Podcast: How Safe is a Sanctuary City?


Protest against President Trump’s executive orders on immigration, January 2017. Photo: Ryan Rwozimek

Sanctuary communities are under attack from the White House. Under an executive order issued on January 25th the federal government can withhold funds from cities, towns, counties and states that protect undocumented immigrants from being detained and deported.

The response has ranged from defiance to compliance. San Francisco filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the executive order, while Miami’s mayor suspended a city policy of non-cooperation with federal immigration authorities, citing the threatened loss of federal funds.

Immigrant advocates say Miami is the exception.

Many communities are looking to strengthen their sanctuary policies. But it’s unclear how far they can or will go to protect undocumented immigrants within their borders.

As we know the detention and deportation system can happen pretty quickly here and we want people to not only be safe and know their rights but be prepared in case of an emergency.” – Kemi Bello, Immigrant Legal Resource Center

In this podcast we break down the issues and the challenges.

John Rudolph speaks with Kemi Bello and Lena Graber

Feet in 2 Worlds’ Executive Producer, John Rudolph speaks with:

Commissioner Nisha Agarwal of New York City’s Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.

Lena Graber, an attorney with the Immigrant Legal Resource Center in San Francisco.

Kemi Bello, an undocumented immigrant from Nigeria and a DACA recipient who works as Communications Manager for the Immigrant Legal Resource Center.

Listen to our earlier podcast Between Fear & Hope – Young Immigrants in Post-Election America

Cover photo by Ted Eytan, podcast music is Zero by Steve Combs.

Fi2W is supported by the David and Katherine Moore Family Foundation, the Ralph E. Odgen Foundation an anonymous donor and readers like you.

AboutJohn Rudolph
John Rudolph, Executive Producer, is a journalist with more than 40 years experience as a public radio program host and producer of documentaries, podcasts and news reports. John produced the award-winning documentary Feet in Two Worlds: Immigrants in a Global City, which was the debut for the Feet in 2 Worlds project.