Ignoring fresh threats from the White House, city leaders across the US are vowing to intensify their fight against President Donald Trump's promised crackdown on so-called "sanctuary cities" despite the financial risks.
Murray, along with city attorney Pete Holmes announced that the goal of the lawsuit is to have the January 25 executive order - that threatens to pull funding from cities and counties that don't assist federal immigration authorities in certain ways - ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge. Arguing that the administration's warnings are unconstitutional, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said federal authorities "cannot force our local police officials to be involved in federal immigration activities".
"Seattle will not be bullied by this White House or this administration and today we are taking legal action against President Trump's unconstitutional order", said Murray.
It is a bit unconventional for a local jurisdiction to sue the federal government before something happens, McKenna said. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle, says the executive order creates uncertainty around the city's budget.
And it warned, far in advance of Sessions' comments this week, that jurisdictions violating that law would be cut off from all federal grants.
"If Attorney General Sessions is so concerned about Seattle's safety, pulling law enforcement dollars from cities nationwide is the height of hypocrisy and makes us less safe", Murray said.
States and cities are not obligated to enforce federal immigration law or to comply with requests from federal officials to detain those in the country illegally exclusively on the basis of their immigration status.
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The called age-based tax credits in the bill meant to help people buy medical insurance an unwise new federal entitlement. Plus, rewriting the bill to woo Freedom Caucus members led more Republican moderates to jump ship.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions' announcement this week combined two issues at the fore of the promised crackdown on so-called sanctuary cities.
Some leaders in MA sanctuary cities say their policies do not prohibit cooperation with federal immigration authorities.
"Apparently, the Trump Administration, their war on facts has now become a war on cities". The federal government also can't punish local governments with the threat of pulling federal funding unless it's relevant to the program, which is what the administration is doing, argues Holmes.
"Our values of inclusion, of community, our values are the values we will stand by".
Somerville was recently listed on a Department of Homeland Security report citing jurisdictions with policies that limit cooperation with ICE. While led by the City, other jurisdictions are welcome and encouraged to join this effort.
Sanctuary city policies "have been carefully crafted with federal laws in mind", Grisel Ruiz, a staff attorney with the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, tells the Monitor.
"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".