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Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton vows city police will stay out of deportation process

LISTEN: Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton

PHOENIX — Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton promised his city’s police department would not turn into a deportation machine to implement President-elect Donald Trump’s immigration plans.

Stanton joined a host of other city leaders across the country, including the mayors of New York City, Boston, Chicago and the police chief of Los Angeles, who have said they will not be part of deporting undocumented immigrants.

Trump has said he would cut federal funding to cities that offer sanctuary to illegal immigrants.

Thursday, Stanton said his city would remain a haven, despite the threat to funding, while also upholding the law.

“Phoenix is an incredibly diverse and welcoming city where we endeavor every day to protect our community while treating residents with dignity and respect, no matter who you are, who you love or where you come from.

Our diversity is our greatest strength as a community, and our strongest selling point as an economy. It says much about who we are as a people that Phoenix is considered one of the safest and most welcoming cities in the United States for those seeking refuge from the violence of war-torn countries.

That will not change, regardless of who is president.

Residents and visitors can be assured we will professionally and steadfastly uphold the laws of our city. But that does not mean that Phoenix will fall victim to discourse that is openly antagonistic and hostile to members of our community.

The Phoenix Police Department will never turn into a mass deportation force, even if the new government in Washington, D.C., threatens to revoke federal dollars. This is something worth fighting for, and we will not be bullied into taking backward steps on civil rights.”

The Phoenix mayor has been a longtime supporter of a comprehensive immigration bill.

In July, Stanton told a mayors’ panel that immigration reform should be a priority for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

During his campaign, Trump said he would deport all illegal immigrants, about 11 million people. But in an interview this week on “60 Minutes” the Republican said he would deport illegal immigrants with criminal records.

He told the show that number was 2 million to 3 million.

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