are not going to sacrifice a half million people who live among us, who are part of our community… We’re not going to tear families apart.”

Under current practice, New York City and Los Angeles do not hold undocumented people unless the federal government files a detainer request (a “hold”) accompanied by an order from a judge.

Spokeswoman for Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti’s office, Connie Llanos, said that she hopes that “detainer requests be handled constitutionally,” as the debate about the constitutionality of Immigration and Customs Enforcement holds rages.

In Illinois, a court ruling against ICE is “likely to nullify thousands of detainers issued out of the ICE Chicago Field Office,” because the agency was ruled to have been acting outside of its authority by issuing detainers too broadly.

Striking a similar tone as de Blasio, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel said in his own statement, “Chicago has been a city of immigrants since it was founded… and while the administration will change, our values and commitment to inclusion will not.”

Other cities that offered their own rebuke of the President elect’s promises include Seattle, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, and San Francisco. Not surprisingly, these are some of the cities where thousands of citizens have marched against Trump every day since Election Day.



Patrick J. Foote
Patrick J. Foote

Patrick Foote writes occasionally for People's World. At the University of Central Florida, he worked with the Student Labor Action Project organizing around the intersection of student and worker issues. He would go on to work in the labor movement in such organizations as Central Florida Jobs with Justice, AFSCME Council 79, and OUR Walmart.