The price of sanctuary

Massachusetts is walking on eggshells now that Donald Trump is poised to move into public housing in Washington and nowhere is that trepidation felt more than in the so-called “sanctuary cities,” communities that resist federal orders to turn over illegal immigrants for deportation.

Trump’s tough-on-immigrant stance during the campaign morphed into a pledge to withhold federal funding from any community that doesn’t comply with orders to turn over detainees. A look around the map finds that many of those cities are in states that voted for Hillary Clinton and those few cities in GOP strongholds are mere dots of blue in a sea of red.

There are certainly questions about the reach of a president’s ability in holding back federal funds but with a compliant Congress, nothing is off the table.

“Cities that refuse to cooperate with federal authorities will not receive taxpayer dollars, and we will work with Congress to pass legislation to protect those jurisdictions that do assist federal authorities,” Trump said back in August.

Many observers think Trump’s penchant for retaliation would trigger any number of attempts to strip federal funding especially if it only affects those who voted against him. In the Bay State, which went for Clinton by a 2-1 margin, city leaders are steeling for a fight against the new administration but the questions arise: At what cost and who gets hurt the most? Most of the federal dollars that flow into city coffers are for everything from school lunches to fuel assistance for the elderly. Would Trump carry out his threat at the expense of those who are most vulnerable?

“We’re talking about cities the size of Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco,” Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse told the Boston Globe. “Millions and millions of Americans live in these communities and the thought of a president with a stroke of his pen taking billions of dollars away. … I can’t fathom that happening. But it’s Donald Trump, so you never know.”

Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, one of the state’s most strident progressive Democrats, said regardless of the fallout, his city will not give in to threats.

“If we lose this funding, we will tighten our belts, but we will not sell our community values short,” he said on Boston Herald Radio.

To the north, Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera said the Hispanic-majority city gets about $36 million in federal funding each year, but little of it has to do with immigration. Rivera points out that Lawrence, despite the perception, is a “welcoming city,” though not a “sanctuary city.”

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has vowed to protect immigrants regardless of the $285 million the city receives in federal funding. But not everyone in Massachusetts is warming up for a fight. Brockton city councilors have twice delayed a vote to pass the so-called Trust Act, which would order police in the city not to turn over immigrants in detention to federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. Many residents fear such actions will put a target on the city from the Trump administration.

“We can’t afford it,” Brockton resident Ron Packard told the City Council. “Trump is already talking about taking federal funding from cities that go sanctuary or cities that already are. …Can this city afford to have more federal funding being taken from them? They’re having trouble with money as it is.”




Attorney General Maura Healey’s office has paid $44,000 so far to a Texas law firm that is defending her in a court battle with Exxon Mobil, which is seeking to force the AG to come to Texas next month and give testimony in connection with her investigation of the oil giant’s claims regarding climate change. (Boston Herald)

Healey issues a report indicating only 46 cents of every dollar raised by professional fundraisers actually goes to charities. (Masslive)

Sen. Jamie Eldridge of Acton is arrested at a protest for a higher minimum wage in Cambridge. (State House News)


Holyoke City Councilor Linda Vacon accuses Mayor Alex Morse of playing “the victim guard” for raising concerns about recent harassment he has received for being gay. (Masslive)

A Fenway neighborhood community development group wants Boston officials to put the brakes on university expansion in the area until the impact of development plans can be more fully vetted. (Boston Herald)

A Herald editorial slams a 5-cent tax on grocery bags in Boston that it says is being proposed by “nanny staters” on the City Council.

Chelmsford developer Salvatore Lupoli is planning to build an 8-12 story office/housing/retail building in Haverhill. (Eagle-Tribune)

Truro selectmen have agreed to a settlement worth $3 million to the town to lift a demolition order on a controversial house overlooking Cape Cod Bay that has been vacant since its construction in 2009. (Cape Cod Times)

Voters at Ashland Town Meeting approved a measure to make a permanent connection to the MWRA but added an amendment restricting selectmen to drawing on the water only in an emergency. (MetroWest Daily News)


Over dinner, president-elect Donald Trump continues his awkward reconciliation with Mitt Romney. (WBUR) Stephen Pagliuca, a co-owner of the Boston Celtics and a Democrat, played a role in the reconciliation. (Washington Post) Trump also tweets that he is getting out of all of his businesses. (The Daily Beast)

Rep. Seth Moulton has joined Bay State colleague Rep. Steve Lynch in declaring his support for Rep. Tim Ryan, who is challenging House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in today’s vote of the House Democratic caucus. (Boston Herald)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is mounting an all-out effort against a $6.3 billion piece of legislation she calls a giveaway to pharmaceutical interests, but which has lots of support in the Massachusetts biomedical community and among her colleagues in the state’s congressional delegation. (Boston Globe)

More white people are dying than being born in 17 states, including Massachusetts. (Time) The  University of New Hampshire population study is here.


In the wake of Nazi salutes, the alt-right splinters. (Los Angeles Times)

James Sutherland and Lawrence DiCara unpack the presidential vote in Boston, which showed a pattern similar to one that proved fatal to Hillary Clinton in Michigan and Wisconsin: Huge margins, but lower turnout, in heavily minority precincts. (CommonWealth)

One of the hedge funds managing the state’s pension fund investments could forfeit millions of dollars in fees because of a $500 campaign donation from a former employee to a family friend running for governor. (CommonWealth)


Activists launch a campaign for a $15 minimum wage in Massachusetts. (Boston Globe) Roxana Rivera of 32BJ SEIU District 615, one of the unions leading the effort, and Logan Airport worker Ababuti Ogalla make the case. (CommonWealth)

Officials at the air conditioner manufacturer Carrier say they have reached an agreement with President-elect Donald Trump to keep 1,000 jobs at their Indiana factory, about half the number that had been planned to be moved to Mexico. (U.S. News & World Report)

Former workers at a now-shuttered Texas Instruments plant in Attleboro are suing the company, alleging that exposure to uranium and toxic chemicals there has caused cancer and and ailments. (Boston Globe)

Four Weymouth restaurants will have their liquor licenses suspended all on the same day after a sting operation caught them serving beer to minors. (Patriot Ledger)


A new study finds that while women now occupy nearly half the seats in the nation’s law schools, many of them are in lower-ranked colleges and universities rather than the more prestigious institutions, putting them at a disadvantage for advancement and higher-earning jobs. (New York Times)

Salem State University decides to reopen a controversial art exhibit that included a picture of members of the Ku Klux Klan. (Salem News)

Fall River school officials are removing metal detectors that had been set up in October at B.M.C. Durfee High School after a student brought a BB gun into the building. (Herald News)


Massachusetts health care leaders react warily to President-elect Donald Trump’s selection of Rep. Thomas Price, a staunch opponent of the Affordable Care Act, to be secretary of health and human services. (Boston Globe)


Using transportation as an example, Jim Aloisi cautions that shattered glass ceilings don’t always stay shattered. (CommonWealth)

Keolis forms an internal working group to improve on-time performance of the Worcester line. (Telegram & Gazette)


The controversial deer hunt has begun in the Blue Hills to cull the overpopulation and this year has been opened to bow hunters as well, bringing protests from critics who say it is a cruel way to kill the animals. (Patriot Ledger)

In Petersham, DNA results confirm a mountain lion attacked a horse. (Telegram & Gazette)


With instant tickets slipping, overall lottery sales are flat. (State House News)


Facing neighborhood resistance, Essex County Sheriff Frank Cousins pulls the plug on a small pre-release housing facility in Haverhill. (Eagle-Tribune)


Washington Post editor Marty Baron receives the second annual Hitchens Prize and offers remarks on the crucial role of journalists, particularly in the coming Trump era. (Vanity Fair)

The new media venture from the cofounder of Politico and the originator of its Playbook newsletter Is called Axios. (The Hive)

Longtime WBZ NewsRadio anchor Diane Stern is retiring. (Keller@Large)