Philadelphia will not relinquish its status as a sanctuary city, and this could cost the country’s fifth-largest metropolis serious federal money.
After President and 1968 Wharton graduate Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday cutting off federal funding to cities that do not comply with federal immigration laws, Philadelphia Mayor (and Democrat) Jim Kenney said he has no plans to change the way the city currently operates.
"This is not a dictatorship. This is a democracy. We will take avail of every opportunity we have to protect our citizens and protect our people who are living in our city,” the first-term mayor said, according to 6abc. “Philadelphia has the lowest crime rate that it's had since 1979. So all of this assertion that somehow sanctuary cities are dangerous places are simply untrue."
CNN reported that a "sanctuary city" is defined as “a broad term applied to jurisdictions that have policies in place designed to limit cooperation with or involvement in federal immigration enforcement actions.” Many of the nation’s largest municipalities — such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago — have taken stances identifying themselves as such.
The rift between Kenney and Trump comes as the latter is visiting Philadelphia for a Republican Party retreat, the newly sworn-in President’s first trip out of Washington in the role. Speaking to a room of GOP legislators at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel in Center City, Trump told several falsehoods regarding crime in the city, according to PhillyMag.com.
The retreat — which is scheduled to end Friday morning — was accompanied by large-scale protests.
In a similar vein, state legislators have threatened to cut the funding of universities, like Penn, that declare themselves sanctuary campuses.