As Donald Trump prepares to assume the Presidency tomorrow, his potential impact on cities looms large. That’s the subject of my recent City Journal piece “What Does President Trump Mean For Cities?” It’s in the print edition, so keep in mind this was originally written in early December.
Any take on this is by its very nature speculative, but cities and Trump would be appear to be heading for a very high conflict relationship.
One of the key battles will likely be immigration. I’m participating in a forum focused on this very issue at NYU next Thursday the 26th called “Cities and Immigration in the Age of Trump.” Also joining me will be NYC City Council President Melissa Mark-Viverito, Vox writer Dara Lind, and a few others. If you’re in NYC, should come out if you can make it.
I note in my piece that immigration is where there could be some early fireworks. Here’s an excerpt:
Immigration will almost certainly be a major flashpoint. Big cities have become home to increasingly large numbers of immigrants. Miami is 75 percent foreign-born, San Jose 40 percent, and Houston 29 percent. These numbers don’t include U.S.-born children of immigrants. Many shrinking cities like Detroit and Dayton see immigrants as their best hope for repopulation. Moreover, Trump has vowed to crack down on illegal immigration, and most big-city mayors are de facto open-borders ideologues. Many preside over so-called sanctuary cities, where local governments, including law enforcement, refuse to cooperate with federal immigration laws. Trump says that he will revoke federal funding to sanctuary cities, and many mayors have already vowed to defy him. Whether he remains resolute in this standoff will offer an early test of Trump’s commitment to his agenda.
Click through to read the whole thing.
One thing I expect to see from cities is a reversal of field on federal involvement. Urbanists have tended to applaud Obama’s diving into local affairs like policing and land use. It seems unlikely they will welcome Trump’s Justice Department of HUD taking a similarly aggressive approach.