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Despite Warnings From GOP, Kenney Proud To Call Philadelphia A Sanctuary City

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- One week from now Donald Trump will be president of the United States. Members of his incoming administration and party have said outright the sanctuary cities better lose the word sanctuary or they'll lose millions in federal funding.

In a town hall Thursday night, house speaker Paul Ryan made it clear that sanctuary cities like Philadelphia could be in trouble with the Trump White House.

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A sanctuary city is one that protects undocumented immigrants and refuses to prosecute them just because they are undocumented. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney is proud to call Philadelphia a sanctuary city.

"I'm not going to turn my back on people who decided that they want to live in Philadelphia," Kenney said.

Kenney told Eyewitness News at an unrelated news conference that sanctuary cities actually help stop, not start crime. He argues that if sanctuary status goes away, undocumented immigrants will hide.

"Those folks will go under ground. We'll have less reports of crime. We'll have less witnesses to crime and we'll be less safe," he argued.

In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel created a task force specifically to help undocumented immigrants stay in Chicago. Trump's team has said that after he becomes president, cities like Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles will review their policies or lose millions in funding.

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"We will comply with whatever we can comply with the law, but we will not turn our backs on our immigrants or our ethnic communities ever."

Republican Senator Pat Toomey is one of the main voices in congress against sanctuary cities. It was one of his biggest issues during the campaign last year.

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