On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson protected Philadelphia’s status as a sanctuary city, asserting that the federal government cannot eliminate grants to the city of Philadelphia over policies that limit the city’s cooperation with federal immigration authorities.
That triggered this celebratory behavior from Philadelphia mayor James Kenney:
He also tweeted:
On Thursday, the White House fired back. White House spokesman Hogan Gidley told Fox News, “Many people in Philadelphia have been killed, raped or assaulted at the hands of criminal illegal aliens. It’s disgusting the mayor would dance in celebration of a lawless decision that allows these dangerous criminals to roam free in Philadelphia communities and prey on innocent families and children. Democrats’ Sanctuary City policy is reckless, dangerous and protects criminals, not law abiding American citizens.”
Rep. Lou Barletta of Hazleton, who formerly served as that city’s mayor, told Fox Business News, "That's really a sad video to watch. Especially for me. I don't think the families of the victims in Philadelphia who were victims of illegal immigrants... I don't think they're dancing.” He cited a recent case where an illegal immigrant has been accused of raping a child.
Philadelphia has asserted that it will only relinquish illegal immigrants to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) if ICE obtains a warrant signed by a judge.