Could Sacramento Handle an Influx of Migrants? Mayor, Advocates Weigh In

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SACRAMENTO — President Donald Trump has promised more than once to send buses full of migrants from the southern border to California’s so-called “sanctuary cities,” of which Sacramento is one.

“We’re a proud sanctuary city and it’s just another tweet. It’s more idiocy, frankly,” said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg.

Steinberg clearly does not think the president will follow through. But what if he does?

The mayor says Sacramento will welcome large groups of migrants.

“If Donald Trump somehow followed through on this illegal, crazy idea and a busload came up to Sacramento, you’re darn right we’d welcome people,” Steinberg said. “That’s who we are as Sacramentans.”

When FOX40 asked if the city has the infrastructure to handle an influx of migrants Steinberg repeated his belief that it wasn’t going to happen.

However, it is a question homeless advocates are at least considering.

“We don’t have enough housing for people who are here already,” said Bob Erlenbusch with the Sacramento Regional Coalition to End Homelessness.

Erlenbusch says there are likely more than 3,600 people unhoused in Sacramento. He says there’s no additional shelter space for new migrants.

“It’s the right thing to do to provide sanctuary to people but we don’t have the infrastructure to deal with much more than that,” he said.

Mahmoud Zahriya with the Sacramento Immigration Coalition says the city wouldn’t need shelter space.

Without giving specifics, Zahriya said there’s a network in Sacramento, including welcoming homes and places of worship, that would house migrants if it came to it.

“Many of our folks came here from another country and they came here to live the American Dream,” he said. “So, we’re all unified to help each other in this front.”

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