Walsh Vows to Protect Immigrants from Trump’s Executive Orders in CNN Op-Ed

'We won't be intimidated by threats to our federal funding.'

Photo via Mayor's Office/Don Harney

Photo via Mayor’s Office/Don Harney

Mayor Marty Walsh said he isn’t afraid of Boston losing federal funding for the so-called “sanctuary city” protections it offers undocumented immigrants, rebuking the Trump administration’s threat in an op-ed Saturday for CNN.

“We won’t be intimidated by threats to our federal funding,” Walsh wrote. “The Supreme Court has ruled that federal funds may not be withdrawn over issues unrelated to the funding legislation’s purposes. In any case, we won’t place money ahead of our neighbors’ safety and security.”

Walsh noted that immigrants comprise nearly a third of Boston’s population and contribute $3.5 billion in consumer spending each year. He said that President Donald Trump’s executive orders banning immigration from seven majority Muslims countries would “wreak havoc on urban economies and communities.”

“I will do everything lawful within my power to protect our immigrant neighbors, documented or not. If necessary, I will use City Hall itself to shelter and protect them from persecution,” Walsh, the son of two Irish immigrants, wrote.

Walsh held up his administration’s initiative to combat chronic veteran homelessness, on which former First Lady Michelle Obama was a partner, as example of what’s possible when the White House works in tandem with cities.

“What we need, and what mayors have called for over many years, is comprehensive immigration reform,” Walsh wrote. “If Washington continues to fail to deliver on that responsibility, cities will continue to step up. Far from ignoring the challenge, mayors are upholding America’s most deeply held values every day.”