President Donald Trump campaigned in part on a promise to deport millions of undocumented immigrants and to punish sanctuary cities by cutting federal funds to cities that curtail cooperation with federal immigration authorities. When the new U.S. Congress started its session in early January, House Republicans quickly introduced three measures that would block funding for sanctuary cities.
Big city mayors have been defiant in the face of the threats. “We are not going to sacrifice a half million people who live among us, who are part of our community,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said “San Francisco is a sanctuary city and will not waiver in its commitment to protect the rights of all its residents.”
Experts have estimated that San Francisco could lose up to $1 billion if the federal threats are carried out, but CBS San Francisco political analyst Melissa Caen told a Commonwealth Club audience that the actual amount lost in the foreseeable future would likely be minor because of a host of complicated reasons that will bog down the process in multiple lawsuits. The total amount for the state of California, however, “is far larger,” she said.