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Despite President Donald Trump's Executive Order, San Francisco Vows To Remain Sanctuary City

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee

Hours after President Donald Trump issued a crackdown on illegal immigration and threatened to cut funding to sanctuary cities, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and mayors from Oakland, San Jose and Berkeley said their cities will remain sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants. 

San Francisco is among 300 cities in the country with sanctuary policies and has among the most expansive policies limiting local law enforcement's cooperation with federal immigration authorities except in the most extreme situations, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

California Gov. Jerry Brown also spoke out against President Trump’s stance on immigration during his State of the State address earlier this week. 

President Trump’s latest executive order also revived the Secure Communities program allowing local law enforcement to hold illegal immigrants in jail until federal authorities arrive.

Mayor Lee said President Trump’s broad language makes it difficult to estimate how much and in what way federal funding could be cut off for sanctuary cities. 

In the East Bay, Alameda County supervisor Wilma Chan said the federal funds the county receives come from legislative action and would be difficult to cut. The county receives grants for housing, policing, streets and others granted under legislative action. Alameda County has about 105,000 undocumented immigrant adults as well as 9,000 undocumented minors. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said Oakland receives about $130M from the government, according to KTVU.

San Francisco receives about $1B in federal funding, or about one-tenth of its $9.6B budget. The city could lose money to specific federal grants, such as the $9.6M under the Urban Area Securities Initiative from the Department of Homeland Security to assist with emergency preparedness.

Other agencies at risk for cuts include the Municipal Transportation Authority, which received over $200M in federal funds over the last two years; welfare and food stamp programs; the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, which got $30M from the government; the district attorney’s office, which gets about $1.7M; and Medicaid reimbursements, according to the Chronicle.

An estimated 44,000 undocumented residents live in San Francisco. San Francisco became a sanctuary city in 1989 as a way to improve relationships between immigrants and law enforcement.

The Bay Area’s sanctuary cities include San Francisco, Oakland, Alameda, Berkeley, Richmond and San Jose, according to the East Bay Times. Cities that rely on undocumented residents, such as San Diego, are expected to be hit the hardest in light of President Trump’s immigration policies. [SFC]