Alderman makes push for St. Louis as a Sanctuary City

The President is threatening to cut federal funding to cities that offer safe harbor to undocumented immigrants.

A St. Louis Alderman is calling on the city to fight back against President Donald Trump's immigration policies.

Trump said the travel ban is necessary to reform vetting procedures, but critics — including St. Louis Alderman Antonio French — say keeping immigrants out is simply un-American.

Roughly 300 U-S cities and counties have chosen not to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. Cities that harbor undocumented immigrants are known as sanctuary cities. St. Louis Alderman Antonio French, of the 21st ward, wants St. Louis to be among them.

"It's in our DNA to welcome immigrants," French said. "And so we, along with many other cities, will be fighting back against those bullying tactics, because we take care of our folks, and we have people in this city that deserve to be protected."

At City Hall today, French introduced a resolution to explore the idea. The resolution wouldn't make St. Louis into a sanctuary city overnight. If it passes, the city counselor would explore the legal options and ramifications of sanctuary city status.

Some aldermen are supportive of the concept, but worry about the implications. In addition to the threat to federal funds, a state law also threatens to withhold funding from cities that don't cooperate with immigration authorities.

"Unlike other cities that have a more robust financial situation, St. Louis city, as you know, we're really struggling," said 20th Ward Alderwoman Cara Spencer.  "And putting any funding at risk right now could be a problem."

(© 2017 KSDK)


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