IMMIGRATION

Sanctuary cities: Seattle sues Trump administration over executive order

Doug McKelway reports on the ongoing battle

 

Seattle filed a lawsuit Wednesday over President Trump’s executive order threatening to cut off federal funding for cities offering to protect illegal immigrants.

Mayor Ed Murray said the order issued in January punishing sanctuary cities is unconstitutional and creates uncertainty around the city’s budget.

The city said it anticipates at least $55 million in federal funds to support operating expenses, nearly $100 million in capital project support and about $2.6 million from Justice Department grants this year, Q13 Fox reported.

“The federal government cannot compel our police department to enforce federal immigration law and cannot use our federal dollars to coerce Seattle into turning our backs on our immigrant and refugee communities. We simply won’t do it,” Murray said.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said this week that the Justice Department would deny grant money to cities that violate federal law dealing with information-sharing among local police and federal authorities. Sessions said the cities are making their communities unsafe.

Murray disagreed.

"Let me be clear about the facts. We are not breaking any laws and we are prioritizing safety,” he said.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court asks a judge to declare that Seattle is in compliance with the law and that the executive order is unconstitutional under the 10th Amendment and the Spending Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Other governments have sued Trump over the sanctuary issue. San Francisco filed a lawsuit earlier this year, also saying the order was unconstitutional. California's Santa Clara County and two Massachusetts cities with large Latino populations - Chelsea and Lawrence - have also taken legal action.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.