PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney is vowing that Philadelphia will remain a sanctuary city despite the wishes of President-Elect Donald Trump.
The president-elect has said that he will withhold federal funds from cities that do not cooperate in holding undocumented immigrants in custody for violent crimes.
This could be considered the first rift between Kenney and Trump.
Kenney admits that he does not know exactly what would happen if Trump does decide to withdraw federal funding from the city. Some in Philadelphia’s diverse Latino population are concerned.
“People are terrified of their livelihood,” said Viviana Ortiz. “People are terrified that they’re going to lose their jobs.”
That terror stems from the promise made by Trump, who said that he will remove federal funds from cities that do not cooperate with federal immigration officials in holding undocumented immigrants in custody for non-violent crimes.
They are known as sanctuary cities and Philadelphia is one of them.
“We’re going to continue to protect the people who live in this city,” Kenney said. “As time goes on after January, what exactly happens and we’ll adjust and we’ll deal with it as it comes.”
Advocates in the Latino community say federal cuts could impact both documented and undocumented immigrants. “We’re living in chaos,” said Lisa Espinosa, a Latino community advocate. “A lot of out low-income individuals count on these federal grants.”
Even so, State Representative Martina White said our federal laws need to be enforced, regardless of the mayor’s beliefs.
“I think that there needs to be a level of respect for those who come here legally and to our U.S. citizens,” White explained.