New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city will use the legal system to fight against President Donald Trump’s order that blocks federal funding from going to so-called sanctuary cities.
“We think it’s very susceptible to legal challenge,” he told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota this week. “If they make an attempt to pull that money, it will be from NYPD, from security funding to fight terrorism.”
“If an attempt is made to do that, we will go to court immediately for an injunction to stop it,” de Blasio said. “We believe the executive order is vague and in some ways contradictory.”
In a release from the White House, the order aims to dismantle the sanctuary jurisdictions in certain cities, which “willfully violate Federal law in an attempt to shield aliens from removal from the United States.”
It added: “These jurisdictions have caused immeasurable harm to the American people and to the very fabric of our Republic.”
The mayor said that there is a “misunderstanding” about sanctuary cities, which harbors undocumented immigrants.
“Another misunderstanding about the so-called sanctuary cities. Here’s a list right here of 170 offenses that if someone is undocumented and commit this offense, we will work with ICE and they will be deported,” de Blasio told CNN.
De Blasio was asked about whether low level crimes could get people deported.
“There are very low level crimes, for example, small amounts of marijuana possession, going through a stoplight when it doesn’t cause any damage to anyone,” de Blasio told the network. “Those are areas where we will not work to see someone deported.”
But he stipulated: “If someone’s truly a violent criminal, absolutely, they should be deported,” reported the New York Daily News.
The mayor added that the NYPD has spent decades building relationships with immigrant communities in New York City, saying that it might shatter the trust between police and some New Yorkers.
“This is the kind of thing that will destroy that progress and make it impossible for the police to keep cities safe,” he said.
New York gets about $7 billion each year in federal funding. Officials told the Daily News that some $165 million in anti-terror and Justice Department grants might be at risk.
“Police chiefs all over the country are saying, ‘Don’t do that, don’t do that, it’s actually going to hurt us,'” de Blasio said. “The money he will take away will actually be from police departments trying to stop terror and trying to stop crime.”