Trump Threatens to Withhold Bailout Funds from States with Sanctuary Cities
President warns Democrats preparing to fill next stimulus bill with pork
President Donald Trump has warned Democrats that he will demand "adjustments" for sanctuary cities as a condition of bailout aid for states.
The president suggested he may withhold funding from states with "radical left" sanctuaries in the next round of emergency coronavirus relief.
Democrats are demanding at least $500 billion to fill state coffers drained by business shutdowns amid the COVID-19 crisis.
However, Trump said he doesn’t want to reward mostly Democrat-controlled states “to recover 25 years of bad management.”
"If it’s COVID-related, I guess we can talk about it,” President Trump told reporters at the White House.
"But we want certain things also, including sanctuary city adjustments. We have so many people in sanctuary cities, which I don’t even think are popular, even by radical left folks."
"People are being protected that shouldn’t be protected, and a lot of bad things are happening with sanctuary cities," Trump added.
The president was asked at a White House event with business leaders about the idea of another round of stimulus money for U.S. taxpayers, according to The Daily Caller.
Trump said he liked the concept of payroll tax cuts, then shifted to the possibility of bailout funds for state governments.
“The problem with the states is we’re not looking to recover 25 years of bad management and give them the money they lost. That’s unfair to other states,” Trump said.
Trump suggests any relief for states hit hard by COVID will require ending "sanctuary city" policies and turning residents over to ICE. pic.twitter.com/BSxqfPu0id— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) April 28, 2020
The president continued to suggest that, for state governments to be eligible for more bailout aid, they would have to clamp down on their cities that refuse to work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
“If we are going to do something for states, I think they probably want something having to do with sanctuary cities and other different points that we can discuss a little bit later on,” he said.
Trump has previously tried to withhold funds from sanctuary cities.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in February that the White House is legally allowed to withhold millions of dollars in federal law enforcement grants from states and other localities that refuse to work with ICE, delivering a major victory for the administration in its fight against sanctuary jurisdictions.
Democrats, however, have tried to stop the administration from tying coronavirus aid to immigration policy.
The CARES Act, a $2.2 trillion stimulus relief package for Americans suffering from coronavirus, included millions in law enforcement grants.
Language in the bill specifically forbids Trump from withholding those funds from jurisdictions that have sanctuary policies in place.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration has closed the northern and southern borders to all “non-essential” traffic, and the president has issued an executive order that bars many green card applications from foreign nationals living abroad.