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The term "sanctuary city" is not an official designation, but rather refers to municipalities that pledge not to cooperate with the federal government on immigration enforcement. (Photo: Getty)

'We Do Not Stand Down': Sanctuary Cities Vow to Fight Trump's Order

'This city will not be bullied by this administration. We believe we have the rule of law and the courts on our side'

Nadia Prupis

Sanctuary cities are already fighting back against President Donald Trump's executive order on Wednesday to strip them of funding if they protect undocumented immigrants.

Mayors and lawmakers from around the country assured Trump that they would fight him on the order and refuse to enforce federal immigration laws. The promises of shelter came one after the other on Wednesday and Thursday.

"If people want to live here, they'll live here. They can use my office. They can use any office in this building," said Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. "I will use all of my power within lawful means to protect all Boston residents—even if that means using City Hall itself as a last resort."

California Senate Leader Kevin de Leon: "These are spiteful and mean-spirited directives that will only instill fear in the hearts of millions of people who pay taxes, contribute to our economy and our way of life. We will have no part in their implementation."

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray: "This city will not be bullied by this administration. We believe we have the rule of law and the courts on our side."

Detroit City Council member Raquel Castañeda Lopez: "We do not stand down to our commitment to being a sanctuary city. We don't stand down to our commitment to being a welcoming city. We do not stand down to our commitment to welcoming refugees."

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio: "We are going to fight this, and cities and states around the country are going to fight this."

"The minute any specific action to withhold funding were to occur, that's when Zach Carter is in court the next hour," de Blasio said, referring to the city's corporation counsel.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel: "I want to be clear. We're gonna stay a sanctuary city."

The term is not an official designation, but rather refers to municipalities that pledge not to cooperate with the federal government on immigration enforcement. New York, Seattle, Denver, and Los Angeles, among others, considers themselves sanctuaries.

The nation's top 10 largest cities are at risk of losing federal funding—a cumulative $2.27 billion, according to Reuters.

De Blasio, for his part, pledged to store an additional $250 million a year in reserves due to the uncertain phrasing of Trump's executive order.

He also cautioned that federal funding cuts would impact the police department first, undermining public safety and undoing progress in strengthening relationships between police and communities—a warning echoed by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), which called on Trump to "end these divisive policies."

"President Trump is doing nothing more than interfering in local law enforcement efforts to keep their communities safe, which is counterproductive at best and destructive at worst," said AILA executive director Benjamin Johnson.

Pledges of action also came from rights groups such as the National Council of La Raza, which advocates for Latinx people in civic engagement.

"As we unite with allies to protect and defend vulnerable communities, we will ensure that Latino voters are aware of who contributed to unleashing these extreme measures," said the council's president and CEO Janet Murguía, "as well as who sat idly by while our community's rights were trampled."

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