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Miner prepares for battle with Trump over Syracuse as a sanctuary city

Ryan Delaney
WRVO file photo
Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner says the city will continue to be a sanctuary city, despite President Donald Trump's move to cut off federal funding to cities that don’t enforce federal anti-immigration policy.";

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner declared Syracuse a sanctuary city earlier this month and she’s not backing away from that after President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday that would block federal grants from cities that don’t cooperate with anti-immigration laws.

In a statement from her office, Miner pledged to continue "Syracuse’s commitment to our New American residents” by "not allowing the city’s resources, including the police department, to be used to to enforce federal anti-immigrant policies." Miner also says she will thoroughly scrutinize any changes at the federal level in the wake of Trump's executive order. And that could mean a lawsuit. Miner hinted as much last week, noting that a large part of immigration law is civil law.

"You can’t take money away from a city for a city refusing for a police department refusing to enforce a civil law," Miner said. 

Miner says the city has been working with the state attorney general’s office regarding the legalities of the situation. And Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says the state will fight the executive order if it isn’t rescinded.

It was only two weeks ago that Miner declared Syracuse a sanctuary city in the State of the City address. She says reaction since then has been overwhelmingly positive, with people reminding her that the move is true to Syracuse’s heritage.

"We had a sign that hung over City Hall for years that said Syracuse bids you welcome," she said. "We’re going to continue to be that city."

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.