By John Lam
Mayors and police chiefs are pushing back against President Donald Trump’s proposed deportation policies.
“I don’t intend on doing anything different,” said Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “We are not going to engage in law enforcement activities solely based on somebody’s immigration status. We are not going to work in conjunction with Homeland Security on deportation efforts. That is not our job, nor will I make it our job.”
During Trump’s interview with CBS’ 60 Minutes, Trump said that he plans immediately to deport approximately two to three million undocumented immigrants.
Trump has threatened to pull federal funding to states and local governments that refuse to cooperate with federal law enforcement.
Since 1979, the city of Los Angeles has pushed back against federal immigration authorities by prohibiting officers from initiating police action with the objective of discovering a person’s immigration status.
“We can’t allow ourselves to be divided and sorted out. That’s not America”
ABC News noted on Nov. 17 that many major cities with democratic leaderships have bristled at Trump’s immigration proposals. These so-called “sanctuary cities” discourage full cooperation with federal immigration authorities.
In New York City, Mayor Bill De Blasio said in a press briefing that Trump’s proposed initiatives would create a rift between police and the communities they serve around the country.
“I reiterated to (Trump) that this city and so many cities around the country will do all we can to protect our residents and to make sure families are not torn apart,” De Blasio said.
In Seattle, Mayor Ed Murray spoke of his city’s commitment to remain a sanctuary city, “These are our neighbors… We can’t allow ourselves to be divided and sorted out. That’s not America.”
In Philadelphia, newly elected Mayor Jim Kenney signed one of his first acts with an executive order to restore the city’s status as a sanctuary city and bar most cooperation between police and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
“I vow to uphold the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, yes, by not holding people in jail without a warrant, which I think is in violation of the U.S. Constitution,” Kenney said.
Under Pres. Obama’s administration, there have been more deportations than any previous administration, ABC News reported.