Some Democrat mayors decided to showboat on Wednesday, boycotting a meeting with President Trump because the Justice Department has threatened sanctuary cities, asserting that they will be denied public safety grant money if they don’t cough up documents proving they aren’t withholding information about the citizenship or immigration status of people in custody.
The stunt from the mayors was prompted by letters from Justice Department officials that warned subpoenas would be sent if the cities did not hand over the documents. The letters were simply confirmation that the Trump Administration is serious about its threat to deny the grant money to cities that are defying a federal law that requires them to share the appropriate information with the federal government.
Trump slammed the boycotting mayors, saying they put the needs of "criminal illegal immigrants over law-abiding Americans."
The meeting Trump had scheduled with the U.S. Conference of Mayors was to discuss infrastructure, drug addiction and other topics, according to the Associated Press.
Some of the grandstanding mayors responded as follows: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, the conference president, stated, "The Trump administration's decision to threaten mayors and demonize immigrants yet again — and use cities as political props in the process — has made this meeting untenable. … The U.S. Conference of Mayors is proud to be a bipartisan organization. But an attack on mayors who lead welcoming cities is an attack on everyone in our conference.”
New York's Bill de Blasio tweeted:
Denver's Michael Hancock blustered:
Trump, determined to follow through, stated, "My administration is committed to protecting innocent Americans and the mayors who choose to boycott this event have put the needs of criminal illegal immigrants over law-abiding Americans.”
Trump spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders added that if the mayors are miffed about the DOJ’s letters, "they should talk to the Congress, the people that pass the laws. The Department of Justice enforces them, and as long as that is the law, the Department of Justice is going to strongly enforce it." She said the White House would love to work with the mayors who boycotted the meeting, "but we cannot allow people to pick and choose what laws they want to follow. If we have a country with no laws, then nothing matters.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Wednesday, "We have seen too many examples of the threat to public safety represented by jurisdictions that actively thwart the federal government's immigration enforcement — enough is enough."