border fence
© AFP/Getty Images
A metal fence marked with the US Border Patrol sign at the US/Mexico border fence, in Nogales, Arizona.
President Trump is signaling his administration will tie city and state coronavirus stimulus money to reforming so-called "sanctuary" areas in which some illegal immigrants are shielded from prosecution and deportation.

"We'd have to talk about things like sanctuary cities ... where people that are criminals are protected," Trump said Tuesday.

Trump, fellow Republicans and others have been critical of sanctuary city laws, essentially found in cities and states with Democrat leaders and that limit federal agents from deporting illegal immigrants who have committed serious crimes.

Trump made "defunding" such states and cites a key part of his successful 2016 presidential campaign and has continued through his first term to pursue such efforts.

The Justice Department in March 2018 sued California over state laws the administration argued made deporting criminals illegal immigrants impossible for federal immigration officials. And he issued an executive order declaring that jurisdictions that "refuse to comply" with federal law on information sharing between local and federal authorities would be ineligible for federal grants.

Trump on Tuesday also suggested that potentially new stimulus money could go to state and local governments, as Democrats have requested, but made clear that Republicans also have their requests.
"We'd want certain things also, including sanctuary city adjustments because we have so many people in sanctuary cities, which I don't even think are popular, even by radical-left folks. ... because what's happening is people are being protected that shouldn't be protected and a lot of bad things are happening with sanctuary cities."