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 Ed Murray 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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