President Donald Trump’s pledge to slash federal funding to “Sanctuary Cities” could cost New York City north of $7 billion.
The proposal is part of the administration’s promise to a “crack down” on cities that protect undocumented immigrants, including New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Newark and New Haven, Connecticut. Mayor Bill de Blasio has vowed to sue the White House if it follows through on Trump’s executive order.
White House officials said the administration was still working through how much funding would be cut, but spokesperson Sean Spicer said the administration would “strip federal grant money from the sanctuary states and cities that harbor illegal immigrants.” He added, “The American people are no longer going to have to be forced to subsidize this disregard for our laws.”
New York City receives more than $8 billion in federal funding a year and could lose roughly $7 billion, according to a report by City Comptroller Scott Stringer.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and other mayors quickly criticized the proposed cuts to Sanctuary Cities, saying the plan would undermine public safety, noting that much of the funding from the Department of Justice and Homeland Security is earmarked for the New York City Police Department. “Here in New York City and in cities across this nation, this executive order could in fact undermine public safety and make our neighborhoods less safe,” he said, according to the New York Post.
The de Blasio administration proposed a new $84.7 billion budget on Tuesday that includes extra money in the city’s reserve accounts in the event of federal cutbacks. The mandate on immigration could drive up labor costs and stifle development, according to economists.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in a State of the State address earlier this month, announced a public-private defense project to provide legal services to individuals regardless of their citizenship status. [NYP] — E.B. Solomont