Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Photo by John Schreiber.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Photo by John Schreiber.

Although he has been a vocal critic of President Donald Trump’s “dangerous rhetoric,” during the election, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti had little to say Friday about the president’s inauguration speech, which was characterized by some political opponents as dark in tone, fear-based and polarizing.

“I congratulate President Trump on his inauguration. I look forward to finding common ground with his administration on critical issues like infrastructure and job creation,” Garcetti told City News Service when asked for reactions to the speech.

The quiet congratulations are in line with Garcetti’s vows since November to try to work with Trump, but he has also been sharply critical of the president.

Garcetti said in November that the rowdy protest that erupted in Los Angeles after Trump’s election was beautiful” and that Trump said things “that were not partisan, about women, about our Muslim brother and sisters, about immigrants.”

Garcetti told CNS in November he is “worried” by the prospect of Trump repealing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy — which stops or “defers” the deportation of people who were brought to the United States illegally as children, and gives them work permits — and said it would be “a horrible step backwards for this nation.”

The mayor could be headed for a showdown with Trump on immigration, as the president has vowed to cut federal funding for so-called “sanctuary cities” where immigrants in the country illegally are actively shielded from federal officials.

Although Los Angeles does not fit the full definition of a sanctuary city, its police department has long had a policy that prohibits officers from initiating police action with the objective of uncovering the immigration status of an individual.

Despite the threat of a cut in funding that could cost the city up to $500 million annually, Garcetti has not budged.

“Immigration is the responsibility of our federal government, and we’ve been very clear it’s not the responsibility of the LAPD,” Garcetti said in November.

Garcetti also announced in December that he was supporting the city’s participation in a $10 million fund to help provide legal assistance to local immigrants facing deportation proceedings and said the plan is a direct response to Trump’s threat to increase deportations and other “dangerous rhetoric.”

— City News Service

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