While many immigrants residing in Orange County are in the country legally, there are also many who do not possess the proper paperwork. Although the new administration is only a few days old, President Donald Trump is already moving forward with plans to strengthen immigration enforcement across the country. One of his executive actions is directed at sanctuary cities.
According to the Washington Post, a presidential directive was signed that aims to cut off or severely limit funding for communities that identify themselves as sanctuary cities. Executive actions intending to increase the number of Border Patrol agents and the number of centers where undocumented immigrants can be detained were also signed.
As the Los Angeles Times points out, there is no clear definition of sanctuary city. For the most part, any community that affords protection to those without proper paperwork or refuses to enforce immigration laws or cooperate with immigration authorities is considered a sanctuary city. California is home to more than 40 such communities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco. Nationwide, over 400 sanctuary towns and cities exist.
It is not yet clear what types of funding these municipalities stand to lose. Federal monies are often used not only for law enforcement efforts but also for programs that provide funding for public housing and parks. Many California sanctuary cities have vowed to resist changing their policies, even at the risk of losing vital federal funding. It remains to be seen what type of action by the Trump administration will follow and how it may affect the lives of immigrants residing in sanctuary cities.