Trump Meeting With US Mayors Sparks Partial Boycott Over New Crackdown on ‘sanctuary Cities'

WASHINGTON -- Moments before a scheduled meeting with President Donald Trump, the head of the U.S. Conference of Mayors announced a boycott to protest a crackdown on so-called "sanctuary cities" that don't fully cooperate with federal immigration enforcement.The White House denounced the boycott as a "political stunt" that wouldn't derail the meeting."It's a little hard for them to cancel a meeting that they did not organize," said White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters. "This is a White House meeting. This is a bipartisan meeting.... It's really difficult to cancel something that you never organized."Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, spotted heading toward the White House, did join the president. The meeting was expected to cover infrastructure and other policies of interest in Texas. Mayors from 11 Texas cities, including Fort Worth, Denton, Arlington, Carrollton and Plano, were on the White House list of expected attendees. No Texas cities were targeted Wednesday by the Justice Department's threat to issue subpoenas and cut off some federal funding for their refusal to fully comply with demands to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose city was one of the 23 targets, was among the most high profile city leaders to boycott the Trump meeting. Another Democrat, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, president of the nonpartisan U.S. Conference of Mayors, denounced Trump and insisted the meeting was cancelled."Many mayors of both parties were looking forward to visiting the White House today to speak about infrastructure and other issues of pressing importance to the 82 percent of Americans who call cities home. Unfortunately, the Trump administration's decision to threaten mayors and demonize immigrants yet again - and use cities as political props in the process - has made this meeting untenable," Landrieu said in a statement. "The U.S. Conference of Mayors is proud to be a bipartisan organization. But an attack on mayors who lead welcoming cities is an attack on everyone in our conference," he said. "When the President is prepared to engage in an honest conversation about the future of our shared constituencies, we will be honored to join him. Until that time, mayors of both parties will work together to keep our cities safe, hold this administration accountable to its promises, and protect immigrant communities - with or without Washington's help."  Continue reading...

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