President Trump on Tuesday said states financially crippled because of the coronavirus pandemic would have to make “sanctuary city adjustments” in order to receive emergency coronavirus federal relief.

The president was asked at a White House press conference about another round of COVID-19 stimulus payments to Americans, but then he pivoted to the idea of bailing out states being tied to their immigration policies.

“Now if it’s COVID-related, I guess we could talk about it, but we’d want certain things also, including sanctuary city adjustments,” Trump said. “Because we have so many people in sanctuary cities, which I don’t even think are popular even by radical-left folks because what’s happening is people are being protected that shouldn’t be protected. And a lot of bad things are happening with sanctuary cities.”

In sanctuary cities, police departments limit their cooperation with ICE. Some of the sanctuary cities in Massachusetts include Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Newton and Lawrence.

“If we were going to do something for the states, I think they’d probably want something having to do with sanctuary cities,” Trump said. “Something having to do with other different points that we can discuss a little bit later on.”

Trump earlier on Tuesday was also asked about bailing out states that are suffering severely because of the coronavirus outbreak.

“We’d have to talk about things, like sanctuary cities as an example,” Trump said. “I think sanctuary cities are something that has to be brought up, where people that are criminals are protected. They’re protected from prosecution. … I think it’s one of the problems that the states have. I don’t even think they know they have a problem, but they have a big problem with it.”

When asked about another round of direct payments to Americans, the president mentioned supporting the idea of payroll tax cuts.

“I’ve liked that from the beginning,” Trump said of payroll tax cuts. “That was a thing I really would love to see happen.”

“It would really be an incentive for people to come back to work, and for employers to hire,” he said.

Trump on Tuesday also said he’s looking into testing people for coronavirus on international flights coming to the U.S.

“We’re looking at doing it on the international flights coming out of areas that are heavily infected,” Trump said.

“We will be looking into that in the very near future,” he said. “We’re looking at it very strongly.”

When asked if the airlines will have this testing responsibility, Trump said, “Either the airlines or government, one or the other. We’re working with the airlines. Maybe it’s a combination of both.”


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