President Donald Trump signed an executive order Friday that will halt cities and counties from implementing sanctuary policies, a move the White House said could reduce the number of deportations of immigrants and refugees in the country.
Trump said the order would make it easier for local law enforcement to “safeguard the safety of the communities they serve.”
Trump said he was “pleased” that localities were “reluctant to violate the law.”
The order is the latest effort by the Trump administration to target sanctuary cities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.
On Friday, Trump ordered the closure of all federal prisons in the nation’s 50 states, which would make nearly 4,000 facilities inaccessible.
The White House also said that the department will issue a list of all jurisdictions that refuse “to comply with federal requests for information.”
The Trump administration announced Friday that it would take action on the cities that refused to cooperate, with a plan to suspend some federal funds for the cities.
Trump’s executive order does not directly address sanctuary cities, but critics have questioned the effectiveness of the move.
“I think it’s a great move by the president,” said Peter Rizzo, director of immigration policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group.
“We need more federal resources for sanctuary cities.
They’re hurting the U.S. economy, they’re hurting our economy.
And they’re taking away the resources of law enforcement and the people they’re supposed to protect.
So I’m very happy that the president has taken that first step.”
Rizzos said he believed the order was aimed at “defeating sanctuary cities” and that the federal government had a responsibility to help local governments comply with immigration laws.
“You have a federal government that is not doing its job and is not serving the public interest,” he said.
Trump has repeatedly accused the Obama administration of making sanctuary cities more dangerous.
In his order Friday, the president wrote that cities that do not cooperate with immigration authorities are “not serving the interest of the United States.”
The executive order says that the departments of Homeland Security and Justice “will take appropriate action against jurisdictions that fail to comply with lawfully issued detainers.”
It also says that federal funding “may not be withheld from a sanctuary city, including for purposes related to compliance with lawful immigration detainers and for purposes unrelated to compliance.”
The Department of Homeland Safety said it will review the executive order “in coordination with the Department of Justice.”
The department said in a statement Friday that the executive orders are “an important first step in protecting the safety and security of our nation and our people.”
“We will review all the relevant information to determine whether or not there are any further actions that can be taken to further enforce the President’s executive orders,” it said.
“As always, we remain committed to ensuring that our communities are safe and that our law enforcement officers are working together to ensure the safety, security, and wellbeing of our communities.”
The Justice Department said that it will also be reviewing the order “to determine whether there are actions the President has taken to violate or circumvent any of the executive actions announced by the Department.”