Despite President Trump's issuance of an executive order Wednesday threatening to cut off federal funds to cities that don't cooperate with efforts to expell illegal immigrants, Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl says the city plans to continue to continue it's welcoming policies.
Tisdahl said in a statement that she's "troubled" by the president's order.
"I support the rights of all our residents, including immigrants, to live their lives in our community safely and without fear. The City of Evanston stands behind its self-designation of a “Welcoming City” and will continue to work to welcome all people to our community,” the mayor said.
Trump's executive order claims sanctuary jurisdictions "willfully violate federal law" and have caused "immeasurable harm to the American people."
The order directs the attorney general and the secretary of homeland security "to the extent consistent with law" to cut off federal funds to communities that fail to aid the federal government in enforcing immigration laws.
But local officials in sanctuary cities nationwide have vowed the challenge any funding cutoff in court. They argue that Supreme Court rulings limit the government's ability to condition funding for provided for one purpose on compliance with unrelated policies.
And immigrant rights groups say the courts have held that immigration law enforcement is strictly a federal government responsibility and that states and localities can't be coerced to participate in it.
The opponents also argue that the president's directive violates the 10th Amendment's protections for state's rights, which so frequently have proved popular with conservatives in recent years.
Update 1:30 p.m.: State Sen. Daniel Biss this afternoon said cities, including Evanston, are doing the right thing in vowing to stand strong against Trump’s efforts to shame and coerce them for offering sanctuary to immigrants.
“President Trump’s actions this week are further evidence that he lacks a moral compass,” said Biss, an Evanston Democrat.
“I am incredibly proud of Evanston’s record of reassuring immigrants that they are welcome in our community,” he added. “It’s shameful that a local decision now is under attack by a U.S. president who is committed to dividing people rather than bringing them together.”
“President Trump has presented these municipalities with a choice between money and morality,” Biss said. “We’re going to stand up to his threats and any attempt to strip them of federal funds. But if they do lose federal dollars, at least they can sleep at night knowing they did the right thing.”