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Sacramento Takes Steps to Broaden its Status as Sanctuary City

SACRAMENTO — The city of Sacramento is broadening its status as a sanctuary city, following a statewide trend of push back against President Donald Trump and his administration’s stated policies.

City Councilman Eric Guerra will head Sacramento’s Sanctuary City Task Force — a new body that will provide legal aid and resources for undocumented Sacramento residents, update a 1985 city ordinance defining Sacramento as a sanctuary city, and look for legal challenges to the Trump administration’s policies both on immigration and on sanctuary cities.

“Regardless of the policies that come forward, our number one priority as a city is to protect our residents,” said Guerra, referring to residents like Edwin Valdez, a 20-year-old Sacramento college student whose parents are both undocumented and have been living in Sacramento since 1994.

“We’re a part of the community basically, all of us are part of the community. My dad works in construction, my mom works in fast food. We’ve grown up in Sacramento,” said Valdez.

Valdez’s parents are two of an estimated 57,000 undocumented people living in Sacramento County.

“I’m very much opposed to sanctuary cities. They breed crime, there’s a lot of problems. If we have to we’ll defund,” said President Donald Trump during an interview with FOX New’s Bill O’Reilly.

Congressman Tom McClintock, who represents California’s 4th District, encompassing areas of El Dorado, Calaveras and Placer counties, agrees with the president.

“It ought to be a no-brainier, of course they should be cut off,” said McClintock.

He believes cities like Sacramento should lose federal funding if they defy orders from the president.

“What we’re seeing is a revival of a doctrine that we haven’t seen in this country since the days of the southern confederacy,” said McClintock.

But Councilman Guerra, and many other city officials, don’t see it that way.

“We need unity and we need protection and respect for every resident in our city,” said Guerra.

City Finance Director Leyne Millstein couldn’t provide FOX40 with a specific figure but says tens of millions of dollars flow from the federal government into Sacramento each year, either directly or through the county or state. Millstein says that money could be at stake if the Trump administration follows through on its promise to defund sanctuary cities, pending a legal challenge to that decision.