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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Boston & Somerville Stand By Their “Sanctuary Cities” Status

In the first week of his presidency, Donald Trump has already acted on promises he made throughout his campaign before the elections. His executive orders have attacked many laws or bills that had been introduced or advanced during the Obama administration. For example, Trump has signed actions that abandon the Trans-Pacific Partnership and cut financial support for global organizations that provide abortions. Additionally, he has signed orders that support the execution of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines, and introducing a freeze on hiring new government employees.

However, many politicians on the various levels of administration have openly spoken out against these executive orders and criticize the new president’s approach in politics.

Among those political leaders were also elected officials from Massachusetts, such as the Mayor of Boston Marty Walsh and the Mayor of Somerville Joe Curtatone. They condemned in recent public statements Trump’s negative attitude toward immigrants and his support for executive actions that cut federal funding from sanctuary cities. The president also announced that border control, as well as prosecution and deportation deportation of immigrants who are living in the US illegally, will be intensified under his administration.

In a speech on Jan. 26, Walsh responded to the president’s announcement and took a stance against Trump’s orders by declaring that Boston will remain a safe space for all people, even though the city might lose up to around $500 million in federal funding if it keeps defending its status as a sanctuary city. The latter is the term used for places where the local police force cannot solely use one person’s immigration status to justify detainment or questioning of the individual. The Boston mayor, who is also the son of Irish immigrants, even went so far as declaring that City Hall would be used as a last resort to shelter people who are threatened by deportation.

Also, Joe Curtatone, the mayor of Somerville, offered some clear words of hope for concerned citizens. His town, which is also considered a sanctuary city, will continue to defend the rights of all its citizens. Curtatone even added that he and his administration are willing to receive at least $6 million less funding if that means that the city remains a sanctuary city for immigrants.

While the mayors have provided open and clear statements speaking out against Trump’s plans, Republican Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has remained more quiet since the New York real estate mogul and billionaire took over the White House. While he does not oppose the concept of sanctuary cities, Walsh explained that it should remain the decision of the individual towns and cities to adopt sanctuary status. Therefore, he opposes the idea of declaring the whole territory of Massachusetts a sanctuary state.

For now, citizens have to wait and see if sanctuary cities, such as Boston and Somerville, are going to lose all or a large part of their federal funding, and if the state and the towns will be forced to hand over immigrants without a permit of residence for deportations.