In response to President Donald Trump’s recent executive orders threatening to withhold federal funds to sanctuary cities providing a safe haven for undocumented immigrants, the mayors of Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, and several other cities stood up in defiance against the new president. Instead of fulfilling his promise to unite the country, Trump is threatening to withhold approximately $650 billion in health care, infrastructure, education, and other federal programs from cities that voted for Hillary Clinton.
“We’re going to defend all of our people regardless of where they come from, regardless of their immigration status,” Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York announced at a news conference on Wednesday. “This is going to be very destructive to this city, and it’s also immoral.”
“I want to be clear: We’re going to stay a sanctuary city,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago declared. “There is no stranger among us. Whether you’re from Poland or Pakistan, whether you’re from Ireland or India or Israel and whether you’re from Mexico or Moldova, where my grandfather came from, you are welcome in Chicago as you pursue the American dream.”
“We will not give in to threats, or political grandstanding,” Mayor Ed Lee of San Francisco said in a joint statement together with Mayor Sam Liccardo of San Jose and Mayor Libby Schaaf of Oakland. “Together, the Bay Area will stay true to our values of inclusiveness, compassion and equality, and united against any and all efforts to divide our residents, our cities, and our country.”
“What we don’t do is ask local police officers to enforce federal immigration laws – and that’s an official LAPD policy that has been enforced for nearly 40 years,” Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles stated on Wednesday. “That is for everyone’s good, because trust between police and the people they serve is absolutely essential to effective law enforcement.”
“To anyone who feels threatened today, or vulnerable, you are safe in Boston,” Mayor Martin Walsh of Boston announced at a news conference. “We will do everything lawful in our powerful to protect you. If necessary, we will use City Hall itself to shelter and protect anyone who’s targeted unjustly.”
On Wednesday, Trump signed an executive order threatening to deny federal funds to sanctuary cities providing shelter to undocumented immigrants while authorizing U.S. Immigrations and Enforcement (ICE) to hire 10,000 additional immigration officers. Trump also signed another executive order authorizing the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border in addition to hiring 5,000 additional Border Patrol agents.
After Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto cancelled a meeting with Trump on Thursday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer announced that Trump intended to pay for the wall by imposing a 20-percent tax on all imports from Mexico. Peña Nieto decided to cancel the meeting after Trump tweeted: “The U.S. has a 60 billion trade deficit with Mexico. It has been a one-sided deal from the beginning of NAFTA with massive numbers of jobs and companies lost. If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting.”
On the same day that Peña Nieto cancelled his meeting with Trump, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists advanced the Doomsday Clock to 2-and-a-half minutes to midnight. The organization chose to move the clock forward due to Trump’s volatile temperament along with his “disturbing comments about the use and proliferation of nuclear weapons and expressed disbelief in the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change.”