A number of Democratic mayors declined an invitation to visit the White House this week amid the Trump administration’s evolving immigration agenda.
Following an announcement by the Department of Justice calling for stricter enforcement of immigration laws in so-called ‘sanctuary cities,’ mayors including Bill de Blasio of New York and Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans publicly criticized President Donald Trump in turning down his invitation.
In a tweet, de Blasio decried what he called the Justice Department’s “racist assault on our immigrant communities.”
“An attack on one of our cities’ mayors who is following the Constitution is an attack on all of us,” Landrieu said. “I will not be attending that meeting.”
As CNN reported, at least one Republican, Burnsville, Minn., Mayor Elizabeth Kautz, also declined the invitation in response to the immigration decision.
A Justice Department official defended the move in a statement asserting that its “goal here is to ensure compliance with applicable federal law” and “to ensure that jurisdictions that will comply with applicable federal law receive the the grant money and can keep the grant money that they have already obtained.”