Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, video still via nextcity.org

Following other cities that welcome immigrants around the country, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said Baltimore will remain a sanctuary city following the election of Donald Trump as U.S. President.

During her term, Rawlings-Blake has made welcoming immigrants to the city a matter of humanity and economic growth. She put welcoming policies in place to encourage immigrants to settle here as part of a way to grow population.

But Trump’s election victory is throwing the status of the federal government’s attitude toward immigrants into question. Trump was in part elected on a promise to build a wall on the Mexican border and ban Muslims from entering the country. There was also that time he said Baltimore was full of gangs of illegals, contrary to fact.

In a policy that could affect Baltimore directly, he said he would deny federal funding to cities that have policies in place that discourage local police from asking people their immigration status. Rawlings-Blake put such a policy in place in 2012.

On Thursday, Rawlings-Blake called Baltimore a “Welcoming City” rather than a sanctuary city. After the election, Rawlings-Blake said the city’s stance is “even more important and vital.”

“We know this is a difficult time, but as Mayor I am committed to being there for you and doing everything I can do to ensure that all our residents — including immigrants and refugees — feel safe and know that they are valued and belong in our City,” she said.

The mayor’s Office of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs also released an info sheet with the message: DO NOT PANIC.

“We can’t predict what will happen after President-Elect Trump assumes office in January. Once more information becomes available we will have a better idea,” it states.

Rawlings-Blake is set to hand over the mayor’s office to Catherine Pugh early next month.

Stephen Babcock

Stephen Babcock is the editor of Technical.ly Baltimore and an editor-at-large of Baltimore Fishbowl.

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