Seattle sues Trump administration over sanctuary-city threats
Seattle sues Trump administration over sanctuary-city threats
Sanctuary City Crackdown Begins
01 April, 2017, 01:45
The Trump administration issued 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. It allowed both Attorney General Jeff SessionsJeff SessionsSessions, Comey discuss threats with Jewish leaders Pot state Dems want federal regulation of marijuanaSeattle sues Trump administration over sanctuary city ban MORE and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to block federal grants to jurisdictions that did not comply with federal immigration law. "We have the law on our side: the federal government can not compel our police department to enforce federal immigration law and can not use our federal dollars to coerce Seattle into turning our backs on our immigrant and refugee communities". This has come as an outrage to elected officials in several "sanctuary cities", including Los Angeles, Chicago, and NY, who have declared plans to buck the administration and potentially sue. "We are not breaking any laws and we are prioritizing safety".
As is the case in several sanctuary cities, they promised to continue blocking cooperation between city police departments and federal immigration authorities.
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray told reporters the Constitution forbade the federal government from pressuring cities, "yet that is exactly what the president's order does".
The Justice Department on Tuesday declined to comment further.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh was an early and outspoken opponent of Trump's executive order on sanctuary cities, and says this latest announcement is bad for communities, calling it irresponsible and destructive.
"Such policies can not continue", the attorney general warned.
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Under the order, Seattle could face at least $10.5 million in cuts to public safety programs, he said. They also vowed to prevent federal agents from accessing their schools and school records, and they openly contemplated employing cities' rarely-used oversight and subpoena powers to investigate federal immigration practices.
Murray and Holmes argued the opposite.
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.
"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".
Since Seattle argues it is in compliance with federal law (it can't share information it doesn't collect), there is no reason to lose any federal funding.
At risk could be millions of federal dollars flowing into the city government. Every jurisdiction can benefit from the Justice Department's largesse, provided they do what they should have been doing all along: enforce the law.
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