Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s first list of so-called immigrant sanctuary cities produced a lot of names — and not much clarity, reports the Boston Globe. The list, released this week as part of ICE’s first weekly “detainer” report, named 118 localities as self-declared sanctuaries but included no information about the Trump administration’s plans to respond. So what is the purpose of the list? One ICE official said it will be up to Trump and Congress to decide what the next steps will be. Trump has repeatedly threatened to strip federal funding from sanctuary cities. He issued an executive order on Jan. 25 directing the Department of Homeland Security to begin that process.
“We’re just complying with the executive order,” said the ICE official. The list of cities was drawn up based on public announcements and news reports and is not fully comprehensive. It will be up to DHS to officially define and identify sanctuary cities for the purposes of Trump’s order, the official added. Phil Torrey, an immigration lawyer, says the report has another purpose. “Trump is trying to shame localities into using their resources to help ICE arrest and deport individuals,” he said. He says the list is being used as a propaganda tool “to unfairly and inaccurately paint all immigrants as criminals.”