- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The speaker of the New York City Council said Tuesday she is hoping to bring together leaders of sanctuary cities to discuss ways to combat President Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration.

Melissa Mark-Viverito has been an outspoken critic of Mr. Trump’s approach to immigration and has pledged that New York City will remain a sanctuary for non-violent illegal immigrants.

“We are looking to convene legislative bodies, not mayors, but legislative bodies of sanctuary cities in New York to look legally at things that we can do to continue to protect and embrace our immigrant communities,” Mrs. Mark-Viverito said at a forum hosted by the Latino Victory Project in Washington, D.C. “We have implemented some laws in the city of New York to limit the cooperation that we provide to federal agents and that is what we need to continue to do in cities across this country.”

Since taking office, Mr. Trump has taken a harder line on immigration than his successor, President Obama.

He has beefed up the Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement and lowered the bar for deportable offenses. In an executive order, he directed his administration to “ensure that jurisdictions that fail to comply with applicable Federal law do not receive Federal funds, except as mandated by law.”

And he ordered the Homeland Security Department to begin releasing a name-and-shame list of sanctuary cities, listing the specific crimes such as murder or robbery committed by those who have been released back into their communities under the sanctuary policies.

Mrs. Mark-Viverito signaled Tuesday she does not plan to bend on the issue.

“We are not afraid to call ourselves a sanctuary city,” she said. “We are not afraid to stand up for those who have been marginalized and stepped on and overlooked all too often.”

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