The Trump administration has taken serious action against sanctuary jurisdiction. In January 2017, President Trump issued an executive order that threatened to withhold federal funds from cities that declined to assist federal action to deport certain immigrants.
In March 2018, the Justice Department sued California over three newly passed state laws aimed at obstructing federal immigration enforcement. In February 2020, the DoJ again sued jurisdictions in several U.S. sanctuary states for not assisting ICE.
In February 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security declared its objection of New York State’s “Green Light Law”, which allows undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses. In response, the DHS announced that it will no longer allow New York state residents to re-enroll in programs that expedite international travel such as Global Entry, FAST or NEXUS.
Also in February 2020, the U.S. Border Patrol began deploying elite tactical agents to sanctuary cities. The specially trained officers are highly militarized and are being sent to cities including Chicago and New York to boost the enforcement power of local ICE officers.
In April, the Trump Administration threatened to send detained immigrants to sanctuary cities, increasing the risk to COVID-19 exposure for cities that don’t align with the Administration’s immigration views. At the end of April, President Trump renewed threats to withhold COVID-19 relief funding to sanctuary cities.