Seattle challenges Trump over executive order on 'sanctuary cities'

01 April, 2017, 01:46 | Author: Priscilla Morrison

Rep. Jayapal believes the courts are unlikely to uphold Sessions' threat to cut billions of dollars of federal grants and aid to sanctuary cities. Recent comments from U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions served as further motivation for the lawsuit.

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. The same executive order dictates that "sanctuary jurisdictions" that don't comply with US Code 1373 will be stripped of federal grant funding.

In suing the Trump administration, Seattle is not seeking a temporary restraining order, said City Attorney Pete Holmes, who accused the Trump administration of "saber rattling".

The order gave the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security the authority to designate a jurisdiction as a sanctuary jurisdiction and instructed the attorney general to take action against such jurisdictions.

However, cities and states are not going down without a fight.

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Philadelphia, which has designated itself as a "sanctuary city", received $57.5 million in OJP grants in fiscal year 2016 - mostly to cover police expenses for the Democratic National Convention held there. About $55 million of Seattle's 2017 operating expenses comes from federal funding, and more funding is dedicated to longer-term capital investments, the city said. According to documents provided to Patch.com by Holmes' office, the Trump administration has not yet provided any answers to the city's FOIA inquiries.

A detainer is a request by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to a law enforcement agency to keep a suspected deportable immigrant in its custody long enough for immigration authorities to arrest the person.

Supporters of the policy argue that enlisting police cooperation in rounding up immigrants for removal undermines communities' trust in local police, particularly among Latinos. In the suit, the City of Seattle seeks a declaration that it is acting consistently with federal law and that the U.S. Constitution precludes application of the Order to deny it federal funds to which it is otherwise entitled. It's used to describe communities with a range of local ordinances. Every jurisdiction can benefit from the Justice Department's largesse, provided they do what they should have been doing all along: enforce the law.

Secure Communities was later scrapped amid legal challenges and widespread complaints that it swept up immigrants who either hadn't been convicted of a crime or immigrants who faced only minor traffic violations.

"Chelsea feels very strongly that treating all residents regardless of their immigration status with dignity and respect is not only the appropriate policy to have but it's also the one that secures our city the most".

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