Pittsburgh considers becoming sanctuary city: report

Pittsburgh considers becoming sanctuary city: report
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Pittsburgh is considering becoming a sanctuary city for people living in the country illegally, according to a report Tuesday from PublicSource.

The move, if formalized, would put the city on a collision course with President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says his faith is 'bedrock foundation of my life' after Trump claim Coronavirus talks on life support as parties dig in, pass blame Ohio governor tests negative in second coronavirus test MORE

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Trump vowed during his presidential campaign to block federal dollars from cities that give sanctuary to undocumented immigrants.

The billionaire also pledged after his victory that he would prioritize deporting or jailing undocumented immigrants with gang ties or criminal records.

PublicSource said Pittsburgh’s City Council has never passed a law making it a sanctuary city. Pittsburgh's police department, however, has operated much like its counterparts in formal sanctuary cities since 2014.

“The Pittsburgh Bureau of Police practice is to honor requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to detain those wanted in criminal investigations, but to refrain from working as immigration officers,” said Timothy McNulty, spokesman for Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto (D). "In other words, the PBP does not engage in investigatory detention of individuals based on their immigration status.”

A source within the city government reportedly told PublicSource the Pittsburgh City Council is looking into formalizing such a policy.

Pittsburgh would join cities including Baltimore, Detroit, Portland, New York and Philadelphia, if it did so.

Trump made border security and combating illegal immigration signature issues on the campaign trail.

Democratic governors and mayors across the country, however, have already signaled they will resist Trump’s efforts to deport undocumented immigrants.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D), for example, vowed earlier this month his city would remain a sanctuary city.

The mayors of Minneapolis, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle have also promised to defend immigrants in their cities.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbot (R), for his part, on Sunday pledged to ban sanctuary cities in his state.

Cities and states have no legal obligation to enforce federal immigration law, leaving the issue at times murky.

Local jurisdictions have long avoided actively enforcing those federal laws — either to maintain relations with immigrant communities or because of already thin budgets.