San Francisco has officially filed a lawsuit challenging Donald Trump’s executive order to withhold federal funds for areas of the country with sanctuary city policies. The lawsuit was filed by San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera and qualifies as the first court challenge to the president’s order.
Sanctuary cities protect immigrants from deportation by simply limiting their cooperation with immigration authorities. And in his quest to reconfigure the country’s immigration policies, Trump has threatened to would pull these cities’ federal funding. This has already been set in motion, as he signed an executive order on January 25 asking Homeland Security to look into the process of defunding, but some cities are not taking it lying down.
Several cities have vowed to push back, but San Francisco is the first to take legal action. On Tuesday, lawyers for the suit said Trump’s order violates the 10th Amendment (powers not granted to the federal government should fall to the states) with the lawsuit stating, “In blatant disregard of the law, President of the United States seeks to coerce local authorities into abandoning what are known as ‘Sanctuary City’ laws and policies.”
Herrera said at a press conference that the goal of sanctuary cities was for immigrants to report crimes without the threat of being deported and that Trump is using the order for his own means. “President Trump’s executive order tries to turn city and state employees into federal immigration officers,” Herrera said. “That is unconstitutional.”
Trump continues to hammer home his immigration plans and used his recent ban to enforce it, thereby causing a furor across the country. Further complicating matters, he replaced the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which is the government organization that deals with enforcing immigration laws.