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DC-area communities divided over Trump’s immigration order

In this Jan. 25, 2017, photo, President Donald Trump signs an executive order for border security and immigration enforcement improvements at the Department of Homeland Security in Washington. Immigration to the United States has come in swells and dips over the past two-plus centuries, driven by shifts in U.S. policy, the mood in the country and world events. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON — Several communities in the D.C. area could be on a collision course with President Donald Trump over their so-called “sanctuary city” status.

D.C., Baltimore, Takoma Park and Prince George’s County are sanctuary places that limit cooperation with federal immigration enforcement.

The president signed an executive order on Wednesday aimed at blocking federal funding to “sanctuary jurisdictions,” but some elected leaders have signaled that they won’t stop protecting residents from federal immigration enforcement.

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“It doesn’t matter what President Trump says. It was our policy during the Obama administration; it’s going to be our policy during the Trump administration,” said Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker.

“We’re not changing; we’re not afraid of what the president has said … because we think we’re doing the right thing; we’re following the law,” Baker said.

The president’s crackdown has drawn praise from Prince William County, which is not a “sanctuary jurisdiction.”

“It’s about time that the federal government is doing something about these renegade cities and localities,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart, a Republican candidate in the Virginia governor’s race.

States, counties and cities have come to depend on their share of federal dollars. But the battle lines are just now being drawn between the money and jurisdictions that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

“We expect our federal delegation, which supports our policy, to make sure we don’t lose critical funds,” Baker said, indicating he’s counting on Senate Democrats Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland to prevent any federal funding cutoff because of the county’s sanctuary status.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to remove Arlington County from the list of sanctuary cities.


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