Seattle Mayor Ed Murray sues US President Donald Trump’s administrationover threat to cut funding to sanctuary cities

March 30, 2017 2:04 pm

Seattle Mayor speaks at a conference on March 29, 2017. (Photo by The Seattle Times)

The city of Seattle in the
state of Washington has filed a lawsuit against President Donald
Trump’s administration over its threat to withhold federal grants from
“sanctuary cities” that refuse to cooperate with efforts to find and
deport illegal immigrants.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray
announced the federal lawsuit on Wednesday, saying Trump’s executive
order issued in January that punishes so-called sanctuary cities is
unconstitutional and creates uncertainty around the city’s budget.
“Apparently
the Trump administration, their war on facts has now become a war on
cities,” Murray said during a news conference. “Let me be clear about
the facts. We are not breaking any laws and we are prioritizing safety.”
Under Trump’s order, Seattle could face about $10 million in cuts to public safety programs, he said.
The
Trump administration’s threat violates the US Constitution by trying to
make the city’s law enforcement enforce federal immigration law, Murray
said.
The lawsuit, filed at the US federal court in Seattle, asks
a judge to declare that the city is in compliance with the law and that
the executive order is unconstitutional under the 10th Amendment and
the Spending Clause of the US Constitution.
“This administration
has created an atmosphere of anxiety in cities across America and has
created chaos in our ,” Murray said. “It is time for cities to
stand up and ask the courts to put an end to the anxiety in our
communities and the chaos in our system.”
The order also makes
communities less safe by forcing people underground, Seattle City
Attorney Pete Holmes said at the same news conference.
Other local governments have sued Trump over the executive order.
The
city of San Francisco and Santa Clara County in California filed
lawsuits earlier this year. Two Massachusetts cities with large Hispanic
populations – Chelsea and Lawrence – have also taken legal action.
On
Monday, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions threatened to withhold grants
by the Justice Department from cities that fail to assist federal
immigration authorities, moving the Trump administration closer to a
potential conflict with leaders of the largest urban centers in the US.
Sessions’
statements were aimed at dozens of cities, including New York, Los
Angeles and Chicago that have joined a growing “sanctuary” movement
aimed at protecting undocumented immigrants from increasing deportation
efforts.
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