Seattle mayor, city attorney sue Trump over 'sanctuary city' threats
- Author: Zachary Reyes Apr 05, 2017,
Apr 05, 2017, 10:20
The Trump administration is issuing a fresh threat to withhold or revoke law enforcement grant money from communities that refuse to cooperate with federal efforts to find and deport immigrants in the country illegally.
Murray, along with city attorney Pete Holmes announced that the goal of the lawsuit is to have the January 25 executive order - that threatens to pull funding from cities and counties that don't assist federal immigration authorities in certain ways - ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge.
"If Attorney General Sessions is so concerned about Seattle's safety, pulling law enforcement dollars from cities nationwide is the height of hypocrisy and makes us less safe", Murray said.
Part of the argument for the city's case as presented by Murray hinges on the 10th Amendment, which says that the federal government can not specify how local governments enforce federal law.
President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions are cracking down on sanctuary cities by threatening to hit them where it hurts most: in the pocketbook.
A sanctuary city is a broad term that refers to cities or states with policies in place that limit involvement in federal immigration enforcement.
"These are illegal aliens who have invaded our country", Mendoza said, noting that the statistics show a disturbing trend of illegal immigrant crime. In his executive order, he stated that it is the policy of the executive branch to ensure that states and cities comply with all federal laws, including our immigration laws.
"Here in New York City and in cities across the nation, this executive order could in fact undermine public safety and make our neighborhoods less safe", New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio said. "We are prohibited from doing so. and moreover, even if we did, given this administration that would like to commandeer our resources and enforce federal law, we would face civil liability, ironically, under federal law".
Indeed, city officials on Monday shared stories of immigrants in their communities seized by federal immigration agents at their children's schools and at courthouses as they appeared as victims of other crimes.
The attorney general threatened to withhold as much as $4.1 billion in federal funds, which are administered to states in the form of various grants each year.
The Obama administration encouraged sanctuary cities, and President Trump is right to push in the opposite direction.
"Sanctuary cities" who refuse to cooperate with the policy and continue providing protections to undocumented immigrants will see their law enforcement funding scaled back.
His remarks were aimed at dozens of cities and other local governments, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, that have joined a growing "sanctuary" movement aimed at protecting immigrant communities.
"President Trump's latest threat changes nothing".
"We will work with our police, not against our police", Trump said in a speech in Florida last month.