Mayor Ed Lee said Thursday that San Francisco will remain a sanctuary city for undocumented immigrants, despite the election of Donald Trump as the next U.S. president.
Responding to concerns and fears that Trump would institute mass deportations from the nation and cut all federal funding for sanctuary cities, Lee said that San Francisco is “not going to change who we are.”
“Being a sanctuary city, for me, is the DNA of San Francisco,” Lee said at a Thursday morning news conference in the Mission District. “We’ll always be a sanctuary city.
Trump has vowed to revoke the funding on his first day in office in January, a pledge that could cost San Francisco more than $1 billion a year, according to city officials. As a sanctuary city, cooperation is limited between law enforcement in San Francisco and federal authorities.
In May, the Board of Supervisors and Sheriff Vicki Hennessy — who the mayor endorsed in her bid for office last year — agreed to uphold San Francisco’s sanctuary city policy and continue limiting the Sheriff’s Department’s interactions with federal immigration authorities.
Supervisor John Avalos said he expected the mayor to reaffirm the policy.
“The mayor’s comments are totally [consistent] with the agreement he, the sheriff and I made earlier this year on a clear, single standard for our sanctuary city, even while under attack from trumped up anti-immigrant sentiment,” Avalos said in a text message.
During his presidential campaign, Trump used San Francisco as an example of the need for stricter immigration controls after an undocumented Mexican national allegedly shot and killed a woman named Kate Steinle on Pier 14.
The mayor said that San Francisco will have wait to see whether Trump’s pledge was empty rhetoric, meaning it is unclear to what extent the federal government would cancel funds for veterans, transportation and housing, for instance.
San Francisco’s budget includes $478 million a year that comes directly from the federal government, as well as another $915 million from the state that is largely federal money, according to city officials.
Those numbers do not include federal funds for major infrastructure projects like the Central Subway.
In response to the mayor’s comments, Supervisor David Campos called for opposing sides of San Francisco politics to come together.
“While we may have our differences locally, this is the time for all of us to come together and fight to protect our San Francisco values,” Campos said in a text message.