Studies detail how much funding sanctuary cities stand to lose

States with cities that hold onto their “sanctuary” status for illegal immigrants potentially stand to lose tens of millions of dollars in federal funds, according to a new study published Tuesday.

The report details how much could be on the line, in the wake of President Trump’s executive order that threatened to yank federal dollars for hundreds of sanctuary cities.

The order did not specifically say what sources of funding could be revoked. But the new report — released by the liberal-leaning Center for American Progress, National Immigration Law Center and American Immigration Lawyers — endeavors to calculate the amount of funding at stake, based on prior efforts by Republican lawmakers to defund sanctuary jurisdictions.

All told, the states hardest hit would be California, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

California could lose as much as $239.5 million if its cities don’t comply.

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According to the report, New York risks losing $191.1 million, followed by Illinois at $91.3 million. Pennsylvania and Maryland round out the top five with $65.2 million and $35 million, respectively.

A “sanctuary city” typically refers to a government that has refused to comply with federal detention requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or take part in other immigration enforcement actions.

Trump’s January warning was enough to prompt Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, a Republican, to abandon his government’s sanctuary status. But many sanctuary cities are likely to stay the course. Leaders in New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Boston all say they won’t bow to pressure from the White House.

Tuesday’s report “How Much Funding for Sanctuary Jurisdictions Could Be at Risk,” identifies five key funding sources that could be pulled.

They include:

  • The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant, which helps states and localities pay for a range of criminal justice needs.
  • The U.S. Economic Development Administration grant, which assists “economically distressed areas” with job creation and public works projects.
  • The State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, which reimburses localities for costs associated with detaining immigrants.
  • The Community Development Block Grant program, which helps fund a range of housing, infrastructure and business development projects.
  • The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, which provides money for law enforcement agencies to hire additional community policing officers.

While the latest report looks at statewide funding, a separate report published last month by Open the Books, a nonprofit that analyzes government spending, took a closer look at the cities most likely affected by Trump’s executive order.

Titled, “Federal Funding of America’s Sanctuary Cities,” the report examined 106 sanctuary cities that are home to nearly 6 million of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants living in the United States. The cities received $27 billion from the federal government in fiscal year 2016.

The report revealed that highly populated cities like Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia would be able to sustain themselves without the federal funds but other places like Boston and Washington, D.C., would feel the pinch.