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Minneapolis mayor issues warning to Trump on illegal immigrants

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges has a problem with Donald Trump's plan to withdraw federal funding to "Sanctuary Cities."
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Minneapolis mayor Betsy Hodges has warned President-elect Donald Trump that city police will not be involved with his plan to tackle illegal aliens, and accused him of scapegoating immigrants.

In his plans for the first 100 days of his presidency, Trump says he will cancel federal funding to so-called "Sanctuary Cities," which do not prosecute people solely for being an undocumented individual.

Minneapolis is one of 31 Sanctuary Cities in the country, and Mayor Hodges has not taken kindly to Trump's apparent threat to withdraw funding if the city is to continue with the policy, which she argues keeps people in the city safer.

On his website, Trump also says he wants to remove 2 million criminal illegal immigrants, which he says will be in "joint operations with local, state and federal law enforcement."

Hodges, however, doesn't intend to let Minneapolis police get involved.

"I will continue to stand by immigrants in Minneapolis. For years, Minneapolis has codified in ordinance that our police officers will not do the work of the federal government and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) regarding immigration status," she said in a statement Saturday.

"If police officers were to do the work of ICE it would harm our ability to keep people safe and solve crimes. Witnesses and victims of crimes won't come forward if they think our police officers will question or detain them about their immigration status. Our ordinance has helped us solve crime and keep communities safer."

She added: "I will continue to stand by and fight for immigrants in Minneapolis regardless of President-elect Trump’s threats. I will not compromise the public safety of the people of Minneapolis to satisfy Trump’s desire to put politics before public safety."

Minneapolis' ordinances for undocumented immigrants can be found here.

Deportation policy a big challenge

Forbes has laid out the challenge facing a Trump administration intent on removing millions of criminal aliens, noting that even as illegal immigrants they are entitled to due process which would require more money to hire extra judges and prosecutors.

"Even then, courts will be clogged with immigration cases for years to implement such a policy," Forbes says.

The Washington Post reports that mass deportations would "upend parts of the economy," particularly in the agricultural industry where many undocumented immigrants work.

Mayor Hodges issued a similarly strongly-worded response last Sunday to Trump's speech in Minneapolis, in which he referred to problems caused by "faulty vetting" that he seen "large numbers of Somali refugees come into the state" without residents' approval.

"Minneapolis is a better, stronger place for having our Somali and East African immigrants and refugees in it," she wrote. "It is a privilege and an honor to be mayor of the city with the largest Somali population in this country. Your ignorance, your hate, your fear just make me remember how lucky we are to have neighbors who are so great."

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