San Francisco has become a “sanctuary city” in the eyes of President Donald Trump, after federal immigration officials deported more than 100 people and refused to release the names of the people in custody.
The city’s mayor, Ed Lee, said the federal government should “immediately reverse course”.
Trump has promised to enforce federal immigration law in his first 100 days in office, but he has yet to provide details of what he plans to do.
“The city is very concerned,” Lee said.
“They have no way of knowing if they will be protected by the federal laws or not.”
The sanctuary city movement was a backlash against Trump’s election campaign promise to crack down on illegal immigration.
Trump, a Republican, won the presidency with a landslide in November but the city of San Francisco, which has a large Mexican American population, has seen an increase in arrests and deportations.
“This is not a matter of political correctness,” Lee told Al Jazeera.
“We need to protect the people of San Franciscos neighborhoods.”
The mayor said San Francisco’s decision to make a “zero tolerance” policy for sanctuary cities was not based on fear, but rather on the need to make police officers and the city’s public safety officers more accountable.
The mayor is a Democrat and has been critical of Trump’s handling of immigration issues.
“San Francisco has a reputation for being one of the toughest, most corrupt cities in America,” Lee added.
“There’s nothing that can be said that could ever justify what we have done.”
More than 1,000 people were deported from San Francisco in 2017 alone, Lee said, citing an increase from 2,000 the previous year.
A federal court ruling in June found that the city was violating the constitutional rights of the immigrants.
San Francisco was among the first cities to announce it would end sanctuary cities.
Since then, more than 10,000 immigrants have been deported in the US, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.