Trump Against Sanctuary Cities


Clarion photo Colin Stevens

New executive order called “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States” signed by President Trump could effect Portland.

By Bart Brewer, Page Editor

It has been a busy few weeks for Donald Trump. He has been issuing many executive orders, ranging from the travel ban for several countries to his ordering of the treasury to review the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory laws. While these are highly controversial, we will be looking at something that has a greater potential effect here in Portland. Today, we will be looking at Trump’s executive order that is aimed at taking on sanctuary cities.   

The order was signed by Trump on Jan. 25, and was called “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States.” The specific language of the order states that “Sanctuary jurisdictions across the United States willfully violate Federal law in an attempt to shield aliens from removal from the United States. These jurisdictions have caused immeasurable harm to the American people and to the very fabric of our Republic.” Going further into the order, it states that cities who are in noncompliance with federal immigration agents, “are not eligible to receive Federal grants, except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes by the Attorney General or the Secretary.

This action does follow through with one of Trump’s campaign promises, as he said that he would bring an end to sanctuary cities. Now you may be wondering, what exactly a sanctuary city is. Well, a sanctuary city is basically a municipality that protects unauthorized immigrants by not prosecuting them for violating federal immigration laws. While Portland does have a policy of cooperating with federal agents, regular police are not able to enforce federal laws. On the same day the order was signed, Portland mayor Ted Wheeler released a statement in which he said, “We will not be complicit in the deportation of our neighbors.” It is currently unclear how much federal money could be withheld from Portland if penalties take effect.

Portland, of course, is not the only place to face a cut off from federal grants. On Feb.5 during an interview with Bill O’Reilly, Trump said that California was “out of control,” and that he would cut all federal funding if officials vote to make it a sanctuary state. In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio said, “If an attempt is made to do that, we will go to court immediately for an injunction to stop it,” when asked about the order.

So how is this going to affect Portland? At this point it’s hard to tell. Since federal funds such as Social Security and highway funding are not able to be taken away, it only leaves the possibility of federal grants being withheld. With that term being so broad, it’s hard to really tell what kind of action Trump could take if he were to deny federal grants.

With the guidelines of the order still unclear in how it will be enforced, anything past what has been said will only be speculation. Only time will tell if this order will be able to work as intended or if it is multiple legal hiccups.