Kenney responds to Sessions’ threat to cut funds to sanctuary cities

 Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney vows the city will remain a sanctuary for unauthorized immigrants. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney vows the city will remain a sanctuary for unauthorized immigrants. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Philadelphia’s mayor is vowing the City of Brotherly Love will continue as a sanctuary city and not comply with federal immigration guidelines.

Even though Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Monday the Justice Department could cut funds to Philadelphia and other cities offering safe havens to unauthorized immigrants — and even take back previously awarded grant money — Mayor Jim Kenney is standing firm.

“Ultimately, this is all going to be resolved in a court.  This is why we have courts,” he said. “When you have people who want to abuse their power and impose upon people their will, the courts are where you go to get remedy.”

Sessions said Monday the Justice Department will require compliance with immigration laws in order for the cities to receive grants through the Office of Justice Programs

Kenney said he believes the Trump administration wants to deny constitutional rights.

“It’s a sad situation that we are in, it’s only been 60-70 days, God knows where this country is going in the next four years,” Kenney said. “But we will weather it as we have weathered other problems in the past.”

The mayor said he intends to talk with attorneys and, should funding be cut off, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles mayors about a possible joint challenge.

President Donald Trump had said during the campaign that he would “defund” sanctuary cities by taking away their federal funding.

But legal precedent suggests that would have been difficult to do.

 

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