Seattle Sues Trump Administration Over 'Sanctuary City' Threat

Seattle has a sort of don't ask, don't tell policy when it comes to immigration status, something Holmes said doesn't violate federal law, despite Trump's and Sessions' repeated assertions otherwise. "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".

The executive order, called "Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States", was signed by Trump in the early day of his presidency after a campaign where he pledged to be tough on illegal immigration.

Such policies, Sessions said, "endanger the lives of every American" and violate federal law. Seattle is considered a sanctuary city by most definitions, largely due to a 2003 ordinance that bars law enforcement officials from inquiring about residents' immigration status.

Trump, who made tougher immigration enforcement a cornerstone of his campaign, directed the government in his January 25 executive order to cut off funding to sanctuary jurisdictions.

"We are not breaking any laws, and we are prioritizing safety", Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said at a press conference announcing the lawsuit, which was filed in federal district court.

Cities refusing to cooperate with federal immigration authorities start feeling the Trump administration's wrath.

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. "We are a safer and more prosperous city because of our immigrant and refugee communities and we will continue standing with them".

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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.

The Obama directive, however, does not mention the possibility of clawing back grant money that has already been awarded, as Sessions threatened Monday.

City leaders insisted such examples are the exception, not the rule. During his weekly broadcast on NY1 he said the administration's threat was simple posturing.

Overall, the city receives about $55 million in federal funding as part of its budget.

According to federal law, they are required to inform the feds whenever they have an illegal immigrant in custody, even if he or she is not guilty of any crime.

Supporters of the policy argue that enlisting police cooperation in rounding up immigrants for removal undermines communities' trust in local police, particularly among Latinos.

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. "The administration has created fear among immigrants".

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