PITTSBURGH - The Trump administration is threatening to withhold money from Pittsburgh police over illegal immigration. It's happened in other cities, and it's something President Donald Trump has promised since the campaign.
Pittsburgh is not technically a sanctuary city, but it has so-called "welcoming policies."
Target 11's Rick Earle is the only reporter to talk to Mayor Bill Peduto about this today.
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The mayor said there's a clause dealing with immigration on the application for a grant worth tens of thousands of dollars, and he says he'll pass on the money before signing the clause.
“It would be signing away the city's constitutional rights,” Peduto said,
Pittsburgh isn’t the only city to say no to this, and federal courts in several jurisdictions have ruled that the Trump administration cannot withhold funding for refusing to cooperate with immigration enforcement.
“The trump administration had put a disclaimer on the grant that didn't exist in the past stating that cities around the country would work with ICE in allowing our police officers to be basically deputized as federal officials,” Peduto said.
Mayor Peduto expects the Trump administration to appeal the ruling, possibly to the United States Supreme Court.
In the meantime, the grant that city officials say could be used for improvements to the river rescue building or to buy more body cameras remains in limbo.
“It's frustrating in the sense that it's being used as a means to try to push further the polarizing debate on immigration when the basis for it is simply unconstitutional,” Peduto said.
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