Executive Order 13768 - Infrastructure Blackmail?

February 21, 2017

Sanctuary cities risk losing billions of federal infrastructure dollars if they don't comply with President Trump's executive order on immigration.

While the administration touts a $1 trillion proposal to rebuild the United States’ roads, railroads, bridges and airports, the executive order (EO 13768, Section 9 a) Trump signed January 25 that declares a possible policy of blocking federal funds for cities, states and other jurisdictions who refuse to provide information and assistance to federal immigration authorities could potentially put hundreds of millions of dollars on the chopping block, and transportation advocates say the damage could extend far beyond Trump's intended targets.

Politico.com's article Trump’s ‘Sanctuaries’ Crackdown Imperils Transportation Projects raises questions that indicate tying federal funding for infrastructure improvement and jobs to the current administration's immigration aspirations opens a h-u-u-ge can of worms.

For example, Robert Puentes, CEO of the Eno Center for Transportation, a D.C. think tank,  said cities don’t get federal highway money directly — the money flows through state governments or regional bodies known as metropolitan planning organizations. Under Trump’s order, “does it mean states or MPOs can’t spend their federal money in those cities?” he asked.

Mayors of some sanctuary cities intend to defy the executive order, saying there is Supreme Court precedent that protects them from retaliation from the Trump administration. On the other hand, the courts have upheld the federal government's right to withhold transportation funding if a state doesn't enact certain policies.

Should the administration's immigration policies be tied to the nation's infrastructure needs?

Read Tanya Snyder's article here: