President-elect Donald Trump has repeatedly voiced his hostility toward undocumented immigrants during a campaign fueled by aggressive anti-immigration rhetoric and frequent promises to build a wall along the U.S. Mexico border.
Trump plans to target and weaken so-called sanctuary cities, which protect immigrants, and has vowed to withhold federal funding if they don’t comply.
After the election, several openly LGBTQ sanctuary city mayors assuaged fear by reaffirming their immigrant-friendly positions.
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, who is up for re-election in 2017, said during a rally that Seattle would continue to be “guided by equality and inclusion and openness” and would work to protect immigrants.
Mayor Javier Gonzales of Santa Fe spoke on Fox News and released a statement saying: “We proudly stand by our policy of human rights for all immigrants. It has benefited our people, made us a safer, more cooperative community, and strengthened our economy, and we have no intention to reverse course or be bullied into abandoning our values.”
Mayor of Long Beach, California Robert Garcia said: “We’ve always been at the leading edge of civil rights, including rights for the LGBTQ and the disabled, and that’s not going to change, no matter what.”
Mayor Jackie Biskupski of Salt Lake City wrote in an online letter that her city won’t cooperate with federal officials on immigration and said: “We know our country has a long history of oppression and that is a history I simply cannot or will not support in this role as mayor.”
LGBTQ mayors are leading the charge in ensuring equality remains a core value in their communities.