In Defiance of Trump, Tito Jackson Wants to Make Boston a Sanctuary City

'Boston has to lead in this space.'

Photo via AP

Photo via AP

In his first interview as Preisdent-Elect on 60 Minutes Sunday night, Donald Trump said to expect the mass deportation of up to 3 million “criminal” illegal immigrants within his first 100 days in office—something Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson considers unconscionable.

“I believe the city of Boston should not assist or cooperate with the mass deportations of immigrants. That’s not who our city is, and it’s not what our tax dollars should be used for,” Jackson told the Herald. “Boston has to lead in this space.”

Jackson, whose district includes Roxbury and Mattapan, dismissed Trump’s plan to round up illegal immigrants with criminal records first, and said he had a friend who was detained by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

“This young man was shipped from Boston to Philly to Texas, and they attempted to strip him of his ability to apply for citizenship. And his only crime was possession of marijuana,” Jackson said.

The morning after Trump’s upset victory over Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton, Mayor Marty Walsh said he would work to protect the city’s illegal immigrants, and is “not letting anybody change the policies in the city of Boston” with regard to pathways to citizenship.

Cambridge and Somerville are currently sanctuary cities, along with Portland, Maine and New Haven, Connecticut. A city typically gains sanctuary status upon passing an ordinance prohibiting city officials and police from inquiring about a person’s immigration status. Los Angeles became the first such sanctuary city in 1979.


Jackson told the Herald it’s “critical that we remain steadfast in ensuring that immigrants who are undocumented actually have a path to citizenship, versus further victimizing people in these communities, who are often the victims of violent crimes as well as taken advantage of in the shadows.”