WASHINGTON: Local governments in dozens of American
cities are vowing to block Donald Trump from deporting millions of illegal immigrants after he takes over in January, saying they do everything to prevent that, the New York Times reported.
The Mayor of Los Angeles city, Eric Garcetti has vowed that he would do everything possible to fight widespread deportations of millions of undocumented immigrants, Mr. Trump plans as had pledged to do during his campaign and after winning the elections.
In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio has said he would not cooperate with
immigration agents and Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago has declared that it would always be a sanctuary city.
Officials in many other cities are promising to limiting local
enforcement cooperation with federal immigration agents.
Trump has threatened to block all federal funding for cities which
will not cooperate with his efforts to send the illegal immigrants out of the country. Cities like Boston, Philadelphia and San Francisco, strong Democratic bastions, have said they would defy Trump and would act as a kind of “bulwark against mass deportations”.
Democratic bastions, including Boston, Philadelphia and San Francisco,
have reaffirmed plans to defy the administration and act as a kind of bulwark against mass deportations.
“I like to compare this to conscientious objector status”. We are
not going to use our resources to enforce what we believe are unjust immigration laws,” the newspaper reported quoting Mayor Libby Schaaf of Oakland, Calif as saying.
The fight could also signal a twist in the struggle over the power of
the federal government, as this time liberal cities rather than conservative states resist what they see as federal intervention.
Muzaffar Chishti, the director of the Migration Policy Institute’s
office at the New York University School of Law, said that while cities may not have the power to give people rights “they have a lot of power of resistance, and that’s what they’re displaying right now.”
According to the report, more than 500 counties and cities have some
kind of policy limiting cooperation with the immigration authorities, as per estimate from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, an advocacy and legal assistance group in San Francisco and Washington.
The latest clash between local governments and the upcoming Trump
administration will be most acutely felt in California, home to an estimated 2.3 million of the country’s 11 million undocumented immigrants.
Not only does the state allow such immigrants to obtain driver’s
licenses, but it also offers them in-state college tuition and allows them to hold professional licenses to work as lawyers, architects and nurses.
New York Mayor de Blasio has said he would look for more ways to fight
widespread deportations, and the city was directing undocumented immigrants to its free legal services.