New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio is upset that President Donald Trump may be pulling federal funding from his town. That funding will be used, in part, to fight terrorism. De Blasio risks losing the funding if New York remains a sanctuary city. De Blasio claims that being a sanctuary city actually helps to fight terrorism.
About $4.1 billion in federal law enforcement grants are at risk of being cancelled if cities do not drop their “sanctuary city” policy. President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have followed through on a campaign promise to withhold funding from these cities if they continue to turn a blind eye to criminal illegal immigrants.
De Blasio reiterated a statement he made in January, that sanctuary city policies help New York City fight terrorism. His reasoning is that undocumented immigrants are less likely to talk to police for fear of deportation. He claims New York City will be at risk for another terrorist attack if President Trump pulls funding.
Sessions appeared at the White House to say that jurisdictions that ignore immigration detainers will lose Department of Justice grants, which total $4.1 billion for the upcoming fiscal year.
“President Trump’s latest threat changes nothing. We will remain a city welcoming of immigrants who have helped make our city the safest big city in the nation,” de Blasio said in response. “Any attempt to cut NYPD funding for the nation’s top terror target will be aggressively fought in court. We won’t back down from protecting New Yorkers from terror – or from an overzealous administration fixated on xenophobia and needless division.”
The attorney general, on the other hand, argued that sanctuary cities make America more dangerous. “Countless Americans would be alive today if these policies of sanctuary cities were ended,” Sessions said.
He pointed to a recent report from the Department of Homeland Security which highlighted over 200 cases of local law enforcement agencies refusing to turn serious criminals over to federal immigration officers.
This is not the first time De Blasio has made this assertion. He has claimed for months New York City risks another terror attack if funding is pulled.
Speaking on CNN, de Blasio also said the half-million undocumented people in the Big Apple would be reluctant to talk to a police officer if they thought they could be deported.
“It’s going to make cities less safe,” de Blasio said of Trump’s immigration crackdown.
“I think in sanctuary cities we’ve lost the underlying meaning. If you want to know what it means, ask our police commissioner. Our commissioner stood with me yesterday and said, ‘Look, we’ve spent decades building relationships with communities, including inner-city communities. This is the type of thing that will destroy that progress and make it impossible for police officers to keep the cities safe.”
De Blasio noted that the policy of respecting confidentiality dates back to the administration of Rudolph Giuliani, a Trump backer who has been named the administration’s cyber-security adviser.
Trump has insisted the sanctuary city policy only applies to criminal aliens. By making his assertion, however, De Blasio is claiming that illegal immigrants are somehow tied to terrorism. That is not exactly true: most terror incidents in the United States involving immigrants came here legally. The only common factor is radical Islam, not legality.