Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti promised Monday to defend his “sanctuary city” policy against President Donald Trump, after the administration’s announcement that sanctuary cities would begin to lose federal funding for defying federal law.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced earlier in the day that the Trump administration would not send any of the $4 billion in law enforcement grants provided through the Department of Justice to cities that ignored or blocked federal efforts to enforce the nation’s immigration laws.
“I urge the nation’s states and cities to carefully consider the harm they are doing to their citizens by refusing to enforce our immigration laws,” Sessions had said.
In response, Garcetti was defiant, according to the Los Angeles Daily News: “Slashing funds for first-responders, for our port and airport, for counterterrorism, crime-fighting and community-building serves no one — not this city, not the federal government, not the American people,” he said on Monday.
Other city leaders in California were similarly defiant, the Los Angeles Times reports:
“We will fight this vigorously and still continue to maintain services to provide for our high quality of life in Santa Ana,” Sal Tinajero, a city councilman in Santa Ana, which voted unanimously to become a sanctuary city shortly after Donald Trump was elected president.
In a statement, a spokesperson for [San Francisco Mayor Ed] Lee said:
“San Francisco’s sanctuary city laws are in compliance with this federal law. If the federal government believes there is a need to detain a serious criminal they can obtain a criminal warrant, which we will honor, as we always have… As we have always asserted, sanctuary cities are safer cities. When immigrants can enroll their children in school, access healthcare for vaccinations, and report crimes, our City and County is safer.”
The statement added: “It is shocking that the U.S. Attorney General, the nation’s top law enforcement official, does not agree with this basic principle of public safety.”
State officials have already moved to oppose Trump’s executive order earlier this year targeting sanctuary cities, with new Attorney General Xavier Becerra filing a brief last week on behalf of Santa Clara County’s lawsuit against the federal government.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. His new book, How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.