Trump to Move Forward on Cutting Funding for Sanctuary Cities

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh: 'We will not be intimidated.'

Photo via iStock/andykatz

Photo via iStock/andykatz

Update 7:00 p.m.: Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone struck a defiant tone Wednesday in response to President Donald Trump’s executive order to target cities that harbor undocumented immigrants with funding cuts.

Earlier: President Donald Trump is taking the next step in slashing funding for “sanctuary cities”—like Somerville, Cambridge, and Springfield—that in many cases refuse to help federal immigration authorities round up and deport residents living there illegally.

Vowing in a speech to “restore the rule of law in the United States,” Trump signed an executive order Wednesday that directs officials to begin rooting out sources of funding that can be cut off to cities that harbor undocumented immigrants.

It isn’t clear exactly which cities would be subject to the proposal, as so-called sanctuary city status is a blanket term that encompasses a broad set of policies. The Center for Immigration Studies has identified nine locales in Massachusetts as sanctuary cities: Boston, Somerville, Cambridge, Springfield, Holyoke, Lawrence, Northampton, Amherst, and Hampden County. But Boston, for example, does not officially consider itself a sanctuary city, but has adopted a policy called the Trust Act, which contains many of those protections. Springfield disputes the title, saying it does cooperate with federal immigration authorities. The Trump administration, of course, might not see it that way.

Other cities have proudly accepted the title, among them Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone, who has fiercely defended it. Asked recently what he would do if Trump decided to bring the hammer down on cities like his, Curtatone said, “We aren’t going to blink.

In a tweet Wednesday, Curtatone said the president’s actions were “just theater,” adding that Trump is “not a king.”

In a statement, Attorney General Maura Healey called the executive orders “irresponsible” and said her office would be “watching closely.”