President Trump on Tuesday suggested that new federal payments to help states deal with the coronavirus pandemic could depend on whether or not they were home to sanctuary cities.
“If it is COVID related, we can talk about it. We want things including sanctuary city adjustments,” the president said during an event in the East Room of the White House.
“I don’t even think they are popular even by radical left, because people are being protected that shouldn’t be protected and bad things are happening with sanctuary cities,” Trump continued at the event, which also showcased small business owners who’d benefited from the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program.
“It is one of the things we think about. If we are going to do something for states, they will want something having to do with sanctuary cities and other different points that we can discuss a little later on.”
Trump has frequently railed against sanctuary cities, which generally decline to cooperate with federal immigration authorities and offer services to illegal immigrants.
During the event, which was co-hosted by first daughter Ivanka Trump, several small business owners thanked the president for the Paycheck Protection Program, which helped them retain workers and stay afloat.
Amy Wright, CEO and Founder, Bitty & Beau’s Coffee, a small chain of coffee shops that hires people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, praised the PPP.
“We employ 120 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. For most of them, it is their first paying job, which made the decision for us to temporarily close all five of our shops especially difficult,” Wright said.
“But thanks to the Paycheck Protection Program and the incredible team, all 120 employees are back on the payroll today and working from home writing handwritten notes that we include with each online order we ship.”
The PPP was set up through the CARES Act — the bill that was passed in March that sent many Americans direct payments of $1,200.
But the initial $350 billion the bill quickly proved insufficient to meet demand.
Congress agreed to later allocate another $250 billion to the PPP when it passed an additional $484 billion stimulus package last week.
The SBA has also instituted new guidelines for the fund, which require companies to certify with their lenders that the can’t get relief elsewhere, and that recipients of SBA loans over $2 million undergo extra scrutiny.