The state of California isn’t budging. The back and forth between the state and the White House has reached the point that there is talk of most financial streams from California to Washington, D.C., being cut off.
California would take this move only if President Donald Trump were to make good on his promise to defund the state for its self-designated status of a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants.
The status of a number of jurisdictions around the nation as sanctuaries for illegal immigrants has come under intense scrutiny by the Trump administration as plans have moved along to implement Trump’s draconian immigration policy. He has never moved on from his campaign season rhetoric to the effect of that he would deport all of the around 11 or 13 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States once he became president. That issue has lately been slightly pushed back in prominence by the president’s Muslim ban. After all, ICE raids aren’t ramping up — just yet, at least.
The Trump administration, however, with the goal in mind to administer punitive punishment to those jurisdictions choosing to designate themselves as sanctuaries for illegal immigrants, has announced that any sanctuary city or state may lose all of its federal funding.
For example, speaking to Fox News host Bill O’Reilly in an interview that aired this last Sunday ahead of the Super Bowl, Trump commented:
‘I don’t want to defund anybody. I want to give them the money they need to properly operate as a city or a state. If they’re going to have sanctuary cities, we may have to do that. Certainly that would be a weapon.’
Oh sure Trump, you don’t “want” to defund sanctuary cities and states.
Well, as mentioned, California is standing its ground.
KPIX, the local CBS affiliate in San Francisco reported recently: “The state of California is studying ways to suspend financial transfers to Washington after the Trump administration threatened to withhold federal money from sanctuary cities.”
The suspension of financial transfers to Washington would be designed to offset the damages to the state incurred by them losing their federal funding, which, according to KPIX, pays for “a variety of state and local programs from law enforcement to homeless shelters.”
Willie Brown, Jr, a former speaker of the state Assembly, told KPIX, “California could very well become an organized non-payer. They could recommend non-compliance with the federal tax code.”
California, KPIX noted, is one of the few states that sends more tax dollars to D.C. than it receives back in federal funding. It remains to be seen how serious Trump’s threat to strip federal funding from the state is, and it also remains to be seen whether California’s responsive move of cutting off the money that it sends to the Feds makes any difference to Trump.
Other jurisdictions hanging on to their designation of illegal immigrant sanctuaries — and facing the loss of their federal funding — include the cities of Chicago, New York City, and Seattle. Miami, Florida, was formerly a sanctuary city, but the mayor ended that after Trump took power.
Featured Image via David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images.