A decision that was intended to welcome immigrants to Baltimore may open the city up to be targeted by a Trump administration.
Trump’s transition website includes a proposal to yank federal funding from cities that are designated as “sanctuary cities.”
This follows an immigration speech in September in which he pledged during an immigration speech to, “Block funding for sanctuary cities … no more funding.”
However, CNN notes that the definition of a “sanctuary city” is murky. The general idea is that such cities have their own limits on law enforcement working with federal ICE authorities. Critics say that they allow the cities to become a haven for criminals.
Baltimore is often considered such a city because Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake issued an executive order in 2012 that prohibited police from asking anyone about their immigration status. It was part of a broader attempt by SRB to invite immigrants to Baltimore. Last year, she said Syrian immigrants were welcome in Baltimore even after Gov. Larry Hogan wanted to put a hold on immigration. Along with being welcoming, SRB embraced the policy as a way to grow population.
Any such measure from Trump would likely have to go through the Republican-controlled Congress. Last year, the House passed such a bill.
At the time, SRB’s spokesman said the city disputed the “sanctuary city” label. But others have already labelled it.
Other cities are already responding, with mayors in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco already affirming their status as sanctuary cities this week. It may fall to newly elected mayor Catherine Pugh to speak out on Baltimore’s status as well.
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