Boston Mayor Martin Walsh made it loud and clear Wednesday that Bostonians will not tolerate or be intimidated by President Trump’s executive orders targeting illegal immigrants and threats to withhold federal funding to sanctuary cities.
While standing at a podium at City Hall, Walsh began his remarks by first introducing several elected officials behind him, including state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Boston) and state Rep. Liz Malia (D-Jamaica Plain), as well as Boston City Council President Michelle Wu.
“This is America behind me,” noted Walsh of the many individuals of numerous races and backgrounds behind him. “Many immigrants work for the city of Boston and many first-generation Americans work for the city of Boston.”
Walsh said he is “disturbed and angry” by executive orders coming out of Washington that target illegal immigrants. The mayor said the executive orders are “destructive and un-American threats.”
Walsh said that 28 percent of Boston residents are immigrants, and 48 percent of Boston residents, including Walsh, have at least one foreign-born parent.
“Today’s executive orders against immigrants are a direct attack on Boston’s people, Boston’s strength and our values. We will not stand for it,” Walsh said.
Walsh said he will “use all of my power within lawful means to protect all Boston residents — even if that means using City Hall itself as a last resort. He added that “we have the Constitution of the United States of America on our side and we won’t back down from protecting our people no matter what.”
Trump has said that sanctuary cities will not receive federal funding. Boston is not technically a sanctuary city, but its Trust Act from 2014 states the city’s police will not report undocumented immigrants to federal agencies.
When asked about losing federal funding, Walsh said that the president hasn’t been specific about what type of funding would be cut. “I guess we’ll find out,” he said.
Below is a video of the full press conference. Walsh starts speaking at the 2:58 mark.