Trump To Pull Federal Funds From Sanctuary Cities Like Chicago

By Stephen Gossett in News on Jan 25, 2017 7:36PM

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Getty Imgaes / Photo: Alex Wong

Donald Trump is following through on his threat to pull federal funds from Chicago for being a so-called sanctuary city, which protect undocumented immigrants from deportation, White House press secretary Sean Spice said on Wednesday.

Trump will sign an executive order Wednesday that will initiate the process of stripping federal grant dollars, Spicer said at a press conference. The order will instruct federal agencies to “look at funding streams” and to “figure out how to defund those streams," CBS reports.

A second executive order will set in motion the construction of a wall along the US-Mexico border.

It's not completely certain how much money Chicago would lose, but it could be significant. According to Mother Jones and an analysis by Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, the city could lose slightly more than $1 billion per year and more than 10 percent of the city's annual budget. Chicago could lose nearly $29 million per year in justice grants, Mother Jones reports. The funding pull could affect everything from transportation dollars to—possibly, since things are still unclear—Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Housing Authority.

The executive action could also face significant legal hurdles.

Bizarrely, Spicer, when asked about Trump's "send in the feds" tweet, at the very same press conference, said that Trump wants to "provide the resources of the federal government" in helping with Chicago's violent crime.

In the wake of Donald Trump's election, Mayor Rahm Emanuel vowed to keep Chicago a sanctuary city. "Chicago has been a city of immigrants since it was founded," Emanuel said in a statement in November." We have always welcomed people of all faiths and backgrounds, and while the administration will change, our values and our commitment to inclusion will not."

Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th Ward) urged the mayor to stand up for immigrants in face of the threat. "Today’s anti-immigrant executive actions by President Trump reaffirm the urgency for Chicago to implement the strongest policies possible to protect our immigrant families," Ramirez-Rosa said. "Now Mayor Emanuel must make the tough choice to stand with the immigrant Chicagoans targeted by President Trump’s executive action threatening “sanctuary” cities. I urge Mayor Emanuel and my colleagues to oppose President Trump and strengthen Chicago’s Welcoming City Ordinance by removing carve-outs and loopholes."

Emanuel on Wednesday afternoon said Chicago would remain a sanctuary city despite Trump's executive action."We're gonna stay a sanctuary city," the mayor said in a press conference following a City Council meeting, according to the Tribune. "There is no stranger among us. We welcome people, whether you're from Poland or Pakistan, whether you're from Ireland or India or Israel and whether you're from Mexico or Moldova, where my grandfather came from, you are welcome in Chicago as you pursue the American dream.

Emanuel said he was not briefed on the specific details of Trump's executive order, the Trib reports.

This post has been updated.