The mayor of Washington, D.C., issued a statement reaffirming the District’s status as a sanctuary city, arguing it “makes our neighborhoods safer.”
President-elect Donald Trump is promising to cut federal funding to any cities in the U.S. that do not adhere to federal immigration laws. The statement from Bowser puts the mayor and city at odds with the incoming administration and could lead to a budget showdown soon after inauguration. The District does not currently honor federal deportation warrants, reports WJLA.
A person’s immigration status is also never checked by authorities in the District in the event of an arrest, regardless of the seriousness of the crime committed.
“The values, laws, and policies of Washington, DC did not change on Election Day,” Bowser says in the statement, released Monday night. “We celebrate our diversity and respect all DC residents no matter their immigration status. We are a sanctuary city because we know that our neighborhoods are safer and stronger when no one is afraid to call on our government for help, and when our police can focus on protecting and serving.”
Officials in Philadelphia, Boston and Chicago have already come out in defense of their status as sanctuary cities. They vow not to follow federal immigration law regardless of how much funding the new administration decides to cut.
Council member Jack Evans echoed Bowser’s sentiments, arguing the District must keep to its policy, regardless of the money the city loses.
“We will end the sanctuary cities that have resulted in so many needless deaths,” Trump said during an immigration speech in August. “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.”
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