City sues over ‘sanctuary cities’ executive order
This week, the City of Seattle, under the direction of Mayor Ed Murray and City Attorney Pete Holmes, filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s “sanctuary cities” executive order (No. 13768, 82 Fed. Reg. 8799). The order threatens to strip federal funding from cities that refuse to assist the federal government in immigration enforcement and was reiterated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions this week. Seattle, a welcoming city where City employees do not inquire about immigration status and where all services are available to every resident, will argue the order is unconstitutional and that the City has not violated federal law. The ambiguity of the executive order also leaves the City unable to accurately plan its upcoming budget.
The lawsuit, filed in the Western District of Washington, makes two main arguments:
• The order is unconstitutional and ambiguous, and creates budgetary uncertainty by threatening federal funding. It violates the 10th amendment by attempting to force local entities to enforce federal immigration law, and violates the Spending Clause by attempting to coerce local action through the denial of federal funds.
• The City of Seattle and our welcoming city policies do not violate federal law. The executive order calls for localities to cooperate with the federal government and share information. City employees are directed to cooperate with, not hinder, federal actions; however, City employees are prohibited from inquiring into immigration status. The City does not prohibit information sharing, but instead limits the collection of information.
Learn more about the lawsuit and the executive order here.