Somerville mayor vows to fight Trump administration attempt to strip funding for ‘sanctuary cities’

SOMERVILLE, MA (WHDH) - As the Trump administration threatens to take away federal money from “sanctuary cities,” Somerville Mayor Joe Curtaone is pushing back.

“We’re not going to tear a family apart because someone was pulled over for a broken taillight. And we’re not going to hold people without just cause,” Curtatone said.

Sanctuary cities don’t allow their police departments to help ICE detain and deport unauthorized immigrants. Somerville is one of about a half dozen sanctuary cities in Massachusetts.

On Monday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions urged states and cities to carefully consider the harm that he believes they’re doing by opting to be sanctuary cities.

“Unfortunately some states and cities have adopted policies designed to frustrate this enforcement of immigration laws. This includes refusing to detain known felons on the federal detainer request or otherwise failing to comply with these laws,” Sessions said. “Such policies cannot continue. They make our nation less safe by putting dangerous criminals back on the streets.”

Curtatone says he needs clarity from the administration, but admits withholding those federal grant funds could have a big impact.

When asked if the plan could cost Somerville as much as $300,000, Curtatone said it was “not clear” but that it could be significant amount.

While not technically a sanctuary city – Boston’s Mayor Marty Walsh still made his thoughts known.

“The threat of cutting federal funding from cities across the country that aim to foster trusting relationships between their law enforcement and the immigrant community is irresponsible and destructive,” Walsh said.

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