January 27, 2017
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is condemning President Donald Trump's threat to clamp down on "sanctuary cities," saying the administration is trying to force local governments to act as "border guards."
Barrett, who is serving his fourth term leading Wisconsin's largest city, joined mayors around the country in criticizing Trump's move to target sanctuary cities.
Officials in sanctuary cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago have vowed to fight the plan. But on Thursday, a South Florida mayor ordered his employees to start working more closely with federal immigration authorities.
Milwaukee is not a sanctuary city, Barrett said.
"At this time in our nation's history, we have to have political leaders who are going to speak out if they see something that is so offensive," Barrett said to applause from the crowd, which was gathered at Grain Exchange on East Michigan Street.
Barrett has said that Milwaukee police and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Division of Homeland Security have had a good working relationship.
Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn is expected to speak about the issue Saturday at an event organized by Voces de la Frontera, an immigrant rights group.
Trump signed two immigration-related executive orders Wednesday, including efforts to build a wall on the Mexican border and to clamp down on sanctuary cities that shield immigrants in the country illegally.