HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (KDKA) — President Donald Trump received a warm welcome in Huntington, W.Va., Thursday night.
Immigration was one of the issues he wanted to address.
“Our proposal prevents new immigrants from going on welfare for at least five years,” he told a crowd of supporters. “So for at least five years, you don’t come in and go on welfare.”
The crowd roared with approval.
He went on to say, “Our proposal favors applicants who can speak English and support themselves financially.”
The president has made no secret of how he feels about sanctuary cities, explaining, “We are cracking down strongly on sanctuary cities that shield criminal aliens.”
Hours before the president’s West Virginia stop, the Justice Department reiterated threats to withhold millions of dollars in federal grants from cities if they refuse to help the feds in their undocumented immigrant crackdown and if they fail to notify Homeland Security before inmates accused of immigration violations are released from jail.
While Pittsburgh City Council recently held a public hearing on formally adopting a plan to give Pittsburgh sanctuary city status, there’s been no vote on the plan.
Mayor Bill Peduto says the city stands to lose millions if the threats escalate into action.
“This would affect our cops program, about $1 million to $2 million a year,” he explained, “But, still, we would be taking a precedent if we didn’t fight it.”
Peduto predicted a major court battle if federal funding is used in the immigration political debate.
“It would not only be Pittsburgh, it would be cities all across the country,” he told KDKA-TV News. “It would be the Conference of Mayors, the National League of Cities and others in court challenging the federal government if it tries to exert executive pressure in an area that is unconstitutional to do so.”