Threat to cut federal funding for sanctuary cities could impact Milwaukee County

NOW: Threat to cut federal funding for sanctuary cities could impact Milwaukee County
Milwaukee County -

Milwaukee County could lose hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds under President Donald Trump's executive order to de-fund sanctuary cities.

"There's not been a lot of clarity on the kind of funds they're talking about," said county spokesperson Melissa Baldauff.

The Trump Administration has left that up to the Office of Budget and Management, but Baldauff said the threat makes the county's job difficult.

"But we do know for certain we're gonna care for the people of Milwaukee County and we're gonna provide them the greatest service we can," she said.

Services impacted could include the transit system. It and the new East-West Bus Rapid Transit System get federal dollars.

Baldauff said grant monies also support a re-entry program for inmates at the House of Correction and a Fatherhood initiative through child support services.

"It helps people get their drivers license back, helps them get job training and placement and be able to provide more for their kids," she said.

More than 100 people rallied in support of a resolution that keeps Milwaukee County a sanctuary, protecting the rights of all people.

It wasn't voted on Wednesday, but some believe it's not the right solution.

County Supervisor Deanna Alexander is opposed to the resolution which she calls "divisive, wasteful nonsense."

Read her full statement below.

“This everything-but-the-kitchen-sink opposition measure is divisive, wasteful nonsense.  Under the false banner of valuing all people, it carelessly drives a wedge against anyone willing to give the new President an opportunity to help our nation and further polarizes our political climate.  


The resolution misleads the public with political rhetoric that would make it seem as if the White House has threatened citizens’ rights in every area of their lives - a claim that is simply not true and appears to be a County Board attempt at developing ‘alternative facts.’


This measure seeks to make Milwaukee County an official sanctuary for illegal immigrants and embraces the Black Lives Matter anti-cop movement in a partisan way that seems like payback - perhaps against leaders like Milwaukee’s Sheriff Clarke, a nationally renowned black law enforcement leader who dared to help Donald Trump be elected President. 


As local elected officials, our focus needs to be on the residents of Milwaukee County who are pleading for help staying safe in a metro area riddled with shootings, car thefts, sex trafficking, and a heroin epidemic.  Throwing a fit for political pleasure and refusing to even try developing an intergovernmental relationship between our great County and the new White House administration is juvenile, irresponsible, and will ultimately damage us far more than it could ever repair us.”

Click here to read a statement from Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke.

Below is what Mayor Tom Barrett said in a statement.

“The Executive Order states that the Secretary of Homeland Security shall engage with Governors and local officials. 

The Secretary should be aware that Milwaukee is not a sanctuary city and that the Milwaukee Police Department and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Division of Homeland Security have had a good working relationship.

Enforcement of immigration laws have traditionally been a federal responsibility.  I would advise the President and Secretary of Homeland Security that unfunded mandates and community disruption are not in the best interest of Milwaukee or the Country.”

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