New Jersey’s sanctuary cities pledge to fight back against President Trump’s orders

Rally held in Newark to protest President Donald Trump's plan to build a wall on the United States/Mexico border.

Rally held in Newark to protest President Donald Trump's plan to build a wall on the United States/Mexico border. (1/25/17)

NEWARK - New Jersey’s sanctuary cities say that they will fight back against President Donald Trump’s immigration plans.

President Trump signed two executive orders Wednesday that he says will boost border security and crack down on immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. 

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka says that his city, one of the largest in New Jersey, plans to fight back. 

“We are not going to sacrifice thousands of people who live among us, who are part of our community, and who contribute to the economy and vitality of Newark,” Baraka said in a statement. “We are not going to tear families apart."

Newark immigration attorney Michael Younker says that the president’s plans are unprecedented.

“He’s talking about ramping it up to an extreme level that we've never seen before,” he says. “That seems to be his pattern for his threats.”

Newark is one of several cities in New Jersey that's designated itself a “sanctuary city” – a city that protects undocumented immigrants from deportation and only holds them in jail when ordered to by a judge. 

President Trump announced an order to strip sanctuary cities of federal funding. He says that he is restoring public safety. During his speech at Homeland Security, he mentioned many families whose loved ones were killed by undocumented immigrants.

The orders also laid the groundwork to begin construction on a wall at the Mexican and United States border.

Mexican immigrant Alejandra Drechsel, who is now an American citizen, says that she spent the first 25 years of her life living in the border town of Del Rio, Texas. She came to the United States through a work program.

She says that many people do not understand the determination of those crossing the border and the difficulty of building a wall on the border's rough terrain.

“It is sad and disappointing because this country has everything,” she says. “Build a wall, we're going to build tunnels. Let’s see if you can [get] immigrants to stop. It’s not going to be possible just by a wall.”

The president says construction on the border wall will begin “immediately” but the executive orders do not cover the cost of the wall.

More on this topic

President Trump's Executive Orders

President Donald Trump signed two exectutive orders about security on Jan. 25, 2017.

Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the U.S.

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