Trump Tries To Bargain COVID-19 Relief For Sanctuary Cities’ Protection

Tuesday morning Trump mounted another attack on Sanctuary Cities and but this time suggested withholding federal aid related to the Coronavirus pandemic to those who do not comply.

The President floated the idea of “Sanctuary-city adjustments” when asked about potentially approving more federal aid to states and enacting a temporary policy of Universal Basic Income (UBI). These cities have local laws in place to limit their cooperation with federal immigration officials.

“If it’s COVID-related, I guess we can talk about it, but we’d want certain things also, including sanctuary-city adjustments,” Trump said.

“That’s one of the things I think about,” he continued. “If we were going to do something for the states, I think they’d probably want something having to do with sanctuary cities and other different points that we can discuss a little later on.”

Democratic states and governors have been under scrutiny by the President and GOP leaders for wanting more federal aid. A party built on small-government ideals is struggling to contend with the level of hands-on help necessary during the current crisis and Trump’s calls to “liberate” states run by Democratic Governors and Party Leader Mitch McConnell’s remarks about preferring state bankruptcy to federal aid echo this.

Trump’s vendetta against Sanctuary States and cities is long-standing and is re-emerging at a critical time where these, amongst many other states, are desperate for federal financial aid. Unemployment in the United States went from 1.4 million to 7.1 million in March and is continuing to climb. The President had expressed last month that he would only help the states who’s governors showed appreciation to him.

Sanctuary States include: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Oregon, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Vermont, and Washington. There are many other cities and counties from other states that also have sanctuary-type laws.

Trump made clear that he is not only looking to try to bend states to yield their local immigration protections but also showed interest in cutting payroll taxes instead of offering more direct financial support to Americans similar to the one-time $1,200 check issued by the Federal Government. Cutting payroll taxes would offer a double win for Trump as these taxes fund social programs that are also in the Presidents’ crosshairs such as Social Security and Medicare. A feat he has already accomplished to some degree as a portion of the $2.2 Trillion Stimulus Bill allowed for employers to forgo payment of payroll taxes through 2020.

Representative Nydia Velazquez from New York and the the ACLU, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, legal and advocacy organization, both condemned the remarks.


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