BOSTON (CBS) – Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said President Donald Trump is using a “fear tactic” by threatening to withhold coronavirus funding from sanctuary cities.

On Tuesday, President Trump said he would consider withholding coronavirus relief funds from states not in compliance with the White House’s policies on immigration.

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“Every time the President gets his back up against the wall he pulls out the sanctuary city card and talks about immigration, and I think he should focus on what’s in front of us – COVID-19,” Walsh said at his Wednesday press briefing. “We have challenges in front of us; we should focus on COVID-19. And then, when that is complete we should be challenged on how do we open up America again, not focus on immigration policy that’s a fear tactic.”

Walsh has been a frequent critic of President Trump, and often on the topic of immigration.

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Earlier this month he called President Trump’s 60-day immigration ban amid the coronavirus pandemic a “foolish policy.”

“This is important for elected officials and leaders to work together for us to get through this very difficult time. These suggestions or threats by the White House are uncalled for. They’re not going to solve either the public’s health or the immigration challenge that we have in our country,” said Walsh.

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“This is not the time to politicize issues to push forward an agenda. People are hurting; people are dying; people are scared. This is a time for leadership. And that’s exactly what we’re going to provide here in Massachusetts in the city of Boston. And that’s my suggestion – that Washington should start doing, providing some leadership for the people of America,” he added.