President Donald Trump has threatened to cut the federal funding for California after the state’s Democratic lawmakers introduced a legislation last week that would advance its operations as a sanctuary for immigrants.
On Jan. 31, the Senate Public Safety Committee approved a bill that would prevent law enforcement agencies from working with federal authorities in carrying out immigration laws in the state. Through this measure, California will be able to provide statewide sanctuary to about 2.3 million immigrants illegally living in the region.
In response to California’s defiance to Trump’s policies and the country’s standing laws on immigration, the president noted that he might consider depriving the state of federal funding if the bill pushes through.
The state of California, the home of some of the most liberal cities in the U.S., has maintained a firm stance in offering sanctuary to immigrants ever since Trump was elected president. Various Republican lawmakers have already stated that if these cities continue to go against immigration laws, then the government could impose new measures to cut their funding, which includes budget for law enforcement agencies.
“I don’t want to defund the state or city, I don’t want to defund anybody, I want to give them the money they need to properly operate a city or state,” Trump said according to CNBC. “If they’re going to have sanctuary cities we may have to do that – certainly that would be a weapon.”
According to a recent report by the Washington Examiner, the U.S. Government spends about $27 million a year to fund 106 sanctuary cities in the U.S. This only represents a third of the areas in the U.S. that have sanctuary status. In total, there are about 300 jurisdictions, counties, and cities that receive funding because of this status.
The budget use for these regions that continue to shelter illegal immigrants greatly exceed the projected cost needed to build Trump’s border wall in Mexico. Completing the wall was estimated to range from $15 to $25 billion.