Leaders of Local ‘Sanctuary Cities’ Vow to Remain Firm After Threats From U.S. Attorney General

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Immigrant rights groups look on during a vigil to protest against President Donald Trump's new crackdown on "sanctuary cities" outside Los Angeles City Hall on Jan. 25, 2017. (Credit: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Leaders from so-called sanctuary cities across Southern California struck a defiant tone Monday, stating that they would continue to protect people who are in the country illegally despite threats by U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions to cut off and even claw back grant funding from the Justice Department.

“We will fight this vigorously and still continue to maintain services to provide for our high quality of life in Santa Ana,” Sal Tinajero, a city councilman in Santa Ana, which voted unanimously to become a sanctuary city shortly after Donald Trump was elected president.

During a brief appearance at the White House briefing room, Sessions repeated previous statements that the Trump administration would seek to deny sanctuary cities some Department of Justice grant funds, but offered no new policies.

Still, officials in sanctuary cities scrambled to touch base with attorneys and explore their legal options.

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