Portland Mayor-elect Ted Wheeler announced Tuesday that Portland will remain a sanctuary city, regardless of the consequences.
President-elect Donald Trump said during his campaign he would cut off federal funding for cities like Portland that find various ways to shield people who are in the country illegally from Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.
Since the election, Trump has said his first immigration priority is to deport people in the country illegally who have committed crimes. During an interview with “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday, Trump said he would deport between 2 and 3 million immigrants. He has not announced specific plans related to his campaign promise to end sanctuary cities.
Ted Wheeler told OPB’s “All Things Considered” that he doesn’t know which federal dollars might be put at risk, should Trump target sanctuary cities. But he said he’s making a statement of the city’s values.
“We’re saying that we’re willing to sacrifice those dollars and we are willing to live with whatever consequences may come our way,” Wheeler said. “But we will not sacrifice or take one step backwards from upholding the values that have been long standing in our community.”
Mayors in cities like Chicago and Philadelphia have reaffirmed that they too will remain safe places for immigrants during the Trump administration.
Wheeler said he’s consulting with immigration attorneys to see if the state’s current legal framework designed to protect immigrants is sufficient.
“If there are steps here we can take at the local level to strengthen it in Portland, I intend to do so,” Wheeler said.
During the interview with OPB, the mayor-elect called on Trump to be a president for all, acknowledging the president-elect has said that’s his intent.
“He needs to understand that the values that we hold as paramount here in the city of Portland and elsewhere in urban America are different,” Wheeler said. “There is no place in Portland for sexism or racism, religious intolerance or xenophobia.”